How to Make Today Matter: Byron Katie and Joan Halifax

Usually today is Monday’s Mindful Quote, however, I was struck this morning and wanted to get this point across and hopefully it may give you something to work with throughout the day.

Today I had a rare opportunity on this warm and sunny day to just take a walk. As I walked onto a main street I noticed it buzzing with people getting their coffees, walking their dogs, or just taking walks with friends. As I walked by a couple I said “good morning,” but wasn’t very intentional about it.  I said it more out of habit.

I noticed this and my mind immediately wandered to a recent radio interview with Lou Castaldi in Portland Maine, where I was talking about being more intentional in our lives. I said, “How many times have you given a mindless hug or got caught in the habitual behavior of giving your loved ones a kiss on the cheek, saying ‘love ya,’ or walking past someone saying ‘How you doing’ without waiting for an answer?”

Lou and I continued to go back and forth about stories of mindless hugs by friends and family and mindless interactions with physicians, not really feeling like they are caring about us.

In her book Being with Dying, longtime Zen teacher, Joan Halifax asks us to get it touch with being more intentional in life by practicing dying.  She writes,

“How many people who will die today even know that this will be the last days of their lives? I think of friends who have died without completing projects, without having had the opportunity to say words of goodbye to a spouse or a child, without having forgiven a friend. Again, we still don’t believe it can happen to us.”

This talk about dying is meant to be a source of hopelessness, it’s just a fact.

Byron Katie says,

“When you argue with reality, you lose, but only 100% of the time.”

(It looks like I couldn’t get away from the quotes today).

We lose out on the preciousness of life if we don’t see the impermanence of it.

Question: So what will we do with this reality now? Today, how can you (and I) be more intentional with our interactions with others today? How about giving an intentional mindful hug? Or maybe when walking by people and saying “Hello” or “How are you,” really meaning it. Or when you get home today, if you have roommates, friends, or family at home, stopping to really see how their days was before turning on the TV, engaging in bills, or whatever the usual pattern is.

What is one intentional thing today you plan on doing today?

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction provides a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Reposted from Elisha Goldstein’s Mindfulness Blog on

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