Presence (Meditation Series Part III) Sun, Aug 16, 2015
"There is just this moment. We are not trying to improve or to get anywhere else."
Jon Zabat-Kinn, Author of "Wherever You Go, There You Are."
One of the first things you work on in a meditation practice is the ability to be present, or mindful. This means focusing on the present moment to the exclusion of everything else. It's a deceptively simple concept. Most people can focus on the present for a minute or two. Past that, however, it gets more and more difficult. Did you forget something at home? Is there an errand or task you need to do later today? How is your friend/family member doing right now? The untrained mind is much more comfortable floating from thought to thought, drifting into the past and the future. It can be somewhat unpleasant to keep your mind in one place and undergo the direct experience of the now.
Although we feel them very strongly, the past and future are not real. We cannot control or affect them. Living in the past brings regret. Living in the future brings anxiety. By practicing mindfulness, we start to show up for our lives, becoming real participants instead of struggling to escape the present. Life is much happier without the constant shadow of what "could have been" or what "might be." Start by working on paying precise, nonjudgmental attention to the details of your current experience. A common method is to focus on the sensation of your breath. There's no need to focus on "doing it right." All you need to do is be present.
Carpe diem! ^_^