Highlighting Mindfulness of the Present Moment

"The Speaker" by Louis Jenkins

The speaker points out that we don't really have much of
a grasp of things, not only the big things, the important
questions, but the small everyday things. "How many steps
up to your front door? What kind of tree grows in your
backyard? What is the name of your district representative?
What is your wife's shoe size? Can you tell me the color of your
sweetheart's eyes? Do you remember where you parked
the car?" The evidence is overwhelming. Most of us never
truly experience life. "We drift through life in a daydream,
missing the true richness and joy that life has to offer." When
the speaker has finished we gather around to sing a few
inspirational songs. You and I stand at the back of the group
and hum along since we have forgotten most of the words.

"The Speaker" by Louis Jenkins, from Just Above Water. © Used with permission of the poet. Posted October 22, 2009, on The Writer's Almanac.

"Take a Good Look Around" by Susan Murphy

In my own looking around I have met people who walked the storm water tunnels; people who walked the underground train system in the quiet between midnight and three a.m. on Sunday mornings, searching for the "false starts," the abandoned tracks, the odd buildings said to remain in obscure places; people who visited disused gasworks, brick-pits, the underneath of old wharves; people who boat up old industrial canals, who comb landfill sites and take tours through sewage treatment plants; people in Sydney who know about the underground passageways linking old mental asylums with landing-stages on the harbor. There's a lovely freedom in momentarily stepping back into the privilege freely taken by children, finding the gap in the cyclone wire fence and sauntering along in that heightened state of casual alertness, just having a good look around.

From "The Secret Life of the Street" by Susan Murphy, Tricycle Magazine, Winter 2006. Posted October 22, 2009, on the Daily Dharma.