Coming into a full awareness of the moment sounds great, but how do you do it?
Having a regular meditation practice, we experience being relaxed, quiet, attentive, spacious and curious. After a while we may notice that in daily life, we are able to be present much more of the time.
Meditation paves the way to the present moment because in meditation we are constantly transitioning from a mental-focused thought-producing state into a state of relaxed broad-focused awareness. It’s a shift in perception rather than a shift in location, interior or otherwise. We are aware of our body, our surroundings, and we know that we are sitting. But if we are sufficiently relaxed and alert, the moment may be illuminated with the expansive light of awareness – a moment outside of time -- that shows what was always there but seemed invisible because we hadn’t settled down in silent attention to notice it. Once experienced in meditation, this shift can happen whenever we are sitting quietly doing nothing but allowing the world to unfold around us.
This shift is brought about by releasing any tension or patterns that keep us in our active mental focus. When thoughts come up, and they do, we can welcome them as an opportunity to practice this important skill of transitioning into a relaxed state of alert awareness. The more we practice, the more adept we become at making this transition. By being open to the thoughts but not seduced by them, we keep a relaxed attitude which is conducive to an easy transition.
Most of us tend to devalue a meditative experience that is full of thoughts. We may even think it wasn’t a meditation and wish we could just be in a state of bliss. But having many opportunities to gently bring our attention back to the breath, back to the moment, is the essence of meditation practice. We are effectively creating a well worn path that we will be able to find in our daily lives when we most need it.
Sometimes when I am able to transition into this relaxed broad-focused state of awareness, I can sense my connection to all that is. And bringing even a milli-second of that awareness into my daily life can make all the difference in how I relate to the world around me.
Why does even one sliver of an insight change our whole lives? Maybe it has to do with the right brain awareness being timeless, so that it doesn’t matter if it was just a brief glimpse. The experience infuses our being. A keyhole may be small, but hold your eye up to it and you can see everything!