“Remain Aware; Remain Equanimous”

I was trying to squeeze in my hour long Vipassana guided meditation while putting the boys to sleep. 3 year old Fox had a different agenda.

Fox Photo“Daddy, I’m hungry.”

“Daddy, I want my pink Shamu”

“Daddy, I have to go poo poo and pee pee.”

After restarting the audio track three times, I decided to ignore any further requests since it was now past 9:30 and both Fox and I needed to get to sleep.

Fox went on the hunt. He pulled out my headphones then started to climb on top of me. At one point, he was sitting on my shoulders when the guided meditation said, “Remain Aware; Remain Equanimous.”

I was just about to yell at Fox, “Get Off Me! I’m trying to meditate,” when I realized that I was not being equanimous. I was not accepting things as they were, but rather was trying to control things to my likings.

I almost laughed when I thought about something that KM Huber had posted on her blog recently:

“When coming out of sitting, don’t think that you’re coming out of meditation, but that you are changing postures” (Ajahn Chah).

Couldn’t giving my son loving attention so he could go to sleep be a different posture, a form of lovingkindness meditation? With compassion for my son and self-compassion for not finishing my evening sitting, I turned off the guided meditation and laid with Fox until he went to sleep.

In the middle of the night, I was awaken by Fox’s soft warm hands massaging my neck. He was still asleep. It felt like God was acknowledging my “sacrifice.”

Adyashanti says that at any moment, the only thing that exists is ultimate reality. So the question, “How do I sustain ultimate reality?” is  totally absurd.

“Since there is only enlightenment, which just means reality, whether we know it or not…the pertinent question is ‘how is it that I unenlighten myself moment to moment’.”~Adyashanti

By striving for enlightenment with my strict regime of meditation and ignoring the love and needs of my son, I was unenlightening myself. I was focusing on self and ego rather than recognizing how we are all connected. Our true practice lies not in sitting alone, but in how we interact with others.

Thank you for reading, smiling, and/or sharing.

Do you catch yourself striving for something that is already there? Please share.

29 comments on ““Remain Aware; Remain Equanimous”

  1. Robert says:

    A beautiful tale of self awareness Kozo 🙂


    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Thanks, Robert. It wouldn’t be possible without Fox and Adyashanti, so if you mean “self” in the larger sense of Universal Consciousness, then, yes, it was self-awareness. {{hugs}}} Kozo

  2. I’m completely guilty of striving for what’s already there. I sometimes get feelings of loneliness & then have to remind myself I have people that love me.

  3. tw says:

    Being selfless is, I think, the greatest gift. Especially when given to children.

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Wise words from an amazing mother, Tracy. I just did an interview today where the interviewee said “love your children without conditions.” That pretty much sums it up. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  4. Jami says:

    I love this little story. As a Vipassana meditator myself, I know how difficult sustaining equanimity can be! Reminds me of my own little story…maybe I will write about it today. Anyway, thanks for this reminder. I can always use one!

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Please let me know if you post any stories or articles about Vipassana, Jami. I would love to read about others experiences on the steps towards awakening. Like you said, we can all use a reminder. {{hugs}}} Kozo

      • Jami says:

        Sure, will do! I have a sit and serve (volunteer prep for a normal course) coming up in Belgium for 10 days…I am so looking forward to it. Vipassana saved me in a big way.

      • Kozo Hattori says:

        Wow, Jami. We have to talk. I would love to hear how Vipassana saved you. {{{Hugs]}} kozo

  5. Anonymous says:

    Self awareness comes at anytime and in any form. Beautiful, made me smile.

  6. Our frequent reminder to each other is – This is it!

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      This is it! So Simple. Love that, Alison. Might have to make a mantra out of it. I know that you must say this to yourself while in transit to the amazing destination that you visit. Thanks for sharing. {{Hugs}}} Kozo

  7. Cathy Ulrich says:

    I loved this post. And I’d never thought of enlightenment this way. We’re already in a state of enlightenment, but by wishing for a different reality, we move ourselves away from it. Wonderful way of shifting back!

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Yes, Cathy. I often ask myself, “how am I unenlightening myself right now?” during the day. It is a great way to get back in flow. Thanks for reading and commenting. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

  8. Kelly Kuhn says:

    Ah, I love this! I am about a dozen years ahead of you on the parenting path, and nearly identical experiences to yours are still quite fresh in my memory. It’s a tricky thing to balance, isn’t it? We do need time to ourselves, to put on our oxygen masks before assisting others – yet we need to honor what really wants to happen, which may mean giving to our children when we feel like giving to ourselves. It can only be done one moment at a time, with tremendous compassion, introspection, and willingness. Oh, and forgiveness (and apologies) when we mess up!

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Haha, Love the oxygen mask metaphor, Kelly. Yes, we need to balance self-care with child care. Then again, a friend of mine challenged me to make parenting my daily practice of awakening. I like that idea because there is no separation between spiritual and daily life. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

  9. Sun says:

    very intuitive, Kozo. a profound quote you penned, especially…”Our true practice lies not in sitting alone, but in how we interact with others.” wonderful.

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Thanks, Sunshine. Yes, I am pretty good at sitting peacefully, but add some people into the mix and serenity flies right out the window. 🙂 So nice to see you. I will be by for a visit. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  10. diannegray says:

    This is a wonderful post, Kozo. Not only are you enlightening yourself, but also the boys through showing them meditation is a great thing. There would be nothing worse for them it you came out of your meditation angry. Well done. {{{Hugs}}}

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      WOW,Dianne. What a powerful insight. Yes, if I came out of meditation angry that would not make meditation a very attractive activity, huh? That was the sound of me hitting myself in the head. Duh!
      Thanks for the wisdom from down under. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  11. Full circle moments of enlightenment. Love it!

  12. Eileen says:

    Another good one. How often we miss the point…..which is loving. I remember very similar experiences trying to meditate with one of my children breaking in and my having a moment of truth that I was missing the point.
    So glad you “got it.” And thanks for the reminder. Had a Spiritual Director that once told me I had spiritual Alzheimer’s. I think perhaps we all do.

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Haha, love that, Eileen, Spiritual Alzheimer’s. Yes, I think we all have it. Great that we can be here for each other to remind each other who we really are. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  13. KM Huber says:

    This post makes me smile every time I read it, Kozo. Have been “caught up in stuff” of late so am a bit late in responding but thank you for the post reference. Your example is priceless and so apt. The more that I sit meditation, the more aware I become of what a reality guide it is. It is as if life is a matter of changing postures and remembering to do so. Wonderful, wonderful post, Kozo!

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Thanks, K. I have you to thank for the posture changing perspective. Sometimes I get so caught up in my meditation practice that I forget it is just practice. 🙂 {{{hugs]}} Kozo

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