By Laura Samper G.
Are you Living in the Present Moment?
These last weeks have been intense for many people. Deep emotions are coming to the surface as well as questions about self-realization, relationships, patterns and so on. I have felt this, and friends and family have expressed having the same experience. This is why I would like to share a lovely bit of wisdom that I randomly discovered at the Hridaya Yoga Center.
Since I’m starting Module 2 this week, I was reviewing the Module 1 books. In the book of evening lectures, I found an inspiring section that reminded me of the simplest fact: be present with yourself in such a way that it resembles the most harmonious dance. Be aware of your own rhythm.
This is one of the most nourishing benefits of living in a spiritual community: you are learning something all the time or, in other words, you are more aware of your learning process.
Living in community, you get to know yourself more with the passing of time. This is relevant since in knowing who you are, you might even come to know the gods and the Universe—as was inscribed by the Delphic Oracle. But you’re also in contact with all kinds of teachings. I must say one of my favorite parts of the Center is the library. I adore books (that’s why I also like to take pictures and upload them, as I did above).
Because the school is a quiet, slow-paced environment, books are treasures here. In the library, you can easily find books about spiritual masters, Sufi poetry (my favorite), yoga, Tantra, meditation, Ayurveda, spirituality, science, and nutrition, as well as other materials like movies and even beautiful Japanese origami paper.
This is a great place to cultivate yourself, as you would do with the flowers of a beautiful garden. Here, I’ve been slowly acknowledging the fact that in living, we are also dancing to the rhythm of the present moment. This short fragment from the Module 1 book can help you find the kind of beat you need to dance to and can serve as a reminder when you miss your step.
The State of Flow
“Your unhappiness ultimately arises not from the circumstances of your life but from the conditioning of your mind.” –Eckhart Tolle
The greatest obstacle to being content and cultivating happiness is the agitation of the mind. When the mind is focused and centered in the present moment, a great energy and efficiency become available to its owner (for me, it’s pure creativity).
You are capable of focusing your total attention upon whatever work or creative endeavor you dedicate yourself to. This is the state of flow, and it is exactly the core of your being, the source of spiritual efficiency.
Wouldn’t it be nice to create your own culture (or spiritual habits) and see what happens? I like the fact that this fragment reminds you of the importance of being with yourself first. No matter the circumstances, you can keep your own flow.
And when you do it, you end up dancing to the rhythm that takes you exactly where you need to be: here and now.
Reminding Yourself to Be Here and Now
Some of you have visited our school and some have not. For both, I would like to share a fun trick that I learned during one of my classes. In his youth, French writer Oliver Clerc developed a method to remain conscious while studying the ways for lucid dreaming. He wrote: When I developed my first technique to induce lucid dreams, I wrote a “C” (for Consciousness) on my hand, and every time I would see it I would remind myself to be fully conscious. Why? Because I observed that very often we think we are conscious, during the day, but actually we’re not. We are so involved in what we do, think, or feel, our attention is so focused on one activity, that we forget all the rest: the room where we are, the building, the town, the other people, the time, and so on. So, every time I would look at my “C,” I would take a “breath of consciousness,” and remind myself of the whole context in which I happened to be. (From Lucid Dreaming and the Evolution of Human Consciousness, “Lucidity Letter”)
This trick is very useful way to remember to be present when the mind wanders:
- Take a pen of whatever color you want—but please make sure it’s not a permanent marker (unless you want it there for at least a few days). ;)
- On your non-dominant hand, draw a C (for Consciousness) in the area between your thumb and pointer finger.
- Then, above or beside the C, draw two dots, a semicolon, or whatever your imagination comes up with to make it a bit more fun.
Each time you look at the symbol on your hand, remind yourself to come back to the present moment, regain the awareness of your own flow, breath deeply and start over. You don’t need to go too far to reinvent yourself, you just need to remember the newness available to you in each passing moment.