Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mindfulness is the Moment

I became a Mindfulness-based Meditation facilitator in the eighties ( last century ) for very selfish reasons. I wanted a new vehicle for my TM- based meditation practice; my mantra had gotten stale and I had a suspicion it was being over-used ( a sign of the times ). Little did I know or imagine that not only was I being introduced and instructed in a way of life, but that this new vehicle would be so useful in my professional endeavors.

Mindfulness is a tool that is spoken about and used in yoga practice. It is about being in the present moment and no where else. Life is lived moment to moment and there is little relevance in the past and no future as yet. The best way to learn how to incorporate this attitude into your daily living so it influences all you say and do is to begin a mindfulness-based meditation practice for a short while every day.

Sit in a chair, feet firmly connected with the solidity of the earth. Close your eyes and as you begin to notice the inhalation and expiration with the rising and falling of your chest, start to become one with that rising and falling. Ride it, just like I teach you to ride the wave of the contraction during labor. Become the breath, become the contraction. Be only in the most present moment. Thoughts of negativity and fear, anticipation and anxiety are counter-productive to mindfulness no matter what you may be doing.

Being in the moment in your pregnancy allows you to be an active participant in each day of those forty weeks. Being in the moment allows a clarity of thought that continues to refine itself over time. Being in the moment teaches you to observe what is happening only in the present, where you are, right now. It allows you to encourage the release of hormones ( endorphins ) that are calming and positive, replacing those hormones related to stress.

Being in the moment in parenting allows you to appreciate the day you are living and to wonder at the miracle your baby is accomplishing, just today. It allows you to remain in the here and now so that you are present for your child throughout his development and forever after. When you continue to practice mindfulness with the intention of living your authentic life, you have come a long way on the spectrum of balance. And in our present lives, balance is what we are after.

We aren't merely surviving, yet again, another day. We no longer strive for a time when we will be happy or happier. We have come to a place that is calm and centered and peaceful so that we are better able to experience joy in the moment. We have come to a place where we can comfortably cope, moment by moment, fully present to notice exactly what is required of us, one moment ( step ) at a time.

Go sit in a chair.......