Nothing is more precious than being in the present moment. Fully alive, fully aware.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Being present in the moment means different things to different people. It is easy to look at the Webster’s dictionary definition or wander through Buddhist texts on meditation practice to explore that answer. But the most important translation is in your own experience. Here are some thoughts on how you might discover mindfulness for yourself.
Presence and detachment.
At first blush, presence is described as observing with non-judgement and detachment while being fully present in the moment. But it does not include all the sensory detail. Massive downloads of information are pouring into your being and are influencing how you might be translating how you feel in that present moment. In a way, being present seems to be in conflict with itself because detachment divorces itself from the emotional energy that pulls you to look at something in a certain way. We are forced to ignore meaning and explore simply what IS. That makes being present and just BEING a new spiritual and cognitive experience.
Mindfulness and the heart.
Mindfulness, on the other hand, is described as paying attention and being present in the moment. But, it also asks you to remain in your purpose and intentional without any judgement. You are an observer of you and where you are.
Where this gets interesting is when one looks at what Mindfulness is. The Chinese characters that transcribe into the word Mindfulness have two distinct written parts. At the top, the characters translate into PRESENCE and the second part of the word, at the bottom, translates into PRESENCE OF HEART. The existence of two types of presence completely shifts Mindfulness because it realizes that one type of mindfulness is clinical observation without compassion or passion. The mindfulness that engages the heart is what powerfully changes the perspective of events, your purpose and intention. It is more than presence, it commands attention, intention and attitude.
The Heart and the experience of presence.
Our hearts generate a powerful electromagnetic field, 5000x stronger than the energy produced by the mind. And, sensory detail influences our feelings. So being mindful with presence of heart amplifies your energy field as it creates your own unique experience of presence.
Detachment allows you to recognize the feeling of being alive, in heart-filled presence. It pulls you into the observer’s understanding of how it feels to be awake, aware and appreciating the moment as YOU. Can you see and feel the separation between the two?
Sitting still with the intention of being present in the NOW is both a meditative and mindfulness practice. It asks you to be aware of your body, mind chatter and where you are right now. It asks you what your intention is at that very instant. Examples: ” I am peaceful”. “I am focused”. “I am relaxed”. “I am strong, vital and enjoying radiant health”. Whatever you set as an intention, allow that feeling to flood into your senses and let your heart translate that experience in the NOW. Is it happiness? Contentment? Gratitude? This inner acknowledgement will fine-tune your energy and experience.
There are no right or wrong ways to experience the NOW. All you need to be is YOU and dive into that experience of being alive. Attention to aliveness changes the moment. Normally we are so busy and living out a day in familiar patterns that we are distracted from the delicious moments of being really present and really expanding the experience of just living life. Learning how to introduce snap-shots of life into our day with simple decisions to pay attention and be fully present, changes the day’s meaning entirely and gives who we are in those events, meaning.
How we experience the moment changes us. It removes our energetic ties to the past and loosens the tethers to the future. It is a natural shift away from feeling upset and controlled by conditions. No longer lorded over by reactive states, mindfulness and heart presence offers empowerment RIGHT NOW. And, that again acts as a catalyst for our attitude that can change perspective. It flows like a continuous loop; experience—-empowerment—perspective. Rinse and repeat!
Finding a way to Focus.
When we find we are able to sit still enough, it opens the door to being able to focus the mind and the Feelings in the moment. There are many focal points you can use in meditation or visualization. They can be the observed environment and yourself in it as an observer. It can be your perception, your feeling and your experience or all of them combined. Both meditation and visualization sharpens the ability to see detail and enhance memory. Mindfulness in all it’s forms is essential for honing your ability to focus and to listen deeply.
Psychological Opportunities & Challenges.
An acute view of ourselves in the present moment is a gift, hurdle and an opportunity to challenge ourselves to be more and, to expand our understanding of being alive. Author Dan Harris describes mindfulness as “The ability to know what’s happening in your mind without taking the bait and acting on it.”
This simple, but not so simple meditative practice helps you to discover new things about yourself. And, it teaches you to pause, gain more personal control over the mind and the emotions. It creates more emotional intelligence and personal power. Because, it gives you full disclosure of what is perceived in the moment and allows you to not make any snap judgements. You can rest in the moment and respond wisely rather than reacting to whatever emotional stick is poking at you.
How to create Heart presence in meditation.
- Sit or lay down in a comfortable position.
- Breathe deeply and allow yourself to relax.
- Close your eyes and let your imagination and your mind focus on the heart.
- Imagine the heart filled with light.
- Think of the word LOVE. See the heart glow with golden light and expand that love energy until the light floods all areas of the body.
- Remain focused on the present moment. Just breathe. Just BE.
- Set your intention and experience that feeling in the NOW.
Mindfulness, because it is talked about so often, seems to have lost a lot of its meaning. At least, when we add heart presence to our mindfulness and meditation practice, we are able to experience the moment from a different perspective. Still intentional. Still present without judgement. But, filled with compassion and the appreciation of who we are in the moment, how it feels to be us and empowered because of it.
Have a wonderful week.
Science meets Meditation Newsletter. Subscribe.