meditation on lateness

The Flow of Time: A Meditation on Lateness

Sit upright, but comfortably. Instead of focusing on emptying your mind, train your attention on the present moment, right here, right now, in your current location.

Now, shift your awareness to the concept of lateness. See it not as a negative, but as a marker of time’s flow. We rush against the clock, setting deadlines and appointments, but lateness reminds us that even the most rigid schedules bend to the unexpected.

Imagine yourself arriving late. Feel the quickening of your pulse, the social discomfort. But hold that feeling for a moment. What caused the delay? Was it a traffic jam, a forgotten task, or simply the richness of the present moment pulling you away?

Lateness can be a doorway to self-awareness. Did you underestimate the time needed? Were you overly ambitious in your plans? Perhaps it highlights a deeper resistance to transition, a desire to linger in a previous activity.

Acknowledge the inconvenience your lateness may cause, but also acknowledge its potential lesson. It can urge you to re-evaluate your priorities, to build in more margin for error in your schedule. It can be a reminder to savor the present moment, even if it means sacrificing punctuality.

Think of time itself. It is not a rigid train track, but a flowing river. Sometimes we paddle furiously upstream, striving to meet deadlines. Yet, there is a certain serenity in allowing ourselves to be carried by the current, arriving at our destination perhaps a little later, but maybe a little more centered.

Focus once more on your surroundings. The world continues to spin, even if you arrived a touch late. Take another breath, feeling the weight of the present moment. This meditation is not about becoming chronically late, but about integrating the concept of lateness into your understanding of time. It’s a reminder that even our best-laid plans can bend, and that sometimes, the most valuable journeys are the ones that take a little longer than expected.

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