Catch Yourself In The Present

By on August 29, 2014

One day as I was making my way home in LA traffic, I noticed something. I noticed that I was wishing things were different.

I was hoping for the lights to turn green upon my approach, encouraging the drivers in front of me to pick up the pace a bit, even reminiscing about the other day when I made it home in record time!

Realizing I was doing this, I brought my focus back to driving, breathing, and allowed a bit more distance between me and the car I was following.

As I relaxed these thoughts, my posture also relaxed.

I automatically extended courtesy to the drivers around me.

Space was invited into the habitual tension of traffic.

Holy shift!

As we dwell in thoughts of how we wish the present moment to be, what do you think happens to our experience of that moment?

It becomes conditioned by these thoughts, tainted by their colors.

Instead, we can bring our attention more intently into what’s happening around us.

More intently to the feeling of being where we are. And notice, more intently, the thoughts that try to take us somewhere else.

And with practice, we can choose to not be swayed by our thoughts.

We can choose to let these thoughts go, and relax into the simplicity of the present moment, where we are free to do whatever is required.

Who says freedom isn’t free?

Quick Meditation Tip

As you sit, posture is so important. We should be upright, but not rigid. Relaxed, but not slouched. Aligned, yet comfortable. This posture is one of openness, alertness, presence. When we can fully relax into our posture, releasing tension in the body, we can fully relax the mind. And when we get up from the cushion, it is with this posture that we meet our world.

Mindful Homework

Today, see if you can notice when your present circumstances are somehow made more difficult or uneasy because of your thoughts about what you are doing. Once you notice your mind running its usual loop, you have stopped the cycle. Then see how present you can be to what you are doing now. This isn’t a practice of making yourself feel better, it’s simply about attending to what’s really going on, instead of what we think about it.

Quote From Adam

“What at this moment is lacking?”
– Rinzai

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