We exist in part to savor life. We are Life’s way of experiencing itself. We are not here solely to survive and reproduce. We are endowed with the ability to experience beauty, wonder, awe, and mystery, as well as pleasure, joy, and laughter. Best of all, we can experience love. There is a life spirit that flows through us and informs our consciousness. It is this spirit that calls on us to savor this brief life that we have been given, knowing that all too soon this too shall pass, as we are all destined to lose everything. We savor life in part because we know that nothing lasts. This only adds to the beauty and preciousness of our lives.
Human beings have a remarkable capacity for habituating, or getting used to, the miraculous. As complex skin-bags of self-aware seawater, our mere existence is a miracle beyond comprehension. Were we to be in touch with the miracle of each moment, we would deeply savor the simple experience of breathing, of seeing a tree or a person, of feeling the sunlight on our faces, of hearing water flowing or the wind in the trees, of hearing the voices of loved ones, of tasting the simple taste of water, of smelling a flower or just the fresh air. We even have the opportunity to savor our minds, as they think their way through the day and night. We have been given the unique gift of consciousness. This alone is enough reason and opportunity to savor life. Each moment is a moment to savor the simple, but profound, gift of existence. People who complain of boredom need only wake up and open their senses to take away their boredom. When we are awake, there is nothing to be bored about.
Too many people go through life as if in a trance, lost in thought, trapped in their minds. They ignore their experience of life. They are habituated to the point of blindness such that they lack the capacity to savor life. We all can fall into this rut if we are not mindful.
We need to practice meeting each moment of life fresh, as if we were a child seeing something for the first time. In Zen, this is called “beginner’s mind.” The practice of meditation is to be fully present to this moment, seeing each moment freshly. We experience each moment as if it were both our first and out last. Mindfulness and meditation are important practices to enhance our ability to savor life.
There is a saying that the journey is the destination. This present moment is the destination, as this is all there ever is. If we take the perspective of our lifetime, then the final destination is our death. We need to ask ourselves, “Are we living to die, or are we living to live?” If we are living to live, then life is about the journey as it unfolds each moment of each day. Savoring life means to keep our focus on the present journey and not just on the future goals we hope to someday achieve. While goals are essential for advancing our lives, we must not forget that the purpose of future goals is to someday enhance the experience of this moment, as it is always and only about this moment. That is all there is.