Why do we need exercises to bring us into the moment?
Well, we spend most of our lives wrapped up in our own minds, thinking about what shouldn’t have been in the past, what we could of done to prevent that ‘situation’ from occurring or we either worry about what might happen in the future. Many of us are never satisfied with this moment, we are always trying to get to another moment where we perceive it to be more fulfilling.
I admit, I used to be one of those people who would continuously seek fulfillment in the future, just hoping things would turn out to be the way I wished them to be, but this was just a delusion created by the limited, personalized mind that gets an identity from the past or pleasurable anticipation thinking about the future.
If we can just learn to take our attention into the now, then we get to experience life in it’s fullest, we actually get to live properly without any mind projections or incessant thinking. Thinking and mind projections will still be there to start with and that’s only because we have been used to dwelling on the past or hoping that the future will be better etc. With more practice of taking your attention into the present moment, you will become more aware, happier, peaceful and alive!
The only time we have is right now, this moment… THAT’S IT!
Pay attention to your breathing
Now this alone is a very powerful exercise, this literally anchors you into the present. Whenever you feel lost in thought, dwelling on something imaginative, bring your attention to the breath. Just follow both the inhalation and exhalation, be aware of the feeling of breath travelling through your nostrils and into your body. At first you may notice that your mind tries to distract you from focusing on your breathing, it will throw up a lot of thoughts or emotions. Ignore this as it is not personal and will pass if you just keep focusing on your breath.
Use your sense perceptions to bring you into the moment
Just look around your environment, pay attention to the shapes, colors of each external object you see. When focusing on the external world, can you look at things without mentally labeling them, without interpreting them? By covering up the true reality of whatever you perceive with labels, you obscure it and take away the true aliveness of the “thing”.
Listen to whatever noise is present at this moment, whatever it may be; birds singing, a car alarm, kids screaming, cars driving by… can you just listen to the sounds without judging them? You will find that by not judging what you hear, you will eventually be brought to place of stillness within.
How does it feel when you become aware of your feet touching the surface of the floor, it should feel pretty soothing, at least it does for me when I focus on it. Touch something and feel the texture of whatever it is you’re touching.
What can you smell at this moment? Again do not try to judge the smell or label it, just let it be as it is.
Ask yourself these questions to remind you to live in the now
There are many questions which you can ask yourself to be present and the more you ask yourself these questions, the more predominantly present you’ll become. I ask myself these self talk questions everyday as they really do help me to remain or regain my awareness in the present moment.
Without further due, let’s get straight into the self talk questions.
Ask yourself these questions frequently throughout the day and you’ll be shocked at how quick you can become more present.
Am I present now? – The moment you realize you’re not present, instantly you become present.
I wonder what my next thought is going to be? – This is brilliant for creating a cessation in the incessant stream of thinking, the more you ask yourself “I wonder what my next thought is going to be?”, the longer the gaps will be without thought.
Is there anything lacking at this moment? – Well is there? Find out for yourself by asking this question.
Is there joy, ease and lightness in what I’m doing? – If you do not feel at ease, peaceful and joyous at this moment then you will probably find that you are stuck in an habitual thought pattern about the past or future, it’s only when you are totally in the moment that you feel at ease with life.
Feel the aliveness of your body (inner body)
Can you feel the energy in your hands when you focus on them? Can you feel the energy in your feet when you focus on them? You might need to close your eyes for this practice but you don’t have to, it just makes it easier. Sometimes you might have to start with putting your attention on your breathing to feel the inner energy field of your body. When you just let yourself feel the energy of your inner body, it should feel like slipping into a warm bath, you know when you get that soothing and tingling feeling?
Be aware of the space and silence around you
How do you become aware of the space and silence around you? It is everywhere… literally. When you are next in a conversation, pay attention to the gaps in between sentences. You hear the sound of a car driving past and then the sound of the car dies back into silence. Be aware of the space around everything you perceive, it’s there, you just have to look. Space and silence are nothing, but amazingly, they allow everything to exist.
What problem do I have right now?
Ultimately problems are illusions of the mind, it is the time-bound mind that creates problems for one’s self. You believe that situations or circumstances are the cause of your problems, but unless you deal with the time-bound mind itself: it’s attachment to past and future and denial of the present, then problems are pretty much impossible to solve.
If you focus all of your attention in the present, then you’ll find that everything just is as it is, everything is neutral, there are no problems. IF you live in the moment, either something is dealt with then (now), or you accept it as part of this moment.
Problems can only exist in time and in the mind.
“Time and mind are inseparable. Remove time from the mind and it stops – unless you choose to use it.” – Eckhart Tolle.
I am confident you have found this post helpful to reminding you to live fully in the now and remove your attention from the thinking mind.
Love and Happiness 🙂