I’ve been practicing meditation for about seven years. I say “practicing,” because that’s what it feels like and it never seems to get any easier. Charlotte Joko Beck, author of Everyday Zen: Love and Work, says that learning to be present in the moment truly is a lifelong practice.
I’ve noticed that since I’ve become a grandmother, I’m able to achieve moments of Zen when I’m with my two granddaughters. I’m talking about those perfectly blissful moments when I’m totally oblivious to everything but my grandchild and the activity we’re engaged in. On my last visit the three of us played a wild game of hide and seek outside in their play yard. We laughed hysterically when the older one kept running just a little ahead of us and out of sight so that we couldn’t find her.
I’ve heard many grandmas describe these moments: Cindy told me about racing her twin grandsons down a slalom course at Squaw Valley; Jan sewed a Halloween costume with her granddaughter; Judy splashed in a mud puddle with her little grandson and watched the reflection of the clouds as they drifted by.
The great thing about these moments is that you don’t even realize you’re in them until after they’re over. Then you say, wow, where did that hour just go? It’s not until I come home from a visit and the details of my “other” life come back into my consciousness that I realize how blessed I am to have these moments—no worries or cares, no appointments or deadlines. It’s such a refreshing break and way more satisfying than meditation.
We should cherish and savor these moments of Zen with our grandchildren. They might even teach us how to be better at meditating.