Category Archives: Meditation
What stops us from being present is the fear of now. Why else would anyone not ‘be here now?’ Why are we so afraid of ‘now?’ What drives us away from home, from BEING with people, from BEING with the situations of life? The present moment is frightening – it’s scary; so much so we will do ANYTHING to not be present. But we have a dilemma: deep inside we know it’s home. We know it’s where peace, joy, and love is. So what do we do? We invent substitutes for Presence. We invent cigarettes to simulate the stillness and calming effect of breath. We drink alcohol to simulate the effect of being together, not thinking too much, we take ecstasy to simulate oneness, joy, even love. If all that’s a bit too obvious, we use TV, gossip and food instead or a mix of all of them or the internet or sex, romancing or any damn thing as long as it doesn’t involve being present. Just being ‘busy’ is a good one! What’s the problem then? Fear is the result, but what do we fear? God? Losing ‘our life’? Losing all the shiny things we have as substitutes for life? The unknown? What keeps us from what we all know deep inside? Instinctively we know. Not as second hand concepts or cheap words or stuff we learnt as a child – but deep down instinct – the same place known to birds, animals, even trees on another level. It’s not knowledge as we know it – it’s a wisdom not of words, not belonging to the world of ‘how to create more sophisticated substitutes for being present’. It’s the same source of ‘knowing’ that enables birds to fly in formation to another land thousands of miles away to warmer climbs. It’s the inner knowledge that enables elephants to remember where to go to die, enables bees to communicate where their food is and how far away it is, trees to know how high to grow to get the right amount of sunlight. Knowledge is not only the preserve of thinking. So why are we afraid to trust our inner ‘knowledge’? Because it’s not ‘ours’. We don’t ‘own’ it. We didn’t sweat over exams to get it, learn the hard way. We didn’t produce it and at the end of the day we want to be gods. ‘I did it myyyyyyyyyyyy wayyyyyyyyyy!’ (Eyes fill up with pride!). There’s nothing man’s ego (and yes, it’s usually the men that wanna be gods – and not just any gods, but top gods!) won’t do to keep up the pretence; even if it means dying for the cause. ANYTHING but being present. So don’t just think it’s simple, just get present to what is – it isn’t. Our whole psyche is geared up to finding ways to keep busy, to keep from being present. Thousands of years of unconsciousness had led to this moment where you are reading this!
No wonder it’s hard to just sit and be with the breath! No wonder we soon forget to be mindful and get easily distracted! Don’t beat yourself up about it – just recognise it. It’s not just irony that led Abel to bring a substitute to the alter – it was a deep inner knowledge – he knew the fruits of HIS labour were not enough – they all represented substitutes for being with ‘God’ – the fruits of the ego, attempts by man to be gods. So Cain killed Abel and has borne the mark ever since. We all bear the mark. That’s why is so hard to stay present. So be kind to yourself. Be gentle. Even a second of presence is OK. Becoming AWARE is everything. Abel was not innocent of trying to be like ‘god’ – the difference was he SENSED he was missing something fundamental, he was aware he wasn’t really a god – so God accepted his sacrifice as authentic. It was an admission of guilt and that was enough. What keeps us locked in suffering is not admitting we are trying to be gods and so we continue suffering!
Climbing the stairs
Making a cup of tea
Getting up to walk,
Do you notice the experience,
As you experience it?
Maybe you notice how you don’t want to notice right now?
Do you notice how you want to put-it-off until you feel in the mood or when you feel a bit more inspired?
That’s ok, just notice your resistance,
Resistance is just another thought form, spawned from a controlling mind. Resistance is futile!
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You will learn how the triangle of compassion (consistentcy / unconditional self love / responsibility) forms the basis of authentic present moment awareness – a way of being that transforms your experience of life.
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Mindful eating – intentionally eating consciously, is a great way to develop an awareness of the present moment. When we slow right down and really appreciate the tastes and smells of the food we eat rather than rushing it down to get somewhere else, we suddenly notice how being in the here now, is a totally different experience.
What is mindful eating?
Mindful eating is being fully attentive to the experience of eating and taste, being aware of the flavour, texture, colour, and aroma of the food or drink we consume. We become aware of the whole process of eating, paying attention to all the sensations involved avoiding any tendency to criticise or judge ourselves in any way. When our mind becomes distracted, we gently redirect our attention back to the sensations of eating.
- Avoid distractions such as watching TV or looking at your phone at the same time as eating
- Hold the food – touch it if practical, feels its texture, notice its colour, its density, its properties – is it sticky, smooth or hard? Really be with the food as opposed to being distracted by what’s going on in your head.
- As soon as you notice your mind wander, gently redirect it’s attention back to being aware of the food
- Bring the food towards your mouth and your nose. Notice any aroma. Notice your digestive system creating saliva in readiness for the food. Take your time – don’t rush it.
- Take a bite or a mouthful and savour its taste. Again, take your time, move it around your mouth. Notice its texture, its properties. Be with the taste as if you have never tasted this food before. Allow curiosity, avoid association, be with the food in the present moment.
- Notice the whole process of swallowing the food, the feel of it passing down your oesophagus into your stomach. Notice the feeling of satisfaction. Does your mind want more? Observe your thoughts but let them go.
- Now, eat the rest of the food in a similar way, taking your time and being wholly with the experience of eating.
|The Centre For Mindful Eating||http://www.thecenterformindfuleating.org/|
|The Guardian Article||http://gu.com/p/3q84t/sbl|
|Am I Hungry?||http://amihungry.com/what-is-mindful-eating/|
Please feel free to like this post (or not!) and I would love to read and reply to any comments you may wish to leave
We cannot unconditionally love one another if we impose conditions on ourselves. We cannot give what we don’t have. To love yourself unconditionally is a selfless act – the ego will never allow it. This quality of love doesn’t abide in the dualistic world of right or wrong, good or bad, worthy or unworthy. Unconditional love just is. It’s way beyond our concept of justice, goodness or sprirituality and far beyond blame or righteousness. We won’t be able to appreciate this love if we try to work it out, think about it or set some criteria for it. There is no key performance indicator, no yardstick to judge it by. Unconditional love is all around and within us – but often we find it hard to see. We can practice feeling it. We can practice being still enough to feel it’s vibration. It’s subtle but very powerful. It powers the universe. Sooner or later we will hear the still-small-voice and then we realise we were always love.
Please feel free to like this post (or not!) and I would love to read and reply to any comments you may wish to leave – Andy
The quality of my experience is determined by the quality of my emotional condition.
My emotional condition is determined by my willingness to fully face my imprinted childhood emotional charge without turning away and to fully digest it with gusto!
Anxiety, irritability, fear, anger are all echoes of a suppressed childhood emotion that’s never been allowed to surface. We’d rather sedate or control such feelings with meds, alcohol, drugs, TV or worry.
There is another option.
By being aware in the present moment through meditation and other portals, we are able to sense the causal feelings behind our discomfort.
Perceiving these feelings without condition, releases the movement of energy (trapped in the inner-child) and allows it to flow freely and harmoniously again.
Inspired by the teachings of Michael Brown’s ‘Presence Process’