December: Just being is enough
by Kevin Sahaj, 25-Nov-2016
Maybe you have this experience that you are thinking to much. We are always planning, worrying, solving some problem, judging what we see as good or bad, liking or disliking. Is there ever a time when we are just being? Simply experiencing life as it is in whatever colour, sound, taste and touch is unfolding NOW by NOW, is a rare event. We are usually caught up in thoughts and trapped in the projections of the mind rather than the experience of our life as it is, RIGHT NOW. Maybe you can remember when you were a child and the moment was full of magic and it was enough just to BE.
So, what to do about this mind which is always somehow pulling us out of the moment into the past or the future, or colouring the moment with judgments and preferences? Can we really be in the state of presence without losing ourselves in the distraction of the mind? Fortunately, the answer is yes.
The conceptual mind (the one that is always talking in your head) is actually a sense organ according to Buddhist ideas. The senses consist out of seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, feeling and thinking. Our conceptual mind is a powerful survival tool that can predict the future and create solutions to problems. We need this mind, but we need it under our control. If we can’t focus our mind, then the mind becomes like a drunken monkey.
So the first stage to calm the mind is to be able to focus the mind in a relaxed way. The easiest way to do this is just to be aware of the inhale and the exhale. The breath is always in the present moment so by being aware of the breath our mind relaxed into the moment by moment rhythm of the breathing. Then our mind will slow down and we can be in a state of relaxed presence. Fully alive in this magic creative moment. When thoughts come, they just appear and go without hooking us into the drunken monkey dance.
The breath is always there so you can calm the mind anytime, anywhere. Just be aware of the breath and relax into the moment.
“Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Kevin Sahaj is a dedicated yoga practitioner who has been studying and practicing yoga for 30 years. His approach to teaching is eclectic and draws from many different methods and teachings to help students align their lives towards awakening.