Many people understand the immense value of living in the Present moment.
Yet, few of us manage to do that.
Most of us spend most of our time in the “past” and “future” of our thought-stream, preoccupied by the mind’s virtual reality.
Very few of us spend most of our time Fully Present.
Yet, Presence is the gateway to freedom, to Who You Really Are. It is also your only True Place Of Power. It is the only place Where You Really Are.
When you leave the present moment and get trapped in the thought-stream, you lose your power, your presence, your connection to infinity.
And we all understand by now that mindfulness is all about raising awareness, and this leads us into Presence.
Therefore, this next point is very important…
The body, your body, is one of the BEST gateways to the Present.
Your body is here now. It is Present. Your body is fully Awakened already!
Even when your “sense of self” is not present, lost in the thought-stream, your body is ALWAYS Present.
Your body is always experiencing tremendous amounts of energy flows, connections to the infinite Here Now.
When you become fully grounded in your body, you become Present, you start waking up.
If the thought-stream is how you escape the present moment, the body is how you enter the present moment.
Have you noticed that most people are not aware of their own bodies?
I mean, they wash it, clean it, dress it up – but it’s like an item they own. They are not REALLY aware of it and connected to it. It is like an object they carry.
Many people block their emotions, hide their bodies, feel embarrassed by them, get confused by why the body is acting this way or that way… And when they get a disease or something, they view it the way they would view their car breaking down and needing repair…. Very disconnected and literally perplexed by their own bodies and how they work. Most of us are out of harmony with our bodies, out of true connected relationship with the body.
What I mean is, there is no visceral, living, loving, holistic connection between most people and their bodies.
Yet, if you wish to make your mindfulness practice 100,000% more effective, you need to take your mindfulness into the body.
Yes, continue witnessing your thought-stream. That is basic bread-and-butter of mindfulness.
But beyond that, witness your body, too.
There is so much going on there, from your toes all the way up to your hair.
There are emotions, energy flows, contractions, resistance, openings, closings, allowing, pulsing… there is so much!
In the heart space you have certain energy movements, which you can feel in all sorts of ways. Some are like pain, some like pleasure, and some are very mystical.
In your shoulders, something else.
Your thighs, something else.
Your sexual areas, something else.
Your forehead, something else.
Your feet, your toes, something else.
Your hands and palms, something else.
The body is one vast, multi-dimensional cosmic device.
And becoming aware, mindful, of its internal energetic movements, is the epitome of mindfulness.
Instead of placing your awareness, your consciousness, only in your brain region, spread it all over your body, from toe to head.
Listen to these two audio clips from The Practice of Pure Awareness by Reginald A. Ray:
Did you get that?
Did those two audios make sense? Deep, right?
Next… Here is a quote that will help understand this better. This one is from the book “In the World but Not of It”, by Gina Lake
“When you are in your senses, you are also in your body, which is a very different animal than the mind. Those who spend a lot of time thinking are often not in touch with what’s going on in their body, including how their thoughts might be affecting their body. Thoughts have a tremendous impact on the body. They generate feelings, which are felt, processed, and often stored in the body. Stressful thoughts make the body tense, while calming thoughts relax the body. Furthermore, thoughts release chemicals in the brain, which regulate and affect the body in many different ways.
Your thoughts become the body’s problem, which the body has to deal with in one way or another. So the best way to be good to your body is to move out of the thought-stream altogether. The only way to do that, however, is to be in your body and senses. For many, that means having to address some of the blocks and tightness caused by their thoughts and feelings. Consequently, many remain in their mind to avoid dealing with the body’s pains and tension, which the mind created.
Still, there is no other route to Presence and therefore to true happiness and peace than through the body and senses. Getting into the body is a matter of giving the body your attention. This doesn’t mean thinking about your body or imagining your body, but experiencing it by turning the spotlight of your attention on it. Your attention has to be on the body, not on thought.
The result of being more fully in your body and senses is like seeing the world in Technicolor, when before it was only black and white. Living inside your head in a world of concepts and out of touch with your senses is very dead and deadening compared to the alternative. Concepts take the juice out of life, while being in the body and senses puts the juice back in.”
What Do I Do When I Notice That My Past Conditioning Has Got Me Hooked Again And I Have Left My Body?
And again by Gina Lake, this time from her book “Choice and Will”…
“How you relate to conditioning once you get hooked will either help it to dissolve or reinforce it.
If you react to or act out a feeling or a thought, such as a story or judgment, the way you used to, then that thought or feeling will be reinforced and is guaranteed to return, perhaps even stronger.
On the other hand, if you are able to realize that you are hooked, then you can choose to relate to that thought or feeling differently than you have in the past. Here’s how to relate to a story or some other thought or feeling that you are identified with:
First, simply notice what you are experiencing. What is the experience of the story or feeling like in your body, both physically and energetically? Where do you feel it? What does it feel like? Tight? Dark? Hollow? Heavy? Sharp? Cool? Hot?
Let the sensations that are there be there and stay with them for a few moments. Let yourself feel them fully without any mental commentary.
Next, give the complex of sensations a name, address it, befriend it, and get to know it: “Welcome, sadness (or pain, tightness, smallness, shame, fear, or whatever). There is room for you here. Why have you come? And what have you to say?”
Then listen to the feeling or story with your whole being.
Don’t try to analyze it or figure it out with your mind.
Just listen and see if you can discover from the feeling or story what thoughts or beliefs lie beneath it.
An intuition might arise about this. If not, just continue to allow the sensations to be present.
Next, notice what else is present besides the feeling or story. Is acceptance here? Love? Compassion? Judgment? Desire? Beauty? Other sensations? Other feelings? Gratitude? Peace?
So many things can be present in one moment. Notice everything and let everything be as it is. Allow and drink in the rich composite of experience that is the present moment.
Doing this helps put the story or feeling in perspective. The story or feeling is just one of so many things present in the moment, and you are so much more than any of those things. You are the marvellous, gracious Presence that is experiencing it all and in love with it all.
In acknowledging and accepting everything that is present in a particular moment in this way, you naturally move into alignment with your loving nature, which is at peace with life just as it is.
Making such choices moves you from identification and suffering to dis-identification and freedom from suffering.
Although this process may need to be repeated many times and may take some time, these are the kinds of choices that will help you heal your conditioning rather than be victimised by it.”
That was a sample taken from the course, Radical Mindfulness Made Simple in 5 Easy Steps.