We were created to be Now Here, instead of Nowhere; to be in the present moment of the Now Here, instead of the Nowhere of the past or future. Yet, Nowhere is where most of us live in our heads. Being here now, having a quiet mind that allows us to be present, changes everything in our lives for the better. Meditation is the way.
Rob and his wife have two small children, 1 and 4. He began meditation a little over a year ago, beginning with just 5 minutes a day. He writes that Meditation has improved his life in many ways and wrote about one of those; being a better father to his two little girls.
“After taking the time to close my eyes and clear my mind, I feel more calm, positive, and patient when spending time with my family. For example, if my four year old starts telling me about her day (rambling of course) I’ll be more apt to give her undivided attention and ask her questions instead of nodding along. If her younger sister is screaming and fussy, I’m more likely to understand that she is telling me she is tired, and less likely to be discouraged or lose my temper. I feel like we all have a finite amount of mental energy to use during the day, and incorporating meditation into my routine has helped me improve my mileage. Meditation helps me ensure I leave work where it belongs, resetting my brain and enabling me to more present with my wife and children in the evenings.” – “How Meditation Made Me a Better Dad,” Lift.do
The Nowhere of a busy mind
In today’s world, stress and anxiety are more prevalent than ever before. According to the American Psychological Association, 77% of people regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress. Harvard researchers estimate that 60-90% of doctor’s visits are caused by stress.
All of this stress has kept us in the Nowhere of a very busy mind.
Since our thought is our world, Meditation helps us get acquainted with how little time we spend being conscious of our world of thought. And as we get acquainted with that world by learning to be in the present moment, we are then in the powerful position of being able to change things for the better, from the inside out.
Most people are unaware that they are thinking all the time and that their attention is following this stream of thought and believing its content. Meditation will help you separate your identity from this stream of thought. All of us are in fact, pure awareness, and not the total of thoughts that we have accepted for ourselves about ourselves.
There are other ways that Meditation will improve your life. It will clear your mind and contribute to your emotional stability. It will relieve stress and tension, anxiety and panic attacks, help your body heal itself from inflammatory diseases, and other stress-related illnesses, strengthen your immune system, and lower your blood pressure and heart rate.
A brief Introduction to Meditation: The Way to Now Here
Relax your body in whatever way feels comfortable for you and in whatever way your body distracts you the least. Sitting comfortably with good posture works very well.
Relax and quiet your mind by focusing on your breathing. Breathe normally and gently. Feel the breath in your body and take your whole attention and place it on your breath. As you do this, you will notice that your mind will quiet down.
Observe. As thought comes, be the watcher of the thoughts and let them pass through you. Just as you would watch a train go by, watch your train of thought go by. If there are feelings, feel them and let them pass through you. As thoughts come, use a word or a mantra to return to the breath and to the present moment. A favorite of mine is “I Am.”
Be still. Your place of stillness is within you, deeper than your surface mind. It is a spaciousness that is accessible when you are grounded in your body and when your awareness is not following the train of thought. You are aware of your thought. You are aware of your emotions. You are aware of your body, yet you are not any of these things.
Set Intention. It’s helpful to return with an intention for your day as a sort of reminder to stay present throughout your day. Whatever is before you, as you breathe and remember to be present to it, you will be equal to it. Your day will unfold with ease and grace. And this beautiful verse from Psalm 46 will have new meaning for you; “Be still and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10