“Have you ever had the experience of stopping so completely,
of being in your body so completely,
of being in your life so completely,
that what you knew and what you didn’t know,
that what had been and what was yet to come,
and the way things are right now,
no longer held even the slightest hint of anxiety or discord,
a moment of complete presence beyond striving, beyond mere acceptance,
beyond the desire to escape, or fix anything or plunge ahead,
a moment of pure being,
no longer in time,
a moment of pure seeing, pure feeling a moment in which life simply is,
and that is-ness grabs you by all your senses, all your memories,
by your very genes, by your loves,
and welcomes you home;
that is a taste of mindfulness.”
– Jon Kabat-Zinn
Mindfulness practices invite us to realise deeply that the present moment is all that we ever have. These practices encourage us to let go of the past. This means realising that whatever has happened before this moment is no longer here with us.
The practices ask us to put aside any imaginations we might have of the future. Any ideas we have about what might be to come are simply thoughts and images that we are having in the present moment. They are, at best, fantasy and at worst anxiety and fear filled.
Mindfulness practices encourage us to connect deeply with the present moment, allowing it and ourselves to be exactly as we are, without having to distract ourselves, or fix anything; without trying to rush through or push past the present moment in order to get to an imagined future moment.
When we fully give ourselves over to the present moment, we can come into contact with what might be called presence, or awareness, or simply being. This felt sense of being is our greatest resource especially in times of difficulty. It is available to us in any moment if we are able to stop, and come back to the present moment and to all of our senses.
For most of us, most of the time this sense of presence, or being is obscured by our being lost in thought.
Check this for yourself. Notice how often you are on automatic pilot, lost in thought, pre-occupied, in a trance of thinking, planning, worrying, remembering, imagining and as such are missing what is here right now.
Perhaps you will take this opportunity right now, in this moment to stop, to feel, to hear, to see, to fully inhabit the present moment and to connect with this easy sense of simply being.
If you are interested in learning more, simply search online for mindfulness practices.
Sally-Anne Edward is a Mindfulness Instructor at Kindmind, which offers mindfulness training for everyone, from beginners up to Instructor level. The courses are held at the beautiful Coach House Healing centre in Marsden, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.