This is a worthy moment

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by Marilyn Chiyo

 

This is a worthy moment.

I have rested with this mantra now for much of the past year. Its sound, spoken silently in my head, is so commonplace that the phrase is a companion of sorts. In the midst of those glorious moments, like last night listening to my daughter’s clear, fresh voice rising above the high school choir, I get teary-eyed holding the phrase close to my heart. I am acutely present and the moment seems to stretch endlessly.

This is a worthy moment.

 

Our daughter-in-law returned to her native Nepal with our one-year-old grandson one week after passing her state board exams for her RN license, one month after being diagnosed with fibromyalgia and one day after sharing with me that she may not come back. Our son is in his third year of medical school. They have worked so long and hard. I know their story is far from over. Yet it pains me to see them tired and struggling. I am acutely present and the moment seems to stretch endlessly.

This is a worthy moment.

 

My mother lay dying in my arms, her breathing irregular and shallow. Her tiny body was bent and cadaverous already, her mouth empty of teeth and agape. The failing life in my arms was once the most lively, beautiful and compassionate person on earth. Now, except for the magic that happens when we see with our hearts, she is unrecognizable. She dies again and again in my mind over subsequent years. I am acutely present and the moment seems to stretch endlessly.

This is a worthy moment.

 

In a manner of speaking, I am unscathed by these events, the survivor. I can be compassionate, proud, filled with loss, but I am still here. The “me” in my head is largely the same as “me” as always. However, these days, the worthy moments begin to pile up – I cannot easily evade acknowledging my moving lifetime and its growing mass of moments. There will be an ultimate moment when the “me” is silenced. Why is this so difficult to imagine? I am compelled to add to my mantra an acknowledgment of the flow of life, some phrase to remind myself of life’s impermanence. My impermanence.

This is a worthy moment.

It is just not the same.

 

Marilyn Chiyo Sensei is a Lay Minister with Bright Dawn Way of Oneness Sangha.  For information about Bright Dawn and the Lay Ministry program please visit our website.  

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