I recently noticed a book by Thich Nhat Hanh entitled you are here. I immediately thought of those signs at outdoor malls and trail heads that provide a map of the entire area, and then in one small place indicated with a dot, YOU ARE HERE. His book is about discovering the magic of the present moment.
I pondered this a moment and thought it easier to decide WHERE I am in relation to other points of reference—as compared to others, or as compared to other times in my life—than to think about this without any other reference. If you are mentally and physically in a static place for just a moment, and you are asked ‘where are you?’ your first inclination is probably to think in terms of physical location. You might respond with where you were in thought when you were interrupted with the question. But if you were to write a statement or two about ‘where is here?’ right now, how would you answer?
It seems challenging to be so fully in the moment that you can connect with a deeper place from which to respond. Where are you, in that moment, spiritually? Where are you, in that moment, relative to all space and time? How does it feel to reel yourself in from having your mind first reach to ‘what’s next,’ ‘where do I have to be next,’ ‘where is my mind being pulled’? How long does it take, and for how long can you entertain a blank canvas and then address, ‘I am HERE. Where is HERE? Where am I?’
I think that coming to an answer is best addressed by sitting quietly, closing your eyes, and play with the phrase, ‘you are here.’ You might set an intention that some ‘in the moment’ revelation become aware to you during the time. See where the statement takes you. Like a mantra, you might repeat to yourself, ‘you are here,’ and allow yourself to travel without limitation or judgment to where your mind leads. Part of your intention might be to reveal a deeper realization of not just where you are, but who you are. You might perform this exercise daily, and you might journal each response.
Pema Chӧdrӧn reminds us, “It is never too late for any of us to look at our minds. We can always sit down and allow the space for anything to arise. Sometimes we have a shocking experience of ourselves. Sometimes we try to hide. Sometimes we have a surprising experience of ourselves. Often we get carried away. Without judging, without buying into our likes and dislikes, we can always encourage ourselves to just be here again and again and again.”
Eckhart Tolle says, “Conscious breathing which is a powerful meditation in its own right, will gradually put you in touch with the body….As soon as your habitual state changes from being out of the body and trapped in your mind, to being in the body and present in the Now, your physical body will feel lighter, clearer, more alive.”
“As you comb through your body for tension you learn how to go beneath the surface of what you see, to connect to what you feel, to the emotions inside the sensation. When you can discern what is behind what you feel, you can practice becoming still there.” – Roman S., a yoga teacher
I think when we can sit in stillness, say to our self, “I am here,” and from some deeper, peaceful space simply make the acknowledgement, then perhaps that is being in the present moment.
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