This Happy Moment

So, today was a pretty emotional day during Yoga Teacher Training.

As usual, I plan to write about the experience of the weekend this coming Monday, but I can't not write about today, like, right now. 

Every Saturday and Sunday, we start with a two-hour physical practice yoga class, and then we have three two-hour modules, which vary in what they cover. Today, all three of those modules were about meditation. 

Six hours of meditation. Me. My monkey mind. My friends and classmates. 

And so many tears.

We did different kind of meditation. We stood up and vibrated in place like we were standing on refrigerators. We ate small pieces of mango like there was nothing else in the world but us and that tiny slice of fruit. We walked silently outside in the park, slowly placing our feet and feeling the earth. We sat still and listened to the world as we sent out thoughts to those we love, and to the entire world: May All Beings Be Happy. May All Beings Be At Peace.

It was all vital and moving and enriching, but certainly the most emotional part for me was the 'True Friend' exercise, where we partnered up and took turns listening and speaking to each other.

Most of the time, when we speak, we expect verbal feedback. Even when speaking to a close friend and confidante, we're constantly interjecting orally, even if it's just to say "yeah," and "mmm," or "I understand." In the True Friend exercise, we had to stay silent. Just let the other person speak. Give them your attention and just listen to what they say. 

We did it twice--once in pairs, and once in threes. Both times: TEARS. Especially the second time. I've been meditating every day this whole year, and doing yoga, and writing, but it's always been pretty solitary. Today, I felt like part of a real community. I didn't have to be lonely. I was really grateful and overwhelmed by everything coming up in my life these days, getting to know a part of myself that has been very quiet for a very long time, and the fact that there were other people - friends, even - there who were listening to me, and who maybe felt just a little bit the same way. I felt like I was exactly where I needed to be. This is why I'm training. This is why I'm changing. I'm trying.

The instructor, Ralf, told us at one point: "The only place to find happiness is in this moment."

"Hey!" my inner lightbulb exclaimed. "That's the name of my blog!!!"

I feel like i am finally starting to figure out why.


Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now, without wishing it were different.

Enjoying the pleasant, without holding on when it changes (which it will).

Being with the unpleasant, without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).
— James Baraz