[Classic post from 8-25-14]
I learned a lot from Eckhart Tolle, and probably the single most important thing I learned was to practice being present. That is no small thing. It is huge.
My life flows smoothly and hardly ever rushed anymore, but much of my life was like so many I see around me, rushing here, there, phone, texts, emails, crises, problems, issues, disappointments, frustration and, well. . . I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Some get so focused on their own importance that they are in fear of taking any time off, or delegating, or asking for or paying for assistance. It’s not a happy life as I recall so well. In fact, it seemed to be full of problems. If it wasn’t one thing, it was another.
A couple of years ago, I read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. It had been out for several years, but it wasn’t on my radar. Once it was, I couldn’t put it down. Since then, I have been practicing taking my head away from my perceived problems, and focusing on being here and now and at the same time releasing thought.
One of the really easy ways to do this is by taking a walk. Charlie and I did a leisurely long walk today, and it would be common for me to be thinking about all sorts of things so that my mind is spinning around. I sort of enjoy thinking that way, but also keeps me away from being present. So, I practice shutting up my self-talk by telling my mind to shut up and then I look at a tree or bush and focus on a leaf, the tree trunk, the leaves on the ground, and pretty much anything around me. I don’t take them all in at once but focus on one thing at a time.
I walk by a bush that has a thousand different colors of green leaves. I am amazed. Sometimes I stop and commune with a tree trunk for a few seconds, touching it, and sensing the living part of it. It is really easy with Nature, but it also works just fine on any man-made object as well, such as, a great looking car or truck, catching a glimpse of someone’s eyes for just a moment, Charlie sniffing an intriguing spot.
We went 4 miles today and I was practicing the whole way. Many times, I found my mind wandering, so I would purposefully bring it back and begin again.
And, here is the most beneficial and interesting part of this practice: There are zero problems there. There are no issues. There are no deadlines. There are no frustrations. There are no ills whatsoever. What there is would be only and completely the present moment as if it were a haven from the everyday world. I look at things with interest but don’t let my mind offer a bunch of thoughts about it. Instead, it is just appreciating the moment and what is here.
I try to do this in my office or while I’m driving or doing something, and I am getting better, and I need more practice there. But, that little escape into the present of taking a little or long walk is a magic relief valve.
The Peace Of The Present Moment Is Like Stepping Into Another World.
Spread Some Joy Today–Let go of the rope. Focus on your joy.