There is a scene in this movie that beautifully portrays a dramatic shift out of thinking and into deep mindfulness.
In this story there is a young man named Dan, who is an aspiring athlete. He is portrayed as being a bit egotistical and desperately wants achievement.
One day he meets an enlightened old man named Socrates who works at the local gas station. Dan becomes his student.
One evening the old man makes Dan go sit on the bonnet of a car and he is told he has to stay there until he has something of real value to tell him.
Dan sits there on the car bonnet all through the night thinking up wise things he’s heard in books or movies and the like and then time after time he goes in to the old man to tell him some little wise quote that he comes up with. Each time he is told to go back again, to sit on the car.
After hours of sitting on the bonnet thinking and thinking and trying quote after quote on the old man, the sun is coming up. Dan is exhausted. Too tired to keep thinking. He lays back and looks up at the sky.
Then something shifts in him. Dan watches as a young couple come into the gas station. He watches them as they embrace, obviously in love.
In that moment he totally lets go of thinking and becomes deeply present in the moment. You see this whole change in his demeanour. He softens. He looks content and happy.
After a few moments of sitting there in contented silence he slides off the car bonnet, goes into the shop and looks the old man in the eye “there are no ordinary moments” he says softly.
The old man smiles and says “Welcome back.”
This was the lesson he wanted to Dan to learn. A lesson learned only through direct experience.
When Dan entered into mindfulness he suddenly realized that there is no such thing as a mundane moment.
He learned that there’s never ‘nothing going on’ and that each moment of life is sacred, full to the brim, overflowing with wonder and mystery.
That is, if we will only slow down enough to drink it in.
Have moments of mindfulness like Dan’s changed your life? Taught you lessons? Given you realizations? Share them with us in the comments section below.
ps You can watch the scene from the movie here