More animal, more human

It seems to me that this whole mindfulness thing is about learning to be more of an animal, and simultaneously, more human, than you’ve ever been before.

You become more attuned to the present moment and to physical sensations, such that your thoughts aren’t dominating every second of every day. Sometimes, you get to experience things without language operating as a middle man. This is a return to the purity of animal-like awareness.

At the same time, you become more reverent of the ordinary. The more closely you watch life unfold, the more you notice impermanence. The more you accept impermanence, the deeper that bittersweet reverence starts to run. And reverence is a uniquely human capacity.

One supports the other, back and forth. Revere what’s ordinary, what’s happening right now in your everyday life, and you become more willing to pay attention to it, to experience it directly…to be mindful. To be an animal.

Give this moment its due–the way an animal might because it has no other way of operating–and then reverence blooms: humanity at its best.