The Miraculous Ordinary…

Starting today, I’ll be posting once a month about my experience of mindfulness through digital photography. There are many paths to the present moment. What’s yours?

My friend Joe and I get together for lunch about once a month. He’s become one of my most trusted mentors, because he actually looks forward to wading through philosophical quagmires with me. You see, I have an analytical side that can be a bit overwhelming for some people, but not Joe. He’s happy to dig into heavy questions about choice, free will, enlightenment, suffering, or any other topic that presents itself as a formidable opponent.

The best part about our inner explorations is that just when it all gets to feeling a little too heavy and confusing, he’s quick to bring us back up to the surface for air. I attribute this to his decades of meditation experience, as well as his paradoxical nature. At the same time Joe appreciates abstract concepts, he also has the utmost respect for the joys of the present moment.

One day when we were talking about those fleeting moments of beauty that often go unnoticed all around us as we rush through our day, he came up with the most perfect description – the miraculous ordinary. I immediately understood what he meant and my mindfulness path revealed itself with crystal clarity.

I’ve been documenting my experience of the miraculous ordinary for years with a little point-and-shoot digital camera. I carry it with me everywhere I go. I used to feel guilty about separating myself from reality with a piece of technology, until I realized that it wasn’t actually a barrier. It was an anchor.

When I have my camera in my hand, it keeps me firmly grounded in the present and also allows me to share my perspective of the world with others. This month’s mindfulness moment is dedicated to Joe and to all those who find beauty in the miraculous ordinary wonders that surround us every day…