Wk12, Day6: Offerings
The new Pausing Practice (pausing to dedicate an activity to all beings everywhere) has shifted two things. It calls into question the worthwhileness of what I’m doing. It changes the way in which I do things.
I was surprised to realize the extra level of contemplation this new practice would add to my life. It’s a form of presence that deepens my engagement. If I’m going to offer an activity to all beings everywhere—a daunting invitation—it makes sense to consider if that thing is worth doing.
I offer this reading of a gossip magazine article. I offer this second doughnut. I offer this complaining journal rant. Pausing before taking these actions calls into question their necessity. If they have nothing to offer all beings everywhere, why am I doing them?
The other lesson in pausing before acting is an invitation to act with greater intention. If I offer up this phone call I’m about to make to the plumber to discuss his negligent work to all beings everywhere, I’m given pause about how I plan to speak with him. If I offer up this time spent in traffic, will I dedicate frustration and aversion or take the opportunity to be more present during the drive than I’d planned for—a gift the Pausing Practice has serendipitously given.
Including all beings everywhere in each day’s activities brings a new angle to the acts of witnessing and being witnessed. I may be spending my day on my own, but I’m not alone when I dedicate each act to all beings everywhere. We are suddenly brought together in this.
Pausing Practice raises questions of how I want to be in communion with others. What is it that I want to offer? What is it that I’m able to? Much more, it turns out, than I realized before starting this practice.