Not trying to get anywhere, except here
—the present HERE of mindfulness—
A term one hears a lot these days is "best practices". It's a good term; and I try, for example, to utilize best practices with website design, tractor operation and flossing. You have learned from experience that doing something this or that way leads to good or bad results. Technique, safety, time management, big perspective, and more. These one employs to achieve...to do well.
With mindfulness meditation, though there are best practices, techniques and principles to acquire and develop, there is really no good or bad result to aim for—beyond being present in the present with whatever is going on. You are not trying to get from A to B. You are trying to be fully and completely wherever you are: HERE, instead of THERE.
Is there a pain in your left hip? That is HERE. Did a song just take over your mind? That is HERE. Are you sleepy? That is HERE. There is no THERE in mindfulness meditation, just HERE.
Pretty easy, right?!
For me, I more often than not find myself THERE, lost in thoughts or songs or images or anxieties; just lost. In the split second that it takes to become aware that I have been THERE, I am instantly transported HERE. I may return THERE before I can finish a breath cycle, but the awareness of it all is entirely HERE.
Why does this matter?
The more time I can be aware of being HERE the more present I can be to my life, my family, my friends, my activities, and my surroundings. More gratitude. More engagement. More grace. More compassion. In the end, the more I am HERE the less of a role my ego (and all its attachments) plays. The past and the future fade in importance. HERE is all present...and all grace.
Mary and I were talking about plans for our big birthdays and anniversaries (70 and 50) coming up in a few years. It is fun to dream, but I want to be HERE. And, in the end, we agreed that being here at home with friends, children, and grandchildren is really as much as we need to anticipate or imagine. We are not trying to get anywhere, except here.
In the meantime, I continue to learn about the practice called Mindfulness Meditation. My Tuesday blogs, for right now, will focus on those things I am learning. I'm not, however, much worried about being the best, or even reaching some far off mystic goal. My flossing practices have improved, that much I can say.