“How do you practice being in the present moment?"
Rev. Chris Jackson, Senior Minister
Throughout my years of spiritual work, my practices have changed, including the one I use to stay focused on the present moment. There are countless ways to practice being in the present moment. I encourage you to try as many as possible until you find the one that works best for you.
My practice begins every morning with a thirty-minute meditation. I begin by silently repeating the statement “thank you” to myself. After a few minutes, I change the statement to “Here I am,” again repeating it several times, each time allowing myself to become more deeply immersed in the present moment. As distracting thoughts or feelings arise, I try to let them pass along and return to the statement, “Here I am.”
After a few more minutes, I change the statement to, “I am receptive.” I allow myself to relax more completely and see myself receiving whatever the present moment reveals. The present moment always reveals the presence of God, but that presence reveals itself in many different ways. It may be the answer to a pressing question in my life, a direction to follow, an insight or awareness of some kind, or a sense of deep peace.
Next, I change the statement to, “I am willing.” Silently repeating these words to myself, I see myself in total obedience to the will of God, trusting it to live as my life. A few more minutes follow, and I return to the statement, “thank you,” repeating it several times as I conclude the meditation.
This sets the tone for my day, throughout which I take periodic moments to return to these four statements, especially when I am heavily distracted by certain events in my experience.
Rev. Elizabeth Longo, Associate Minister
There are simple practices to be mindful in the present moment. If you are walking, notice your feet. When you are eating bring your full attention to the experience of eating. In today’s world, we tend to multi-task, and perform various tasks while being connected with our smart phones, or any other distraction. Yet, research has found that we definitely are more efficient when we focus on one thing at a time. This is the way we were designed.
From a spiritual perspective being in the “present moment” is really more about practicing a “newness” that is beyond the realm of time and space. It is about being fully aware without much identification with mind. Mind can then relax into its natural state and awareness is more expansive, more aware of itself.
Another way we can practice being in the present moment, is by consciously practicing the “Presence of God.” Then our lives are a prayer, and a celebration to the “allness” of God.
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