Think about it.  Where are you at this moment in time?  It seems like an irrelevant, obvious question to ask, but in reality it is probably one of the most important questions to ask yourself.  We all get so caught up in the future, and the past, or whatever else that we miss the most important moment: the now. Being present is very simple, but difficult to master 24/7.  However, if you become a pro at staying in the present moment, life becomes way less complicated. The awkward moment you had like half an hour ago does not matter; it already happened.  The big thing happening tomorrow doesn’t matter either: it has not happened yet. All that matters is what is happening now, and if you can concentrate on just that: you are set.

Sometimes, though, we do not have to try to be present; it just happens.  These are the moments where we are at a state of complete bliss. Perhaps you are doing something you love, you are with the best people, or you are doing something that just demands your attention. These are moments that just grab you out of your metaphorical seat, and captivate your attention.  The next thing you know, time has gone by in an instant.

Sataf, about ten minutes outside of Jerusalem, is one of the many places in Israel that does just that.  Today, it was cloudy, but there was enough clearness to see the breathtaking view. Our group sat in front of a fire pit talking about the feeling that the Israelites experienced once they reached Israel, once presented with the abundance of the land.  In the early Spring, Sataf is full of flowery young almond trees, immature olive trees—with their silvery green hue—and magnificent flowers of many colors all around. It is a little taste of quiet paradise being in the presence of the greenery, the earthy smells, looking over the cliff side at the view.  Our teacher set a timer for three minutes, and told us to pay attention to our surroundings—taking it all in. The first thing perceptible was the misty view of Jerusalem with the ancient agricultural terraces preceding it, next the woody, humid air with a floral tinge, and the sound of birds calling. Altogether, the scenery was pleasing to the senses, and at the end of the three minutes, I think we were all left with the overwhelming, but beautiful feeling that Israel gives its visitors.  It is almost as if the land itself wants you to enter and become apart of it.

If you happen to be traveling in Israel, make a stop at Sataf.  If you are on the other side of the world, try to find your little version of Sataf, pop a squat, and begin to notice what is around you.  It is utterly amazing discovering what it is that we normally neglect to notice about your surroundings and the present moment.

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