The mind is made up of thoughts and movement. The only way it can approach the present moment is by thinking about the present moment, which is in no way the same thing as the moment itself.
Therefore the tips and trick for coming into touch with the moment have to do with focusing the attention in certain ways without the deliberate use of thought. I will suggest to you three ways of accomplishing this.
As you inhale and exhale, when is this activity happening? You can only take a breath in the present moment. While you may remember taking a breath in the past, or imagine taking a breath in the future, neither are the same as taking a breath now.
Place all of your attention on the rhythm of your breath, making no attempt to control the rhythm but instead just observing it. Witness and experience the sensation of inhaling, the feeling of air moving through you and the body expanding. Witness and experience the sensation of exhaling, air leaving you and the body contracting.
Remain focused on this phenomenon for an extended period of time. If the mind wanders, bring your attention back to the breath. Eventually you will just find yourself sitting Here and Now, breathing.
2. Body Attention.
Like breath, the body only exists right Now. Usually we don’t pay attention to the feeling of our body unless something is wrong or out of place. Otherwise many of us just live in our heads.
Try bringing your attention to the fact that you are actually feeling the body from the inside out. Sometimes visualization helps. Eckhart Tolle recommends visualizing a bright vibrating light entering your feet and tingling your toes. Then, at your own pace using your attention, spread that visualization up your legs, through your torso and arms, up your chest and through your skull.
Once you have this sensation of abiding with your body, let go of the visualization and dwell with the feeling. This is another gateway into the now.
The way I came into touch with the Now was through mantra meditation, which was the first form of meditation I began doing daily about five years ago. Focusing on a repeated word or phrase keeps the mind rooted in the act of repetition, which again only occurs within the Now.
Focusing on a visual form can also be of use. Open-eyed meditation may be easier for beginners and it is also a way of learning to abide in your meditative peacefulness despite the distraction of forms. Keeping the attention on a candle flame, a spot on the wall, or an object that inspires devotion is a form of meditation.
All of these techniques are gateways. With persistence, patience, and earnestness, they will make you aware of the fact that this moment is all there is. It is only the mind’s constant chatter, immersed in memory and imagination, that create the illusion of time.
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