Photo by Mohamed Nohassi
Living goal to goal is another way of speaking of not living in the moment. Naturally we need to organize the practicalities of living in the world, but often our minds are on overdrive, seldom taking a rest. I have noticed that most of my Tibetan Buddhist friends do not operate in the same way, with the same expectations that many of us have in our lives. Their background and their practice allows them to be more present in the moment. They don’t necessarily expect that something will happen at a certain time, and don’t react negatively when it doesn’t.
But what does this really mean?
The unspoken mantra in western life is “If a little of something is good, more is better.” Letting time drive our lives – cramming every hour with activity – be it work or play, even if the work is volunteer work, leaves little time for simply being.
In India people are very good at just hanging out, I’ve noticed. In our western world, we have become habitually used to doing and often this results in being less present for each other. It’s possible to retrain ourselves.
“We become victims of time when we’re not present, our minds pulled into the past and/or the future”, says Alfred James. “Step out of the time dimension as much as possible in everyday life.”, Eckhart Tolle advises us in The Power of Now, his classic first book.
When we notice what’s around us, pay attention to each small thing that is happening, each dish that we wash, so to speak, we are taken away from the thoughts and the busyness and into the present. We automatically slow down internally. Whether it’s using our senses on a walk around our neighbourhood, totally focusing on what someone is saying to us, or on our breathing, we move into present moment.
When we lived in Quayside Village Co-housing community in North Vancouver some years ago, it was a microcosm of the larger city around us. Entering the door of our community automatically slowed us down. We visited with neighbours at common meals, in the laundry room, the foyer sitting area or in each other’s apartments and townhouses. The pace at home was quite different from the other places we went in our lives.
Go slow and go deep
“Go slow and go deep”, the Grandmothers advise us in A Call to Power the Grandmothers Speak by Sharon McErlane. “…Sink deep within yourself…No more rushing from stimulation to stimulation.” The Grandmothers tell us to feel the low hum inside ourselves, the vibration of life, and to do whatever we do from that place, our heart place.
We’ve all felt that hum or vibration deep within in at times, I’m sure. I feel it during meditation, during a kundalini surge, when the Grandmothers are around me, when I’m leaning against the magical tree at the back of our garden.
The more I slow down, the more I like it. Activities and work close to home suit me in a way that busyness does not. Even car travel on our local highway often seems faster than my body prefers to move; it exceeds my slow internal process. Perhaps I’m learning to live in the moment.
Each of us is unique, our lives and our individual makeup are different. Each seeker finds her own way into the present moment. My recent decision to have more unscheduled days has given me insight and perspective on my life and increased focus. Although I judge myself for not doing as much, I also ‘get’ that I am living exactly as I am meant to at this point in my process.
Your way into the present moment may be a simple breath away.
Love & Light
Copyright 2018 Ellen Besso
Ellen Besso is a former Life Coach & Counsellor & is an energy worker. She is the author of An Indian Sojourn: One woman’s spiritual experience of travel & volunteering, and Surviving Eldercare: Where their needs end & yours begin, both available through Amazon.