Be Inspired: The Principle of Present Moment Awareness
Friday, January 19, 2007
“The past is history.
The future is a mystery.
This moment is a gift.
That is why this moment is called the present.
So enjoy it”
The principle of Present Moment Awareness simply means to become more powerful and effective with whatever we do in our life by focussing all our energy into that moment. Anthony Robbins, one of the world’s top motivational speakers says, “Controlled focus is like a laser beam that can cut through anything that seems to be stopping you.” The idea is simple: Harness the massive power of human mind effectively. It is the power of our concentration, which makes us great. All great men and women mastered the power of concentration to become effective in their field. Their devotion and cent per cent commitment made them great. To achieve ‘Controlled focus’ we have to discipline our mind through constant practice.
Just stop reading for a moment, close your eyes, and imagine what would happen to your life if you did every little thing effectively. Please think about it deeply, for a moment. And this can only happen when we decide to focus all our attention to the present. We can then become highly effective and we will experience our unbounded self. By ‘Unbounded self’, I mean the massive power that is hiding inside all of us. It is the ‘Prana’ or the life force energy, which governs everything in this Universe.
Now let us do a simple exercise to reinforce our understanding of the present moment awareness and experience the ‘Power of Now’. You are doing something now, isn’t it? You are reading this article. Watch your mind for a moment and see if are 100% focussed. Are you thinking about any other thing while reading this article? If you are, then your mind is not 100% focussed on reading this article; obviously, it is wandering somewhere else. Now our duty would be to stop the ‘wanderer’ and consciously bring it back to this moment, remember you have to use your mind to do that. Isn’t it interesting?
In other words, you will use your mind to gain control of your mind. Do not worry if you find it little confusing at the beginning. It will become clear to you as you practise it regularly and you can apply this technique throughout the day. If you commit yourself in applying this principle, you will notice a massive positive change in your life within a short time. This concept is simple but immensely powerful.
Remember human mind is extremely powerful and it loves wandering. It has a natural tendency to run wild if we do not hold the reins properly. According to the Vedas - Veda is the powerhouse of knowledge that evolved in India for more than 5000 years - if you want to gain control of your life and create your own destiny; the first step is to watch your mind.
So, what happens when you watch your mind? An instant evolution takes place. You see and experience it for yourself how your mind behaves and reacts to various events in life. What happens when we know how our mind behaves? When we know how our mind behaves, we are in a better position to manage and control our mind.
When we carefully watch our mind, we also realise that most of the time we unconsciously allow our mind to wander. When we do not control our mind, it does whatever it wants. It takes full control of our body and our soul, and therefore controls our actions. And if we allow our mind to become the king, it soon becomes unruly, and in the long run, we suffer from the adverse effects. We know from scientific research as well as our personal experiences that thoughts and feelings have a direct affect on our body. So, if we manage our thoughts and feelings effectively it will have a massive impact on the quality of our lives.
A human being is the sum total of mind, body and the soul.
Human being = Mind + Body + Soul.
The ‘Soul’ or the ‘Self’ is the real master of the other two parts that is mind and the body. When we allow our mind to run wild like a mad elephant, the Soul or the Self-loses it’s supreme glory, and the result is suffering or pain. But if we can gain control of our mind, we can use this powerful tool to achieve whatever we want in life.
So, the idea is to use the power of the mind to tame the mind. And this can only happen through constant practice. Raja Yoga provides sophisticated tools and techniques to manage and control our mind. Yoga simply means balance that is balancing the mind, body, and the soul and reaching an equilibrium state. I have found that ‘Hatha Yoga’ or the physical yoga exercise is more popular in the West. But Raja Yoga, which deals with the management and control of the mind, has often been sidelined.
In this programme, I will introduce you to various tools and techniques from Raja Yoga that will help you to gain total control of your life and unleash the massive inner power that is hidden inside each individual. We will learn how to increase our energy, which is vital for performing at a peak level.
