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The human mind perpetually precipitates thought-forms in reference to the past or future. Just as a cow chews its cud, the human mind engages in the digestion of experiences by thinking. In those rare moments when our mind is in the present, it either becomes silent or generates the vibration, “Aah!” Present moment experiences reflect gaps in our perpetual, inner mental dialogue. Through these gaps, our individuality connects with our universality.
A new or powerful experience can bring us into the present. Seeing a shooting star, hearing a powerful piece of music, receiving a nurturing massage, tasting a delicious meal, or making passionate love can provide engaging sensory experiences that can stop the mind for a moment, but usually leave an impression that generates subsequent mental activity. That delicious chocolate truffle inevitably generates the desire for more.
Meditation is the technology to enter the gap directly. Shifting into a witnessing mode begins by separating the thinker from the observer. As our internal reference shifts from the engaged mind to the witnessing soul, the past and present are recognized for what they really are - mental constructs given substance through our attention and intention. Immersion into present moment silence, where space and time lose their hold, enable us to carry the timeless in the midst of time-bound awareness. This is what William Blake refers to when he encourages us:
"To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour."
At moments throughout the day, stop what you are doing and tune into the sounds, sensations, sights, tastes and smells around you. Take time to close your eyes and quiet your inner conversation through meditation. Staying present brings enthusiasm to every momentary experience of life.
Within your yoga practice, bring your attention back to the silent space within you between every movement and every posture. Remain in a state of mindful witnessing as you perform each pose. Between poses and movements, bring your attention to the quiet stillness within you. Observe from the inner stillness of your soul the dynamic activity of the world. Taking brief retreats every day will bring new perspectives, enhanced vitality and awareness.