In my early twenties while teaching English in Japan, I had a kindergarten-age student named Reo who always made the class I taught more interesting. Some days he would grab my bag of teaching materials and race around the room, but the mischievous look on his face was so adorable, it was difficult to stay angry with him for long. One day I had the kids play a game which involved me asking the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” If the kids responded with any of a variety of answers in English, they could advance in the game. When Reo’s turn to answer came, he suddenly looked sincerely thoughtful and replied in Japanese, “Kono mama de ii, yo,” which translates roughly to, “I am happy just as I am.” A modern day Peter Pan, he felt no desire at all to grow up and become anything other than what he was right at that moment.

Imagine feeling complete contentment in the present moment — not wishing for anything at all, no longing for more money or a better car or a different job or better health. Just satisfaction with life exactly as it is at this moment.

one a.m.
the palm of my hand
the curve of her cheek


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