I remember, about ten years ago, someone said to me, "As Ram Dass said, 'Be here now'". I didn't know who Ram Dass was, but I thought to myself "What a novel idea". As a mistress of multi-tasking, I was everywhere at once - at least in my mind. I was reminded of that during my yoga practice today. The instructor was taking about mindfulness, of being present in the moment, of being here now. I immediately starting mentally writing this article. That was not what she had in mind.
It is so hard for me to be here now, but I am beginning to realize how much I miss by not being attentive to the now. If I am trying to do ten things at once, I am not doing any of them well. If I am checking my email while talking to a friend on the phone, I am not really hearing my friend. If I am planning my day while driving, I could find that my day doesn't end up as planned if I run into a pedestrian. (This, I am happy to say, has not happened with me at the wheel, but it did happen to the person who plowed into me.) It can be dangerous if you are not here now! If I am focused on the past or the future, I am not living in the present, and I miss so much. When I am here now, I can feel the sun on me, smell the damp earth and the spring flowers, hear the bees buzzing and the birds chirping (and my over-zealous neighbour power-washing her deck AGAIN).
When I am weeding, I am here now. It is calming and centering. Walking the labyrinth is another time when you can clear your mind of past and future. You can do that at Plymouth once a month. Try centering prayer. Breathe deeply. Read one or more of these books:
The happiness project : or, why I spent a year trying to sing in the morning, clean my closets, fight right, read Aristotle, and generally have more fun/Rubin, Gretchen Craft 158 RUB
Peace is every step : the path of mindfulness in everyday life /Nhâãat Hòanh 294.3444 NHA
Staying focused in the age of distraction: how mindfulness, prayer & meditation can help you pay attention to what really matters/Hoffman, Elizabeth Hanson, PH.D 153.1 HOF
Twelve steps to a compassionate life /Armstrong, Karen 177.7 ARM
Be wherever you are. Now.