Is everything we do only a means to an end? Present moment awareness.
How to gain peace by practicing a simple shift in perception.
Have you ever thought about where you are right now?
Getting out of bed, you stumble to the bathroom so you can…
get to the coffee machine in the kitchen so you can…
wait for the first cup so you can…
this morning is that stupid appointment with my boss
drink your coffee so you can…
fill up the tank on the way to work
get under the shower so you can…
A poem by Stephen Dobyns describes this lifestyle nicely;
Each thing I do I rush through so I can do something else.
In such a way do the days pass—a blend of stock car racing and the never ending building of a Gothic cathedral.
Through the windows of my speeding car, I see all that I love falling away:
books unread, jokes untold. landscapes unvisited . . .
The thoughts that come into the mind take you somewhere else and usually you are already at least one step ahead of where you are anyway. Driving to work, you are actually sitting in that meeting in two hours presenting your views.
The small example above depicts 20 minutes of life. If you think about it, you can take just about any 15 minutes of your day today and see that you are always doing something in order to get done, so you can… Every moment is simply a means to an end.
What is the problem?
The problem is a separation between the mind and the body. A lack of peace.
Desire and fear are the mode of living for most people.
The body is always only here, now, in this present moment.
It is the mind that wanders off into the future, or the past.
What can be done about it? What shift in perception changes my life for the better?
Two simple steps are necessary to gain a deep peace and realize the fullness of the moment;
- Catch yourself – realize when your mind has wandered.
- Gently bring your mind back to what your body is doing.
For example driving to work the body is on autopilot and the mind is in a meeting sometime today. I’m not really seeing the landscape passing by or truly hearing Iron Maiden, Volbeat or Mozart.
- I catch myself and
- I begin seeing and hearing the present moment again.
The most powerful word I’ve discovered to describe this process is focus.
Focus on the present moment which includes;
- What i see.
- What I hear.
- What I feel with the body. (the contact with the seat, steering wheel)
- What I feel inside.
It also helps to notice the one thing we hardly ever notice in our busy day;
I am breathing! I am alive.
Focus leads to clarity.
This in turn leads to the understanding that I can never be anywhere except here and now.
It takes time and practice but this can work for you anytime, anywhere.
Just realize when the body is on autopilot and the mind is somewhere else and gently bring the mind to the present moment.
You may discover something amazing, something the sages of old have been talking and writing about for ages.
Give it a try and let us know how it went!
Carpe Diem – capture the moment.