Today marks the 79th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Like all birthdays, anniversaries and holidays, it is a day to celebrate. We mark the dates of special occasions in our calendars and plan ahead for gatherings with friends and family. We cook favourite foods and treat ourselves to cake and presents and sometimes fireworks. We go out of our way to stop and pay attention to the day.
But one of the Dalai Lama’s teachings reminds us that it is not only on special occasions that we should stop and pay attention.
At first glance this invitation to recognize the precious nature of each day might seem to be about acknowledging the fragility of life and the fleeting nature of time. Yes each day is precious as we do not know what tomorrow might bring. While we fool ourselves and think that we have all the time in the world, no matter how long we live it likely is not quite enough.
Look again. There is another layer to this invitation. In being mindful of the precious nature of each day we allow ourselves the full opportunity to experience it. It is not about enjoying it because it may be our last. Rather it is about enjoying it because it is here. Each day offers a moment to moment special occasion at our finger tips.
When our days are hurried and overflowing with commitments, we rarely pause to recognize that every minute of the day is unique. Time passes quickly and the day slips through our fingers. The precious nature of the day is lost.
So by all means, celebrate the special dates your calendar and also remember to pause on all the other dates and take in what each day has to offer you as well.
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