Monday, October 22, 2012
The Best Exotic Present Moment
Everything will be all right in the end. If it’s not all right, then it’s not the end. –Sonny, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
In the movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a group of British retirees comes to India to stay in what has been advertised as a newly restored hotel. However, they arrive to find a dilapidated relic run by the ever hopeful Sonny. Each deals with the unexpected challenges and unfamiliar culture in his or her own way, some embracing the circumstances, some recoiling from them, but all finding some new level of self awareness in the process.
Each of the characters reminds me of various ways that I deal with the present moment. Sometimes the present moment is not what I was anticipating. In my zen mode, I can open myself up to the gifts of the holy instant, but I’m just as likely to balk, to judge, to try to change it, to escape, to pretend it’s something other than what it is.
When the present moment lands in circumstances not to my liking, I can feel fear start to beat like the orc drums deep in the mines of Moria. I begin to search for some way out of my unease. The drums grow louder. Panic clutches at my throat. I sometimes flee, or I turn to fight, making a powerful enemy out of what I can’t control.
Ah, what a waste, losing faith like that. If I believe, and I do, that all things work together for good, then, as Joel Osteen says, things are not happening to me, they are happening for me. It might not look that way, but the Bible cautions me to not lean on my own understanding, but rather to walk in faith and not by sight.
I’ve lived long enough to discover that events I initially judged as terrible turned out to be wondrous blessings. What if I had been able, in the time of trouble, to trust in the basic goodness of the universe, to rest in knowing that the pain would pass, to be grateful for the perfection of every present moment?
Like guests at a hotel, we can look on the back of the door at the map with the red arrow pointing to a spot that says “You are here.” Indeed we are. It’s the only place we can be. And it’s more than all right. It’s perfect.
related posts: Falling Into Now; You Are Here