Just Do Something, Sit There!
Dr. Keith Jeffery
love this concept. We are a civilization of "human doings"
not "human beings". Don't get me wrong I do as much as the
next guy. But as I approach 50, I am more and more interested in slowing
time, in enjoying each precious moment. In appreciating all that is
profound in its simplicity. I still set goals by visualizing exactly
what I want, but I'm not assuming that my peace and contentment is
dependent on the achievement of those goals.
fact, more and more I am finding ways to enjoy the journey toward
the goal. Here are some ways that may help you be present. Methods
to pull yourself out of the past and future, places of residences
preferred by the mind.
Each day, spend some time alone. Time in prayer, meditation, yoga
or tai chi. Time just sitting. Not reading, knitting, watching TV,
talking, scratching, or sleeping. Just sitting. Not even thinking.
Thoughts will of course try to invade. That's fine, but let them drift
away, like clouds floating across the sky.
process will awaken you to the frenetic, constant, repetitive activity
of the mind. The constant pressure to be elsewhere with the assumption
that something more needs to happen so you can be "happy".
The first step is the recognition of this process on a regular basis.
The next step is to continue spending time alone, in prayer, meditation,
yoga, tai chi...
Each day, find something simple in your life that is beautiful, interesting,
wondrous or amazing. Like a spider web. Or a flower. Or the sun
reflecting off a colorful bird. Or a sunset. Maybe the moon. Or a
smile. You get the picture. Living in appreciation makes every day
better, and there is always something to appreciate.
Each day, decide to listen completely in every conversation. Without
second guessing the content you are expecting from the other person.
Without finishing the sentences for him/her. Without already preparing
your rebuttal to the anticipated conversation. Just listen. Listening
is a rare skill these days. It takes practice, and is enhanced considerably
by having a quiet, still mind.
Quit fighting "what is". Whatever is happening in the
present moment is happening, whether or not you like it. It is as
it is for now, so increase your level of contentment by accepting
each moment as if you have chosen it. Of course you can take actions
to improve your life, but you can't change the present moment because
it already is...
stillness, discovering the profound in everyday life and living in
the moment are very elusive experiences for most people. We put so
much value on doing, on accomplishment, and so little on being. One
of my favorite cartoons showed two cigar smoking, pinstriped executives
in discussion. One lamented that "maybe true happiness comes
AFTER the first $700 million".
chi, chi kung, yoga and meditation all teach methods designed to help
you become present, as well as develop a powerful sense of body awareness
and energy (chi) development. Just a few minutes a day. That's it...
say that it is wisdom to know others, but it is enlightenment to know
oneself. Take a few moments each day to get to know yourself.
Dr. Keith Jeffery
Keith Jeffery is a motivational speaker, tai chi, yoga and meditation
instructor and creator of the video "Tai
Chi for Busy People."