by Ed and Deb Shapiro: Do you live in your head? In your body? In your emotions? In your desires?
Normally, we spend our time either living in what-could-have-been or what-might-have-been or if-only, or in the expectation of what-could-be or what-might-be, anywhere but here, constantly in either the past or the future. This is like being in a dream as it limits our ability to just be with what is, right now.
Someone once asked Ed if he had ever experienced another dimension. He replied, “Have you ever experienced this one?”
No matter how hard we try, plan or plot, we can never know what will happen next. The reality is that life changes in every instant, but we don’t notice it. Each day can seem the same: going to work, sitting at the same desk, coming home the way we always do; even riding a bike or going to the gym can become a boring routine. Do you ever feel like it‘s always Monday morning, or as if you are always brushing your teeth and going to bed?
Yet we renew ourselves in every minute. We lived next to a river and walked beside it each day. But as much as it looked like the same river, even the same water, it was constantly changing. Just as we may look the same but our cells are constantly being formed, growing and dying.
Contrary to common belief, it is a huge release to be in the moment, to realize that nothing more is required of us than to just be fully present. What a relief! Finally, we can experience this reality just as it is without the desire for it to be different, or without expectation or prejudice.
Simply being still in this moment, without attachment to or thought of before or after, invites a deep sense of completion. It’s impossible to think of somewhere else as being better as the grass is vividly green exactly where we are. It is a stepping into sanity and, more importantly, into even greater connectedness. And if we don’t do this now, then when will we?
Awareness of the Moment
We can stay open to moments of change by simply being aware. Right now, just stop and take a deep breath. As you breathe out, notice how your body feels, the chair you are sitting on, and the room you are in. That’s all. It only takes a moment to be in the present.
When we meditate by watching the breath entering and leaving, it naturally brings us into the present. The breath is just breathing, nothing more. And yet each breath is completely different to the last one. The breath draws us inward, and then we share it with the world as we breathe outward. You can repeat silently, “I am here, I am now, I am present! I am here, I am now, I present!”
As presence grows, the world in which we live becomes extraordinary, as if being seen and heard and touched for the first time, for we are without preconceived ideas or desires. There is just the experience. Like a child making the unknown known, we are simply with what is, while also impelled to know it more intimately, to explore and understand, even to become it.
Extracted from our new book: The Unexpected Power of Mindfulness & Meditation
Ed & Deb are the authors of The Unexpected Power of Mindfulness & Meditation. Deb is the author of Your Body Speaks Your Mind, now in 19 languages. They have six meditation CDs. See more at EdandDebShapiro.com