by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Bro. Randy Sanders
We hear a lot about the term mindfulness and being present in any situation. Living in the moment seems to be the catch phrase of the day. How might this apply to Masonry? Better yet, how can I apply these concepts myself?
We experience mindfulness in a lodge when we simply pay attention to ritual. We don’t whisper to others sitting near us, we don’t pull out the meeting agenda or write notes to ourselves for later. We simply pay attention.
This is powerful, especially if you allow yourself to immerse in the experience. How many times have we felt the ritual just feel good, or possibly raise the hair on our necks when we see it performed with intent? Mindfully participating in ritual gives us focus on the here and now. It’s a means of being present in our chairs while watching the movements and listening to the words. It applies equally to officers and members, and when visiting another lodge we quickly feel it. Or not.
If we’re fortunate enough to belong to a lodge that burns incense, then we add another sensory experience beyond sight and sound. Tactile feeling of our butts in the seats, standing when we are called upon to do so, and sitting again, all add to the experience. Yes, even the actions of standing and sitting give opportunity to be mindful and present in the moment.
Mindfulness and being present are simply that, but they can be difficult to achieve with our worldly distractions and full calendars. Lodge gives us a somewhat unique opportunity to explore many things not obvious or as easily obtained outside of the lodge. Let’s take advantage of those opportunities.
Randy and his wife Elyana live near St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Randy earned a Bachelors Degree in Chemistry with an emphasis in Biochemistry, and he works in Telecom IT management. He volunteers as a professional and personal mentor, NRA certified Chief Range Safety Officer and enjoys competitive tactical pistol, rifle, and shotgun. He has 30 plus years teaching Wing Chun Kung Fu, Chi Kung, and healing arts. Randy served as a Logistics Section Chief on two different United States federal Disaster Medical Assistance Teams over a 12 year span. Randy is a 32nd degree KCCH and Knight Templar. His Masonic bio includes past Lodge Education Officer for two symbolic lodges, Founder of the Wentzville Lodge Book Club, member of the Grand Lodge of Missouri Education Committee, Sovereign Master of the E. F. Coonrod AMD Council No. 493, Co-Librarian of the Scottish Rite Valley of St. Louis, Clerk for the Academy of Reflection through the Valley of Guthrie, and a Facilitator for the Masonic Legacy Society. Randy is a founding administrator for Refracted Light, full contributor to Midnight Freemasons, and an international presenter on esoteric topics. Randy hosts an open ongoing weekly Masonic virtual Happy Hour on Friday evenings. Randy is an accomplished home chef, a certified barbecue judge, raises Great Pyrenees dogs, and enjoys travel and philosophy.
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