As I was waiting on the Metra train today, a woman was waving her hand, trying to get my attention. She told me that the train wouldn’t stop where I was standing. I moved closer to where she was standing and thanked her. We both acknowledged that it’s only funny to watch people run for the train when it isn’t you doing the running.

I was struck by this. I often observe people engaging in seemingly futile or misguided gestures, but am generally disinclined to dissuade them without actually knowing them. I found her generosity fascinating. I am reminded of the Ewe proverb that translates as, “Your goodness is not for yourself, but for others.”

Afterwards, she mentioned that the sky was beautiful today. I hadn’t even looked up at all today until then. She was right. The sky was beautiful. I was intrigued by her attentiveness to something like this. To have that kind of presence in one’s world is really wonderful.

This is what Chögyam Trungpa referred to as “nowness”, a sense of presence in one’s world. A grounding that connects us to the phenomenal world. We are often so focused elsewhere, that too much of this world goes unnoticed and unappreciated.

The train came a short while later, stopping a few feet from where she stood, but about 40 feet from where I initially was. If not for her, I would have had to run for it.

Goodness and nowness

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