By Danny Kenny

My adventure with mindfulness began with our first meditation with Harry. When he asked “Are you here? Is all of you here, present in this moment?” the answer, I found, was disturbing. I was not. Despite my eagerness to participate in this program, despite my excitement at arriving, despite my sincerest intentions to remain open-minded, I was not present. I had brought my skepticism and my doubts. And in spite of my utmost efforts, I could not bring myself to engage entirely in the present.

Yet we were reassured it could change. As long as we made an effort to be mindful, to be present solely in the external sense, we could be present in the moment. And so began our long and ongoing journey to mindfulness.

My week was experienced primarily through sound; through the wonders of the auditory, I was brought  out of the trivialities of minor tasks yet unfulfilled and allowed to focus solely on the beauty of the present. The wind rustling through the trees, the soft bubbling of the creek, and the laughter and spoken word of all my good friends here. All of this helped me to focus on the magic of this place and more importantly, the magic of the people around me.

I think it is fair to say that we have been trained this week to see our world in a new way. To balance the rubberband of reality and our highest expectations is certainly not an easy feat, but certainly one we are now all capable of. To me, mindfulness is the tool that allows such balance. We must be aware of both past and future for it gives us both lessons of experience and goals to strive for but to truly live, we must always be present in the moment with our mind, heart, and soul. Like I said, it’s no easy feat, but it’s a hell of a lot easier when you’re surrounded by those who support you. So thank you, everyone, for helping me to mindfully realize the majesty of the moment, both minor and momentous.