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Posts Tagged ‘present moment’

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2016 has been a very chaotic year, hasn’t it?

I had told my friends in December that I sort of felt like 2016 would be a year Outside of Time: not quite linear with the past, but neither would it be free from past influences. Meaning, just because things went a certain way in the past, that doesn’t mean they’ll go the same way now. We’ll still have to deal with them though, and it may even seem like everything from the past is coming up to be dealt with at once.

That’s exactly how 2016 has been feeling to me. Year of the Id. Everything bubbling up at once, resistant to the old ways of dealing with them.

The upside of this is that we’re getting new opportunities to resolve things that have gone unresolved for far too long. And if the old ‘tricks’ and ‘tactics’ won’t work, then we’re finally forced to resolve them in new ways. Since the old ways clearly weren’t working, this gives us the opportunity to finally move forward.

So if you are also feeling the crushing waves of chaos battering you against the shore — or, worse, the undercurrent pulling you under — take a moment to ground yourself.

Take a deep breath, then breathe it out slowly, releasing your frustration at all that arises.

Take another breath, then slowly breathe out your grief at all that has slipped away.

Breathe in again, this time opening your heart as well as your lungs, letting the breath of fresh air sustain you.

Breathe in another sustaining breath, letting the oxygen nourish your mind, opening it up to fresh perspectives.

Through breathing, create an eye within the raging storm, and let events continue to unfold for you. As they do so, practice acceptance for what’s unfolding, learning to look for the new possibilities opening up.

I have a sense that 2017 has the potential to be a truly beautiful year, filled with progress and possibilities that we hadn’t before thought possible. To get there, we’ll have to make it through 2016, learning as much as we can about how to build the space for such a beautiful year to unfold.

May you find peace and wisdom throughout whatever events are surrounding you this year, and may they bring you to a better place. Just hang onto your center, keep your eyes and mind open, and I trust you’ll make it through.

 

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I wish that your life will feel greater, more complete, because of the day you’ve had today.

I wish that you will feel closer to your goals, if only by moments, and if only by understanding more of what it will take to keep moving toward them.

I wish that you will have a full minute of presence, with several full breaths of air you’re grateful to have the chance to breathe.

I wish you to know peace — if not completely, then just enough to remember what it’s like to pause within the moment.

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Just a short while ago, I was sitting and cooling down after a long, hot Epsom salt bath. I was soaking out the rest of a cold, and the tension I’d worked on earlier.

As I was relaxing and breathing in the fresh air, the thought came to me, “This moment is like no other.”

So I stopped to make note of what made that moment so unique. I’d come out of hot soaks before, but I have a different meditation and relaxation each time. So I suppose, I come out of them a little differently each time as well.

I had also certainly had “working sick” days, but I’d struck a better work/rest balance today. My toddler had a particularly rough time getting ready for bed, but I’d helped him shake it off and go to bed pretty amiably, even playfully. So I suppose those were differences as well.

All that said, I’m not sure the details are really what I was trying to draw my own attention to. Even if I had that thought during a truly unpleasant experience, at least that exact experience wasn’t going to repeat in exactly the same way…

It comes down to the observation about snowflakes: however invisibly they may join together in a drift, they hold a unique pattern, according to the exact conditions in which they formed. Simply acknowledging the beauty of that truth acknowledges the precious gift we can enjoy in receiving each present moment.

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I was trying to think of a truth that is very difficult to embrace.

What came to me is, “This is all there is.”

I started to think about how that can be a fear, accepting that this present moment is all we really have.  The feeling that accepting this means settling for less than we would want things to be in the future, as opposed to merely dropping our resistance to observing what’s in our present.

I also thought about the idea of what we see, hear, feel, and so on may be the sum total of existence. That is, the perception that there’s nothing beyond these senses of any substance or meaning. And objectively speaking, that possibility really needs to be considered and brought to heart. If we’re forced to stop and accept that our physical life holds such weight, it places a huge responsibility on us to make the most of it. We can’t shrug off that responsibility figuring that there’s better things later we just have to hold out for. There’s a real value to that.

I then realized a third and even more difficult way to embrace that truth. Who, what and where we are: it’s all interconnected. Time, space, the resonance of matter that forms the particles we are now experiencing as our breathing lungs and beating hearts… there’s no hard barrier once you start to follow the threads. On the vast continuum of Indra’s Net, we are holding the space of just one of those dewdrops, reflecting every other bejeweled node on the net.

In this moment, we hold a connection to every other moment.

In this space, we resonate echos of every other space.

In this experience, we enjoy a reflection of all there is.

Those can be easy things to throw out there as words and concepts, but harder to make “feel real” to our own psyche. And if we do let it “feel real”, what does that mean? What potentials are there for us in the here and now? What responsibility do we have to discover and use them?

If this is all there is, what are we obliged to make of it?

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It’s been an interesting day to practice observing the present moment, and my presence within it. Every time I caught myself with a brief moment to spare, I tried to pause what I was thinking so that I could remember this big, beautiful world we live in.

I paused to be grateful for the chance to participate in this world, setting aside all of my judgment as to how well or how poorly I have fulfilled the opportunities it’s given me.

I paused to breathe in the air, and breathe it out, letting go of resistance to receiving as well as resistance to letting go.

I paused to feel my heart beat, and recognize it as a reflection of the living, breathing world that sustains me.

I paused to simply be a part of this world, and not in the very least apart from it.

With practice, being one with the present moment is easier than when I let myself practice forgetting it.

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I can’t quite say that anything was wrong with the day today. The weather was beautiful, I got many things done and cups of tea enjoyed, as well as games played with my child and my puppy. Good meals were had together as a family.

And yet, I’m sitting here feeling as though there’s something left undone.

Ah, well. If it remains undone tomorrow, perhaps there’ll be time then to resolve it.

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Chaotic dreamscapes 
Swirling our days with dry leaves
Eye of the Stillness

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