Swimming in the Moment

Swimming in the Moment

Pentecost 80


Sometimes life takes where you never thought you would be.  I mean that in a more of a metaphorical sense rather than an actual geographical place on a map, although that is certainly true as well.  Today we are going to discuss what it means to be, to be present, to have a presence, to recognize that we are one but one of many.


As you know by now, I don’t discourage opposite points of view.  As long as your comments are within the boundaries of charitable discourse, I happily post them when so desired.  I should note that a great many people ask that I respond but not specifically post their comments.  Again, I am happy to oblige.  What I will not do, however, is engage in a debate based upon inaccuracy or out and out lies.  That serves no purpose.  I do believe if one is going to enter the conversation one should be present in the conversation and that includes speaking from a point of personal preference and/or knowledge.  There is nothing wrong with ignorance but we do need to do more than just flap our jaws and move our tongue around our mouths in such a way as to create sound.


The past several days one of the biggest stories about the Rio 2016 Olympics had nothing to do with competition.  Four Team USA male swimmers displayed behavior quite unbecoming and possibly very illegal.  They went from being role models to potential mugshot models.  I do not know what truly occurred or why they made the decisions they obviously made.  What I do know is that, for a moment, they lost sight of the gratitude they should have had – gratitude for their abilities, their parents and families who supported them, their training, and the nation that allowed them to represent as a member of Team USA.


Discussing a viewpoint based upon untrue facts is not being present in an intelligent manner.  This post is, as I mentioned, about being present and having a presence.  I am approaching the subject of gratitude from a standpoint of being grateful.  I believe strongly that we need to live in a way that is present in our beliefs and vice versa.  How is your deity reflected in your living?  How do we show when we are part of a group, bound by common feelings or ideals?


We often act out of ignorance and that is, quite frankly, the best way to learn.  When we act out of stupidity, though, well….That serves no purpose at all.   The true hero, in my humble opinion, is the person who lives gratitude for life every minute.  So here we are, with the United States Olympic Committee issuing an apology for four gold medalists.   Instead of marching in the closing ceremonies proudly wearing their gold medals, these four are the center of a shame firestorm and are facing real punitive actions for their moment of ingratitude.


How often do we live the moment based upon the tenets of our beliefs and how often do we live in the moment by just stretching our ego?  I planned to write this post about having a spiritual presence of gratitude and feeling thankful.  Instead I find myself wondering how often we let our ego be our guide.  Do we speak with the love, charity and kindness of our beliefs or do we speak to propel our stature?  I am far more comfortable thinking about religion than confronting what may be my own avarice narcissism, I freely admit.


Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, claimed ego to be the enemy of compassion.   “The foundation of the Buddha’s teachings lies in compassion, and the reason for practicing the teachings is to wipe out the persistence of ego, the number-one enemy of compassion.”  Perhaps the best way to live each moment, to be present in not only our living but also in our beliefs, is to not have discussions of religion and spirituality but to simply lose our ego, shed it like a butterfly sheds its cocoon.  Maybe the best way to be present in the moment is to get lost in the compassion for another and to simply give thanks for the breath you are able to take in this moment.



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