In the past month, I had the opportunity to teach multiple groups of people. It included a variety of backgrounds and communities. What fascinates me is that the more I teach, the less I know. It reminds me that we will never know everything. There are always new experiences people go through, and I am coming in contact with that brings new awareness.
We can't even comprehend the complexity of this earth, including nature, technology, our solar system, and let alone the whole universe, not to exclude our human body and its experiences. With this information, I am starting to realize the density mindfulness entails. It's not only a part of what we do and are through our daily lives. It's everything our body and mind go through, take in, and are exposed to, making it even more significant to practice our presence and become aware of our actions.
As I connect with different groups and discuss the same subject of mindfulness, the beauty of being human becomes stronger and stronger. With each conversation and exchange, I notice that presence is the absolute non-negotiable. When presence becomes our practice, our life isn't a by-product anymore. It's the main thing that makes us be here and alive because we begin to see the beauty within and around us without much effort.
Where do we start? That is a tricky question because if we aren't aware of our doing, then how can we become present in the first place? My starting point is right here while we are reading this. Are we actually here reading this and thinking about what we are reading, or is this sentence, paragraph, or post letting us think about something else?
We start here. Can we notice where our thoughts are? Are we able to stay with what is happening here in this body? Maybe there may be a sense of rush, push, or another sensation that asks us to take action or even a non-action toward something else. Now, some relevant questions remain: will we stay with what we are doing even if the sensations we notice aren't approving it? Or are we going to switch so we satisfy our sensations? Becoming an interrogator of our internal conversation is the beginning. That is when presence shows its incredible facets.
And once we put this post aside, how long can we be aware of what is happening in the present moment? That's where the practice of presence continues to check in as often as we can remember if we are still present. It might take a few trials, months, years, and possibly even our lifetime until we create an automated reminder in our brain to keep checking if we are present. It's a practice that will rewire our brains to notice sooner that we got sidetracked.
Our digital devices are the greatest distracter or attention grabber, though if we are honest, it's not the device itself. At the end of the day, it's us who is the greatest distracter because we are the ones who allow it to happen. So, unless we practice presence and are aware of what we are doing and why can we start to enjoy what life has to offer, especially in the places we have yet to look, which is here in the present.