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Make Time Precious - two years ago, I was looking for words to express my deepest intention for my teaching, practice, and life. I don’t recall how @oanayoga (me, at the time) connected on Instagram with @shakespeare_and_mindfulness (Lauren Shufran), but I noticed her posts and the wisdom she shared. I never studied Shakespeare and seeing his work through the lens of mindfulness struck me.

One day she posted this musing (Shakespeare quote + her commentary):

The time ‘twixt six and now 
Must by us both be spent most preciously.
~ The Tempest I.ii

"So says the magician Prospero to his magical spirit, Ariel. The two have just a few hours to execute Prospero's "project" of reclaiming his dukedom. At the end of which Ariel ...will be freed.

I love that word “preciously.” It means fastidiously, meticulously, with great workmanship. I also love that something gets MADE precious by virtue of being treated “preciously”... to be precious with something was to imbue it with value. Even if that thing was of no value to begin with. So these lines become a reminder for me that every span of time is only as “precious” as we make it.

It also strikes me that Prospero says “‘twixt six and now” rather than “'twixt now and six.” I don’t think it’s insignificant that these lines glance toward the future and THEN return Prospero back to the present. It’s a small reminder—by way of Shakespearean syntax—of the practice of returning to every “now,” even as I make my plans and set my intentions. (...)

Ariel gets freed from literal servitude at the end of those hours. But WE don’t have to wait until the end of any particular agenda to experience that freedom. It happens wherever and whenever we make time precious… by spending it as though it were so."

{End of musing}


...”something gets made precious by virtue of being treated preciously.”

...“freedom happens wherever and whenever we make time precious by spending it as it were so.”
...”time is only as precious as we make it.”
...“the practice of returning to every now.”


Suddenly, I felt “Make Time Precious” in my heart and so asked to use her words... “Dear heart! They are Shakespeare’s words; not mine...” she said and I remain forever grateful for this unexpected gift.

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