Observation is a beautiful tool that I have been using as far back as I can remember.
The world was so awesome when I was a child. I remember spending much of my time alone while exploring the safe neighborhood on the outskirts of the city. My grandparent’s home was on a street serving in part of the framing of a friendly community. All neighbors seemed to share the same values and longed for the same peace.
Adjacent to their home was a wooded area with train tracks running through it. Southeast of their home was the CSX Railroad switch yards. Outgoing and incoming trains were always a part of my youth. In those woods, I often found myself sitting alone and just observing the natural world: plants, insects, wildlife, sky, the sun’s warmth on my skin. I was not aware at the time of the mindfulness I was practicing.
Life became cluttered with irrelevance. The years passed and my mind was bombarded with madness. All of the natural resources to inner peace—like those found within the wooded spaces—were just one-dimensional objects on a lifeless canvas, with colors that no longer beheld vibrancy or character. Life’s problems took over.
I’m finding myself in a space of joy as of late. There are no problems, just situations. There is no psychological time, unless I allow it. There is only now, and here. The lustrous, natural world is becoming easier to observe, without really practicing a technique called mindfulness, because I’m learning how to remove myself from the pain body, and the delusive torments of past and future thinking. Being mindful is just part of each moment, as the new habit unfolds. Observing my thoughts, just like the time I observed those wooded spaces with great wonder and keenness, is what I am now learning to do. To, “become as a child,” as Jesus said, as being, “the way to enter heaven.” A kingdom; a heaven, within, I’m finding.
Maybe I’m beginning to understand something that was right before me all of those years ago?