LIVING IN THE NOW – DAY 2
Has your mind been time travelling today?
Minds love to rake the past, and imagine the future. And many minds are like a dog with a bone: they hang on, and chew, chew, chew…
Sometimes, stridently sure of its standpoint, the mind refuses to budge. Other times it may restlessly shift back and forth between poles, trying to reason things out.
The mind can get angry with itself, the body or the emotions, or rage at the outside world. Or it can despair, lamenting over how we got here, and where we are headed next.
Coming into NOW is a way of becoming aware of what is playing out in your mind in this very moment. It’s an amazing capacity that humans have – and as far as we know, no other animals have it: the ability to use the same organ (the mind) to both think and be aware that we are thinking! It’s because we have a pre-frontal cortex, the new bit evolution has handed us. Some call it “nature’s greatest freak accident”.
This capacity of awareness changes everything because it gives us choice.
Once we spot the ‘view’ the mind is taking , we are able to get some distance from it. This ‘overview’ gives us some perspective to make decisions to help ourselves.
And we start to experience that ‘I’ am more than my thoughts.
So, as an experiment, why not start with something easy to grab in the ‘now’: your sense of taste.
Perhaps put a saucer with a variety of vibrantly tasty foods on your desk or by the sofa. When you realise you’ve been lost in thoughts, take in a taste. Suck on a lime, a toffee, a mint, place a chilli flake on your lip or a few grains of salt on your tongue. Unusual tastes, like sour, trigger little-used taste buds and kick-start noticing!
Textured foods are helpful, too, in pulling us into now: breakfast cereal flakes for dry, chocolate for melty, orange segments for juicy, or raisins for waxy.
Be prepared to be surprised! Taste can make the present moment very accessible at times when thoughts are determined to haul us on a time-travelling journey to the past or future.
Roger Keyes: Hokusai says
Hokusai says Look carefully.
He says pay attention, notice.
He says keep looking, stay curious.
He says there is no end to seeing.
He says Look forward to getting old.
He says keep changing,
you just get more who you really are.
He says get stuck, accept it, repeat
yourself as long as it’s interesting.
He says keep doing what you love.
He says keep praying.
He says every one of us is a child,
every one of us is ancient,
every one of us has a body.
He says every one of us is frightened.
He says every one of us has to find
a way to live with fear.
He says everything is alive –
shells, buildings, people, fish,
mountains, trees. Wood is alive.
Water is alive.
Everything has its own life.
Everything lives inside us.
He says live with the world inside you.
He says it doesn’t matter if you draw,
or write books. It doesn’t matter
if you saw wood, or catch fish.
It doesn’t matter if you sit at home
and stare at the ants on your verandah
or the shadows 0 the trees
and grasses in our garden.
It matters that you care.
It matters that you notice.
It matters that life lives
Contentment is Life living through you.
Joy is life living through you.
Satisfaction and strength
is life living through you.
Peace is life living through you.
He says don’t be afraid.
Don’t be afraid.
Look, feel, let life take you by the hand.
Let life live through you.
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