Awakening Exercises For Living In The Now

Is it humanly possible to enjoy every moment of life? Could I actually get through a day without complaining to a friend, getting exasperated waiting in line, or scrambling for time? You bet! The key is accessing the present moment. Mindfulness or living in the now is the only way to truly get out of our heads and experience all that life offers every day, hour and moment. It is a cultivation of a new consciousness that allows you to finally be happy! Awakening to what’s going on around and within you at a specific moment is the first step towards more joyous and fulfilling being.

woman laughing

I discuss mindfulness a lot here at Epicself because I see the potential a new awareness has in my life and in the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy road. After reading Eckhart Tolle’s two fabulous books A New Earth, and The Power Of Now, I find myself re-reading the prized scripts over and over to remind myself how to access the present and why it’s so significant to our well being. Out of all the highlights of Eckharts teaching, here are some spankin new ways to cultivate more awareness.

When you find yourself drowning in thought…

Try this: Every time you walk up and down the stairs in your house or place of work, pay close attention to every step, every movement even your breathing. Be totally present. In addition, when you wash your hands, pay attention to all the sensory perceptions associated with the activity: the sound and feel of the water, the movement of your hands, the scent of the soap and so on.

When the voice in your head starts to drive you crazy…

Try this: Pay attention to the gap between your thoughts when one thought subsides and before another arises. In this way, you draw consciousness away from mind activity and create a gap of no-mind in which you are highly alert and aware but not thinking. When these gaps occur, you disidentify from your mind and feel a certain stillness and peace inside you. This is the essence of meditation and the single most vital step on your journey toward enlightenment.

waiting in line

When you find yourself waiting for anything…

Try this: Give up waiting as a state of mind. When you catch yourself slipping into waiting snap out of it. Come into the present moment. Just be, and enjoy being. If you are present, there is never any need for you to wait for anything. So, next time somebody says, “Sorry to have kept you waiting.” You can reply: “That’s all right, I wasn’t waiting. I was just standing here enjoying myself.”

When negative thoughts sneak in…

Try this: Become like a deep lake. The outer situation of your life, whatever happens there is like the surface of the lake sometimes calm, sometimes windy and rough. Deep down, however, the lake is always undisturbed. You are the whole lake, not just the surface. Practice being in touch with your own depth, which remains absolutely still.

When you can’t seem to find a second of spare time…

Try this: Step out of the time dimension as much as possible in everyday life. Become friendly toward the present moment. Make it your practice to withdraw attention from past and future whenever they are not needed.

stressed out

When you are stressed and irritable…

Try this: Take two or three conscious breaths. Now see if you can detect a subtle sense of aliveness that pervades your entire inner body. Can you feel your body from within, so to speak? Sense briefly specific parts of your body. Feel your hands, then your arms, feet and legs. Can you feel your abdomen, chest, neck and head? What about your lips? Is there life in them? Then become aware again of the inner body as a whole.

When your to-do list is a mile long…

Try this: Knowing that what is cannot be undone because it already is you say yes to what is or accept what isn’t. Then, you do what you have to do, whatever the situation requires.

Do you practice mindfulness? What do you do to access the now? We’d all love to benefit from you experiences.




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