An opportunity to Be Here Now.
We just have to REMEMBER to be mindful.
A few months ago I was thinking about the Ram Das’ 1971 book “Be Here Now”. I went and pulled the book off my bookshelf and when I saw the actual title I had an ‘aha’ moment. The actual title is, “Remember Be Here Now”. And therein lies the tricky part.
And how can we remember? Read on . . .
Through the practice of sensory awareness, meditation, and Richard Moss’s “Mandala of Being” (all taught at Live Conscious Retreats), I have learned to step into the present moment— Be here now —regardless of what I am feeling or what I am doing.
I can be here now while I’m getting out of bed in the morning, brushing my teeth, putting on the kettle for tea, or hugging and feeding our cat. I can be so crisply aware of everything I am sensing and doing in this moment (instead of in my head thinking) that I am completely awake and in the NOW for everything in my ordinary life. I call this being really alive.
Living on Autopilot
Sometimes I find myself having drifted into autopilot, time flying by without notice, perhaps with many things accomplished, but without much consciousness of having been there for the doing.
On reflection, those times seem unfortunate to me. Especially when I realize that I have lost some of my precious lifetime . . . time when I could have been more connected to myself and to the awareness of being alive. I would like to have a “remember” sign in front of my eyes. “Remember! Be here now.”
The secret to remembering
The solution I find most helpful is to start every morning with a 60-second mindfulness practice. What does this accomplish? It’s easy—and because it’s so easy I have no resistance to taking 60-seconds to center myself, to come into the NOW, to reawaken myself, and to fully feel all the sensations in my body. And then, at the end of my 60-second mindfulness practice I decide whether to continue for another nineteen minutes. Most days I do, but not every day. Barring an emergency, no excuse is good enough to miss this 60-second appointment I have with myself.
I make this the most important part of my day. And most days my 60-second meditation leads to a longer meditation or walk in nature, or sensory awareness practice.
Doing this makes everything else I do better. And when I get up off my zafu and walk to the kitchen and reach for the teakettle, instead of leaving such consciousness on my meditation cushion, I am carefully present for those moments too.