“If your mind carries a heavy burden of past, you will experience more of the same. The past perpetuates itself through lack of presence. The quality of your consciousness at this moment is what shapes the future.”– Eckhart Tolle
The past only exists as records stored within our minds, and the only power we have over our future is within this moment, within the NOW; This is why being presence is so crucial, it truly is all we ever have.
BELOW, I LIST THREE STEPS THAT I OFTEN USE TO HELP GROUND MYSELF WITHIN THE NOW. I HOPE THIS HELPS!
1. Becoming Aware of Deep Dissatisfaction
When finding it difficult to focus on the present, try asking yourself the question, “What am I so dissatisfied with in this moment?”
A lot of the time, our suffering in the present derives from a deep sense of dissatisfaction, as a result of our minds focusing on all that we want yet do not have instead of everything that we do have to appreciate in the now.
When we ask ourselves the question, “What I am I so dissatisfied with in this moment?” we are not only becoming conscious of the root of much of our suffering, but we are also blossoming the realization that this present moment, this moment, is not as bad as our minds make it out to be.
Only when we are able to make the connection that our dissatisfaction serves no purpose but to do harm unto ourselves will we be able to become aware of all that we do have to be grateful for now. This connection allows us to genuinely be comfortable with where we are. Presence then grows into becoming a natural state, not a “forced action”.
2. Practicing the Art of Non-Action
The art of non-action includes quieting the mind as well. More often than not, we may get to the point in which we are able to be still with our bodies, but forget the importance of being still within our minds, which is even more crucial than the stillness of the physical.
From the words of Deepak Chopra, “A quiet mind is more important than a positive mind.” Sometimes, we try so hard to overcome negative thoughts by shifting to positive thoughts, that we end up losing ourselves in thought altogether.
To overcome negative thoughts, one does not have to avoid, deny, or identify with something other, one can simply cease thinking altogether, by focusing on nothing other than the present moment. It is not about what to think, it is about how not to think.
3. Bringing Attention to the Body
Lastly, what always helps to ground me in the present moment is bringing all of my attention to my body. For me this means:
- Conducting a full body scan, and making sure I am holding no tension within my body.
- Becoming aware of all of my senses: Focusing on what I can hear, see, feel, smell, and so on.
- Feeling the nonphysical energy that we as human beings embody. (As Eckhart states it: Close your eyes. Hold up one hand. Feel your hand. How do you know that your hand is still there?) This also works when one closes their eyes and imagines how it would feel if they had no body. This is feeling the energy within.
As I have stated in previous posts as well, I definitely consider the body to be one of the greatest anchors for presence. As many of the original Tantric teachings place much importance on: Although we are not our bodies, we are still deeply, energetically connected to them. Our bodies definitely play an integral role when it comes to developing ourselves on a spiritual, and vibrational level.
All my love, and Namaste.