Being in the moment - it seems to be a real 'tag word' especially in mindfulness communities. But like so many other 'spiritual phrases' there seems to be a multitude of different understandings of what it means.
So, this is my current understanding of 'being in the moment'. Remember, this is simply my own viewpoint.
I used to think that to be in the moment meant that whatever you were doing had to be focused on 100%. And this is true to a degree, but I don't believe it takes the full picture of 'the moment' into account. It's easy to fall into the trap of judging yourself for being 'away with the fairies'. I used to do this a lot. But it started occurring to me, after much effort not to fall into some daydream in the shower, that this is really a judgment of what the moment should be and therefore takes you away from the moment itself.
So , perhaps it's important now to define what the moment actually is...or is it? Perhaps any definition of the moment narrows it down, except perhaps to say that it is 'pure potential'.
Now we've thought about what the moment is, we can move onto the question, "what is being in the moment?" Well the key word for me here is being. Going back to the shower example, when I was taking a shower I was feeling the water running down my back, the warmth sending tingling sensations down my spine, listening to the sound of the water droplets hitting the floor, watching the sparkling light refracting through the drops. Great right? But then a tune would arise in my head and I would start imagining the components of the tune, and how they contribute to the overall symphony, how I could play the song and any variations...Damn! Right, come on, feel the water, listen it's sound etc...
This is where we see the difference between 'being and 'doing'. With 'doing', the is an efforting to be a certain way. But with 'being' there is an allowing of whatever arises, be it inner or outer. This is the foundation for building true, non-judgemental awareness.
Of course you can still use discernment. There are unnecessary things that can arise in the mind, which take you away from the moment, such as worries about the future (to be clear, planning for the future is not necessarily 'not being in the moment' as really the future and the past blend into the present. It is still necessary to make appointments for example. But simply worrying about the future is creating a judgement on how it 'should' go, thus taking you away from the 'pure potential' of the present).
So, to conclude. The wanderings of the mind are part of the present insofar as they spontaneously arise. What is important is to stay with them in awareness (this takes a bit of practice) and to use discernment over which thoughts create judgements about the moment and which do not. Being in the moment is just that. Simply being.
Letting go – it seems to be one of those phrases that gets used a lot, especially in spiritual/meditation circles. But it seems to have so many different meanings; people shout “let it go!” in an attempt to end an uncomfortable confrontation; ‘letting go of negative energy’ in meditation; ‘letting go’ of possessions; and of course many of us know about the ‘Frozen’ movie in which ‘letting go’ is used to describe pent-up expression.
I was asked recently, “What do you carry in your rucksack?” What a great question. It really got me thinking about all the ‘stuff’ I carry with me as I go about my daily business; family relationships, money, career aspirations, all featured to varying degrees. But what does 'letting go' have to do with this?
Letting go is not the same as denial
So, with the realisation that ‘letting go’ means something unique to each individual in each unique situation, let me give my perspective. This is what it means to me.
Letting go is not the same as 'release'
Letting go is a natural process
So, finally, what is ‘letting go’? Or more to the point, when might ‘letting go’ happen? You see ‘letting go’ is not simply something that you do! It’s not something you can do. ‘Letting go’ happens naturally when a person realises that the particular behaviour/object/person/attachment no longer serves their highest good. This realisation occurs naturally through awareness and inquiry.
The process may go something like this:
'Frozen' - movie example
Yes, as much as it pains me (my daughter subjected me to hours of this movie) Disney's 'Frozen' is a great example to illustrate my point.
The film progresses and Elsa realises that her strong fear of hurting people with her powers has a root in the feeling of love. She realises that this is her higher truth. She naturally and effortlessly lets go of her fear and is able to live in the world once more through expressing her gifts in an aligned way.
So, letting go, to me, is really not a ‘doing’ so much as something that just happens naturally through allowing the feelings to be there until they no longer serve a purpose for you.
With love - Richard
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My name is Richard. I love to write, and here you can find my general musings, observations and articles. Enjoy!
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