Day Two was really yesterday (Saturday, August 27) but I am writing this in the morning of Sunday, August 28. One of the main ways of observing the Sabbath in Jewish tradition is to refrain from creating (which includes writing) in any way that is considered to mirror the process of original Creation as described in Genesis.
This post isn’t meant to be a sermon or scholarly discussion of Sabbath tradition, though. If anyone is interested in more details, here is one good explanation. I freely admit that my usual Sabbath observance is not traditional by any means. Sadly it does not even satisfy my own desires. At this early stage of developing mindfulness, however, it feels certain that a more structured observance of Sabbath and living with mindfulness will become strongly connected.
So why did I decide to cease the work of developing more mindfulness yesterday? Notice there’s that word “work” again! Mindfulness seems at first to be a nice, restful, easy state to achieve and appreciate. Just turn off your phone, turn down the music, sit quietly and think only calm and peaceful thoughts. Easy, yes? Well, maybe if you have no pressures to earn a living, no bills to pay, no house to clean, no constant brain chatter about every irrelevant subject under the sun. Although it may not be work as we usually define it, mindfulness involves work.
Writing has provided me with a great deal of insight and is something that I approach with an almost spiritual sense of creating. So refraining from creating, resting in what has already been created seemed that it might be productive and produce some insights. It wasn’t easy, I will admit. My fingers itched to process my thoughts into words. All the usual brain chatter swirled around in my head. I caved in to a few text messages to a friend. Amidst all this, though, there were many moments when I was clearly aware of “doing what I am doing.” I got a small taste of what living in the present could be like and it did feel like home.
©Martha Hurwitz, 8/27/17