For me right now, life in Taipei is about being as present as possible. These moments, like all moments, are rare. They don’t last. Windows of opportunity come and go. I try to remind myself of that as many times during the day as I can. To just be present.
If plans change, drop everything to shift gears. If it rains, listen to the rain. If you are thirsty, notice that and go and get some water. Being aware of what arises in the spaciousness of the now is more important than a mindstream full of random or repetitive thoughts. If the thoughts arise (they always do), notice those thoughts at the same time you notice your breath.
Like last night, sleep-walking in the night market. So exhausted I just cannot take the smell of stinky tofu anymore. Tired body and thoughts flying back and forth in my mind. Regardless, just putting one foot in front of the other, feeling the way the ground feels under the sole of my shoes. Feeling the humid heat on my skin.
Noticing all the different scents in the air. Being aware of the effect of fatigue/jet lag, that I no longer have energy to speak. I cannot make nice faces anymore. I am like the walking dead.
Or today on the other side of sleep, seeing the sky as the first thing when I wake up. Watching the changes in weather all morning. Noticing that my body feels different than yesterday and the days before. I want to sprint less, walk more, stretch more, exert less effort and sit in meditation. Having flexibility with myself to move differently, do differently, eat differently, because today I need different things than yesterday.
This kind of being present. Being aware. It is a moment-to-moment practice of observation. It is spacious. And then when evening comes and jet lag hits and I am in a cramped little pile of skin and bones, I am still there, watching.
Because all of these moments don’t come again. Now is only here now. And when I am in the now, everything is richer, more colorful, more vibrant. We only have now.
Love from Taipei,