Ramblings on mindfulness -
We live in an age of distraction, one in which we have become so absorbed with our sense of self and the demands of modern living, that we risk losing the connection to our true nature. To truly know what it is to be alive.
For many, there is a deep sense of lack, a knowing, that there is more to life. In our search, we often seek to fill the void with the distractions of the modern world. Unable to rest at ease within ourselves, we move from one distraction to another in a subconscious attempt to divert our attention.
The sense of lack and unease that resides deep within us is the lack of connection to our true nature and no amount of diversion or distraction will ever satisfy.
Awareness - the true ground of our being
Mind is a process arising within awareness; it appears within our experience, but it is not having the experience.
When mind stops, the experience remains.
We analyse and make sense of our experience with the mind, however, life is not experienced by the mind, it is a deeply felt experience. Look closely and you will recognise that the mind has no capacity to feel.
The felt experience lands in the heart, in awareness, your mind can interpret the experience, but it cannot have the experience.
Awakening is the living realisation that mind is a only a process arising within awareness.
Awareness is the true ground of our being.
Present moment awareness -
With the modern trend for mindfulness, we hear a lot about the importance of living in the present, and it makes good sense – if you consider your personal experience of life, you will recognise that both the past and future are no more than a concept, mental constructs that do not actually exist within your experience.
Think about it for a moment, have you ever experienced a moment in your life that happened in the past or the future? No, in truth, everything you have ever experienced was experienced in the present moment - in the now.
We may know this conceptually but how does this actually manifest – how do you live directly in the moment ?
Experiencing life in physical form, we see that everything around us changes continuously. It appears that each moment is followed by the next as we progress through time – however, with mindful observation, we come to realise that this perception is an illusion.
We can only ever live in the present moment, there is no linear progression through time, only this moment, that we experience now. The present moment is a continuum, an ever expanding and eternal now, and as such, we will experience every moment of our lives within it.
Everything we have ever experienced, although in the past, was experienced in the now, and everything we will experience in the future will also be experienced in the now. Situations and experiences will change, time will pass and (if we are lucky) we will grow old, but every moment of our lives will be experienced as the present moment.
Everything that exists, exists in the now, there is simply no other point in time that it could exist.
To have life is to be conscious in the present moment, quite simply, that's what life is. Life is not some random chemical reaction or accidental biology, it is a perfect expression of a universal consciousness in an eternally expanding, single moment.
To have life is to have access to this single moment and experience it through physical form.
We often lose sight of this truth, distracted in the pursuit of our desires and by our overwhelming sense of self and separation. We mistakenly interpret our body, personality, thoughts, mind and emotions to be who we are and become preoccupied with our "selves".
This sense of self finds ways to distract us from the truth – our worries, perceived problems, physical constraints, anxieties, the distractions of the external world and the continuous internal dialogue of our minds demand our attention and deny us the direct experience of living here and now – in the present moment.
To directly experience the present moment, we must learn to bring ourselves into a coherent and settled state, to reduce the noise and clutter of our lives and minds and to rest in awareness. To be of no mind. To slow down and pay less attention to our thoughts and preoccupations, to gradually recognise and rest our attention on the stillness that lies within the gaps.