The present moment.
Posted by BarbaraZ on May 19, 2011
We need to be in the ‘Present Moment’, meaning our minds must be clear and ready to receive the Qi. When worries, the TV or other external happenings are present, they invade our mind. Thich Nhat Hanh says, “the only moment to be alive is the present moment”, “This is the only moment that is real”… therefore we need to make the most of it by making it totally ours. What about grief or sorrow, you might ask. Again quoting Thich Nhat Hanh… “We are more than our sorrow… we cannot let just one channel dominate us. We have the seed of everything in us, and we have to seize the situation in our hand, to recover our own sovereignty.”
Thich Nhat Hanh teaches a form of walking that he calls Mindful Walking or Walking Meditation. A person is to walk slowly in a relaxed manner. The goal is to walk, being aware of your surroundings. In the beginning you will count your steps against your inhalation and exhalation. Count, but let your lungs fill up naturally.
At first your inhalation may be longer then your exhalation. Eventually your breathing will become more balanced… 3-3… or inhaling for three steps and exhaling for three steps. Do not try and do this in a mechanical manner. Just be aware of your breathing and feel the air as it fills your lungs. Try to let go of your worries and troubles… put a smile on your face. At first it may not seem easy, but it can come about with practice.
“If you think that peace and happiness are somewhere else and you run after them, you will never arrive. It is only when you realize that peace and happiness are available here in the present moment that you will be able to relax.
“In daily life, there is so much to do and so little time. You may feel pressured to run all the time. Just stop! Touch the ground of the present moment deeply, and you will touch real peace and joy.”
Remain aware of your breathing… if you stop this awareness, you will find that your mind will jump back into the troubles you are trying to back off from.
- Start the day with silence… stretch, read an inspirational message, before the coffee and news.
- Eat at a table without TV or reading… mindful eating is very beneficial.
- Drive in Silence… keeps us alert and more receptive to our own thoughts.
- Create a silence retreat at home… one evening a week, no TV, no phone and no talking.
- Practice silent exercise… no iPod, video, or other media, hopefully outdoors. Silence helps you pay attention to your body.
A good source of literature and music as well as videos you can listen to along these lines is Sound True.