#39 In the Present Moment

I love words—especially those words that lay a hand on my heart.  Words that call out to me to reread them, then cause me to pause and reflect for a moment.  Yesterday I had such a moment.  While reading a passage from Buddha’s Brain, I came across these words of Tenzin Priyadarshi:


If there is no stillness,
there is no silence.
If there is no silence,
there is no insight.
If there is no insight,
there is no clarity.

Those who know me well, know that I do not slow down often. I generally have a number of projects and passions going at once: teaching, speaking engagements, writing, community work, early morning gym workouts, running on the beach, music endeavors, home chores, connections with friends, time with my bride, and on and on.  No complaints; I am fortunate to do what I love to do. What is generally missing (for me), though, is some quality “still time.”

I have read about the importance of meditation—and how it can improve one’s life emotionally, physically, socially, and spiritually. Buddha’s Brain tells us that “people are now learning meditative practices to become more productive, pay better attention, heal faster, and feel less stressed.” It helps us concentrate which can help us tap into insights.

I do realize that the reason I struggle with this is that I have not made it a priority in my life. My wife diligently finds time to meditate. I easily find other things to move ahead of “still time” on my daily list. And, I always have an excuse.  Each day, however, I make a new promise to do better.

Over the past few months, a number of people in my life have had significant life-changing diagnoses. Each one caused me to stop in my tracks and reflect—and remind myself that life does go by in a blink. We have to appreciate what is in front of us at this moment.  (I wrote about this October 31, 2010 in my post on this blog titled “No Promises.”)

People smarter than me have said that we end up spending a lot of wasted time ruminating about the past (something we cannot change) and inventing our future (often times conjuring up little “worry mini-dramas” that NEVER come to pass).

Perhaps we should aspire to the philosophy of one of my students this term.  When I call roll each class session, most students either say “present” or “here.”  One young fellow, cheerfully responds every day with “In the present moment!”

That seems like a very worthy goal.

 

©2011. Steve Piscitelli and Steve Piscitelli’s Blog

13 Responses to #39 In the Present Moment

  1. tyrone says:

    Mindfulness a very important word to me and probably to you. In this world of computer technology you must remember things to be literate or you could be at a lost.

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  2. Nathan says:

    Meditation is a great way to center oneself and focus on the important things. I rarely meditate, however, as I have the same problem as you- too many excuses. It’s difficult for me to sit still and focus even for a few minutes.

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    • It is a matter of priorities for me (for all of us?). I am learning to grab a few minutes here and there. Like today; on the plane. I found myself grabbing for the magazine in the seat pocket….then decided to close my eyes for 15 minutes. It was very relaxing. Have to make it a habit….

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  3. Alex says:

    I used to attempt to meditate on a regular basis, and it usually didn’t work very well. I just can’t sit still for more than a few minutes, maybe it’s the ADHD, or just boredom. When I could sit still, it was quite relaxing, and helped me focus on happier, more important things.

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  4. Alex says:

    I used to attempt to meditate on a regular basis. I usually couldn’t sit still for very long though, maybe it was my ADHD or just boredom. Although when I did, it was very relaxing and helped me focus on happier, more important things.

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  5. jennifer g. says:

    I enjoyed reading your post on still time. The music was relaxing and calming to me. We never in our busy lives take the time to just stop, reflect and enjoy everyone and everything around us. Thank you for the reminder and it will now be something I will try to incorporate into my busy life as often as possible.

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  6. Barbara M says:

    Meditation is that moment that we can psychologically as well physically catch our breath. It when I find my “zen” when all is chaos around me and I find that quiet stillness inside of me. I don’t have much time to sit and meditate but there those moments of zen that realign me with my centered self.

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  7. Brandon H says:

    I do agree with what is said about the “still time”. I think it is very healthy for people to get out of their fast paced lives every once in awhile to “stop and smell the roses”. If you are driving past them at 100 mph, you never notice they are even there on the side of the road. You can find a lot of peace and reflexion in “silence”. Sometimes if we want it bad enough, you can find that “quiet place” to where you hear nothing but your breathing. Very relaxing!

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  8. Dustin V says:

    Meditation for me is my alone time at the river at night. Something i would like to do more often. I calms me and helps me find peace. Its like I romance myself to calmness. Time has to be set aside for what benefits us. Nobody can do this for us.

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  9. […]  In the Present Moment *Reflections and suggestions for quality down time. […]

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