Occupy the present – Cultivate Awareness

The present moment can be more entertaining than your phone – awareness is better entertainment


 

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ne place that is available to anyone nobody seem to be interested in occupying – the right here and now. We are so busy thinking about stuff, we forget to perceive the now. Usually we regard the present moment as something mundane and boring so we desperately try to avoid it. The need for entertainment is endless. We are constantly and desperately seeking the solution in the next thing coming up. Maybe the next page on the internet will make us happy.

There are so many ways to tune out from this very moment. Cell phones have a infinity of apps which offer us a great way to escape from our boring present. Some call it addiction but I just think people use it because they can’t stand being with themselves not even for a moment; its just so friggin boring.

There is nothing wrong with entertainment but there is also nothing wrong in just being where you are and being happy. You take your seat on the plane and look around, everyone have to be busy doing something. It seem we have a kind of panic if confronted with the idea of taking our seat without doing nothing. I like the plane example because it is a moment when you really can’t do anything but just sit there. Is like we are finally confronted with ourselves and there is no escape for hours.

The problem is that is not so easy to just sit there. Our minds are so used to engage we go nuts in idleness. The mind needs to be trained in order to savor the present moment. There is a lot to grasp in there at the same time there is nothing to do. Meditation offers us a tool to understand the present moment because it teaches the mind to be still and just sit there and do nothing for a long time. If there is nothing to learn in meditation at least you learn to be in the same place for a long time.

By seating repeatedly every day we can train our minds to be quiet. Meditation can help you focus in this very moment by simply doing just that: focus in this very moment. Rather than avoiding it as we are so used to do.

You can pay attention to your breathing by to just being there and doing it so. Soon the mind will begin to produce a cascade of thoughts and we get carried away but soon we remember what we sat down for, so we gently go back to paying attention to our breath and the present moment. Soon we begin to recognize the part of our mind that is thinking and the part that is aware of the present or simply all of it that is not thinking.

By doing this exercise over and over again we begin to have the ability to switch automatically from thinking to being aware we are just there in the universe. That has a different quality. We all have this ability. Animals do it when they hunt. Just notice how they pay total attention. This is doable and available to anyone, no need to be anything esoteric and fancy. There are wonderful gifts by just being aware.

For example if we become aware in this way we also become aware of our negative emotions. We realize they are nothing but thinking and if we done our job right our mind can notice this phenomena and stop following these thoughts and avoid the dangers of acting on upon negative emotions. We can also sit somewhere and be with ourselves and not need to be entertained all the time so we become entertained by nothing and at the same time by everything. We begin to notice the color of the flowers and maybe we begin to notice the wonderful world we live in. We can see the good, the bad and the ugly at the same time and be OK with it.

Image credit: flickr.com

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