Learning to pause is the first step in the practice of Radical Acceptance. A pause is a suspension of activity, a time of temporary disengagement when we are no longer moving toward any goal . . . The pause can occur in the midst of almost any activity and can last for an instant, for hours or for seasons of our life . . . We may pause in the midst of meditation to let go of thoughts and reawaken our attention to the breath. We may pause by stepping out of daily life to go on a retreat or to spend time in nature or to take a sabbatical . . . You might try it now: Stop reading and sit there, doing “no thing,” and simply notice what you are experiencing. ~Tara Brach, Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the magic of pausing, about what is worth pausing for. On our morning walks along the Poudre River, the mosquitoes are now out in full force. They are murderous with hunger and they also carry West Nile Virus, so we make every effort to not get bitten. This means we have to keep moving, go fast, and yet, there are many things worth pausing for. I offer the following as my list from the past few days of what was worth pausing for.
The rose bush next to my front door, which has gone mad with blooms this season.
This row of peonies, only half of what was planted along the front edge of this property and has made me revise my wish for three or four more plants in my front yard to THIS.
Mama turtle laying eggs next to the river.
Robin sitting on a fence in a sea of green.
Baby goose in the river.
Deer crossing the river, (there were two, but we spooked the other one back to the bank).
Twin baby deer. These were magic, because the place we saw them is an arboretum on campus at Colorado State University. Not in some far off wooded natural area, but smack in the middle of town.
Through the sacred art of pausing, we develop the capacity to stop hiding, to stop running away from our experience. We begin to trust in our natural intelligence, in our naturally wise heart, in our capacity to open to whatever arises. ~Tara Brach, Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha