The Art of Now

We all want to be living in the moment or living in the now, but what does that actually mean? If we don’t know what it means to be living in the moment, it generally makes it difficult to actually live in the moment. How can you know what to do to live in the moment if you don’t completely understand what it means to experience the present moment or to be living in the moment?

Most of us don’t undertake our thoughts in awareness. Rather, our thoughts control us. “Ordinary thoughts course through our mind like a deafening waterfall,” writes Jon Kabat-Zinn, the biomedical scientist who introduced meditation into mainstream medicine. In order to feel more in control of our minds and our lives, to find the sense of balance that eludes us, we need to step out of this current, to pause, and, as Kabat-Zinn puts it, to “rest in stillness—to stop doing and focus on just being.”

To pause is to stop some activity temporarily, to let it go. The pause is meant to help us dwell a moment with our immediate experience as it is while listening, before speaking, while we speak, and after speaking.

We meet the moment awake, loving, and spacious. But what do we do when we find that the moment changes uncontrollably or when our habit-driven world seems unchanging? How do we generate faith to be present with our impermanence and our habitual reactions? Observation of our bodily sensations is a direct way to connect with impermanence. We become aware of a specific sensation, such as a point of discomfort. We notice how this sensation and then others continually change dependent upon the stimulus and the sense organ. However, this is known by the consciousness, which also constantly changes along with what arises.

Did you know that mindfulness can help us to become more directly aware of our own personal and immediate experience whilst communicating with somebody else? This is in fact, an essential step before we can fully open to another and communicate effectively. The awareness of what happens within ourselves supports our ability to turn towards and be with whatever arises in this shared experience: in a mindful manner.

Communication is astonishing. The speaker`s emotions or thoughts become sound-language that touches our hearts-mind.  We then interpret that sound-language with our thoughts, emotions, and images in order to understand. Rarely, however, do we observe the conditioned and subjective nature of everyday communication.

To Listen Deeply is to drop mental noise, to Pause and enter the receptivity of Relax. We open the senses, heart and mind to receive the moment, words, emotions, and energies of our co-meditators fully. Listen Deeply has active and respective aspects. In active listening, we absorb details and seek understanding. The receptive aspects emphasize stability and sensitivity of awareness. We are calm, vigilant, non-grasping. Such delicate inward listening enables receptive listening. Thus, Listen Deeply teaches us to discern impermanence all sounds; this is wisdom. It also teaches us to discern the pains and joys of shared human experiences; this is compassion.

As we practice, we use all these approaches. They are meant to help us accept our humanity with humility and loving kindness.

The important things are:

  • Making a genuine connection with the other person
  • Meeting the other person as a fellow human being, where both agree to an exploration; not knowing where the journey is going but remaining open to the direct experience you are having together at this present moment
  • Not trying to “fix” anything but instead empowering each other to find own insights

Mindful communication can be learned, but definitely, needs to be practiced!


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