On one of our walks around campus a few years ago my friend Dan shared some Buddhist phrases that he uses as mantras. First: â€œEverything changes. Everythingâ€™s connected. Pay attention.â€ And second: â€œRight now, itâ€™s like this.â€
Those stuck with me and I made some slight adjustments to make them more singable, ending up with:
So pay attention
This is what it’s like right now
After a little searching, I discovered that the first three lines can be attributed to poetÂ Jane Hirshfield, who wrote,Â â€œZen pretty much comes down to three things — everything changes; everything is connected; pay attention.â€
The last line seems to come from a Buddhist monk namedÂ Ajahn Sumedho, who advises us â€œto see things the way that they actually are rather than the way that we want or donâ€™t want them to be (â€œRight now, itâ€™s like thisâ€¦â€).â€
I like the way singing these lines brings me back to the present, focussing meÂ with a sense of curiosity and wonder on how much is happeningÂ at this moment. I hope Iâ€™ve madeÂ the songÂ catchy enough to stick in your head and bend your attention for a second to theÂ interconnectedness of things.
The video of tall grass with cattails in the wind comes from a lovely city park we stumbled upon one spring day in Boston. I hope you can get lost in the beauty of the wind through the grass and trees.