Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Being Present

In today's world of busyness, one of the greatest gifts we can offer others, is just being fully present. Everywhere you look, there is so much hustle and bustle, so much to do, so much visual and auditory stimulation. Life is moving at lightning speed and yet, there is so very little peace. We have mastered the art of busyness, but very few people it seems, know how to just be present anymore. In fact, just this morning, my mother came over to watch my kids so I could go to work. And right when she arrived, she started saying,"OK guys so where do you wanna go today?" And I said, "Mom, just stay here and play with them. They need that." But my mother, although she is a nice person, has very little inner peace and can't just sit still very long. I think it is sad too, because kids really need adults to be present with them. They get so little of that anymore. We as a society, are so busy running around, doing this and that, going here and there. We have forgotten how to be present!

I find it ironic how in our society, oftentimes we are so busy trying to capture the moment, that we miss the moment. I watch people constantly with their cameras and camcorders, exerting so much energy to capture that picture, perfect moment. And it's not that there is anything wrong with taking pictures or making family movies. But it seems to me, that if you are always trying too hard to capture the moment, you oftentimes end up missing the moment. Deepak Chopra said in his book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, "The past is history, the future is a mystery, and this moment is a gift. That is why this moment is called 'the present'." There is power in being present, in being in the moment. In fact, the moment is where all the power is. What good is spending so much time and energy trying to capture the moment, if you have to exert all your attention to that, and actually miss out on the joy, the experience, of whatever is right at hand, or what is going on in the moment?

I am a big believer in the power of meditation, as I have been practicing for over ten years now. I have learned through yoga and meditation how to be fully present. Also, I have learned how to quiet my mind and be still, and how to actually enjoy and be OK with the quietness. It is something I think you have to grow into. When your mind is still and you focus on the nothingness, your deep breathing, and on just listening to spirit, you can tap into a great source of stillness, peace, and presence. I am sure you know the scripture in the Bible, Psalms 23:2, "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters." To me, this is all about growing into a closer union with God/spirit, and how peace, if you let it, can take you over and become a more integral part of your daily life. When you commit to the practice of yoga and meditation, you will notice that you will be more able accept your life as it is, and that it becomes easier to be present in your environment, wherever that may be.


Copyright Justin Topik 2009

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