Friday, January 31, 2014

How Present Are YOU?

You’re attending a Thursday night Murli, the teacher calls your name and you suddenly notice you haven’t heard what she has been saying for a few minutes and what she is asking you. In a split second your attention is back in the room and you realize you had drifted off to your text message and then to email and then to an aggressive driver in the red BMW M3 who had cut you off in the morning and were going through the analysis and living the experience all over again. Sunday Murli... ditto! During the moments you were mentally absent in the Murli class, you missed Baba’s message of vital importance that the teacher was teaching you as to how to be mentally present in the Murli and for that matter anywhere you are physically present. The teacher called your name because she noticed your mental absence, in other words, you were not mindfully present. 

Drifting away happens to all of us. When we are not speaking, we tend to think 650 – 1000 words a minutes. What is important is to recognize that our mind has drifted away and tell our mind to come back to the Murli, where you need to focus. Repeat this exercise every time you drift away and soon you will be mindfully present wherever you are. 

The Deepest Addiction! We live in the age of increasing distractions from text messages, apps, phone calls, emails, daily family chores, work, friends, nasty boss, meetings, stock market fluctuations and so on. Here again, we need to be mindfully present where we are physically present. Mindful presence can also enable you to clear your mind of thoughts to seek inner peace. 

Resisting Reality! We sometimes notice that our feelings of sorrow, irritation, frustration and all our fears are arising from all those moments when we lose our self in our mental compendiums of fictional tales leading us to constantly go astray with thoughts. The inner signs of being fully present include a quiet mind which is no longer busy running stories of our past or future, or of other people’s lives. The full presence can be achieved with the practice of mindful presence – notice the thought that comes to mind and then tell the mind to refocus where it needs to. 

Seeing Through the Illusions! When you are watching an action movie in a theatre while gobbling up popcorns and soda, you are fully aware at all times that you are sitting in a chair in a theatre and that there is no reality in the movie, it is just a movie, an illusion. You are therefore not moved by the characters, plot, action or the images on the screen. You are a detached observer! Not because you do not care but because you are resisting the movie maker’s attempt to manipulate your are mindfully present in the theatre for enjoyment. 

Discovering Inner Peace! There normally comes a moment in the lives of those who consciously search for real relaxation, otherwise known as inner peace, when they realize that actually their real world is within their self. The ‘real’ world is the inner world of our consciousness. It’s just that it’s not even ‘inner’; it is the self, itself! 

Action: Consciously practice being a detached observer of things happening around you and in your mind and be mindfully present where you chose to be physically present and tell your mind to refocus where you need your mind to. Repeat regularly in different environments so you get a hang of it. 

Adapted from Mike George’s article,” How Present Are YOU?”© 2012

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