So, when you consciously watch your mind, you will notice an interesting fact that most of the time we live in the past or in the future. And both the states i.e. past and the future do not exist. This means we may be doing something in the present but we are not fully present in that moment. We either think about something, which has happened in the past, or we think about something, which might happen in the future. We lose and waste much energy by doing that. We have to keep in mind that thoughts are nothing but energy. Our thought consumes a huge amount of energy.
All great discoveries and inventions such as steam engine, light bulb, aeroplanes, rockets, and space ships, computing technologies were only a thought in somebody’s mind at a point in time. So, thoughts decide our destiny, and a thought consumes a huge amount of energy. We know from our experience that when we do mental work, we spend energy, and that is the reason we become tired that is our energy level decreases. Proper management of our energy is the key to effectiveness.
We know that we cannot become effective if we are not 100% focussed in the present. Can we? Just imagine that you have gone to an important meeting. What would happen if your level of presence and commitment were 50% that is the other 50% of your mind is somewhere else? Will you be able to give your best and perform convincingly? Will you succeed? These questions apply to every event in your life. If you ask these questions in whatever you do, you will experience the massive universal power of the present moment.
Present moment awareness is a powerful self-evident principle and it is universal and timeless. If we want to become an effective person, we have to lead our life according to these natural principles. We need to establish this concept into our conscious awareness and I would like to quote Stephen Covey, the best-selling author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Stephen Covey says, “Principles are like lighthouses. They are natural laws that cannot be broken.” Problems arise in our life when we break the natural laws or principles. Cecil B. deMille says, “It is impossible for us to break the law. We can only break ourselves against the law.”
Yes, it is hard, it needs commitment, and we need a continuous programme to apply these principles effectively. And we have to pay a price. ‘Paying a price’ is another interesting principle, and I want to say something about it right now. We pay a price for whatever we do in your life. So let’s say if I want to become an effective person I will have to pay a price, and that’s a natural law. If I am not ready to pay a price now to become effective, then I have to prepare myself to pay a price by suffering later. So, we have a choice? Isn’t it? We have to decide which is right for us.
How to practise Present Moment Awareness?
Now we will look at few simple but powerful techniques to practise and apply this principle in our lives.
(1) Watch your mind when you are doing something and observe carefully whether it is deviating from the right path. If you notice that it is wandering use your mind consciously to bring it back to the right track, use it like a steering wheel of your car. Our mind is only a tool, which is directed by its master i.e. our Soul.
(2) Practise it regularly. It does not happen in an instant so you have to be patient and diligently apply it. The more you apply the better you will get.
(3) An easy way is to talk to yourself and remind your mind what you are doing at each moment. Let me tell you what I do, and these examples will help you to make a good start. I would suggest that you begin your practise with the simple ones, and then you can add more to your list.
(a) For example, when I am taking a shower, I say to myself, ‘I am enjoying the water falling on my body and I consciously experience every little sensation’. Believe me it is amazing. You can try it yourself and see how you feel.
(b) I will give you another example. When I walk down the stairs, I just say to myself, ‘Now I am walking down the stairs, I am right here, and I consciously experience it with my mind’. I say to myself, ‘I am enjoying every moment’.
(c) Another example, when I am eating I remind myself of that moment; I focus only on eating, and enjoy and relish every moment. I ward off any other thought. Try this yourself and share your experience with everyone.
(4) Proper breathing is vital for leading a good life. Make sure that you breathe properly, and you watch your breathing patterns. Do you inhale and exhale properly? When you concentrate in your breathing you will gain great benefits and it will also help you to focus your attention to the present moment. I would tell you more about effective breathing practises for creating high-energy level in another article soon.
I would like to end by saying that when you practise and apply these principles, please do not expect results overnight. Give yourself enough time so that you can form the right habit. This article is only an introduction to thought control and management. In coming weeks, we will focus more, and go into depths to gain an understanding of this area. Take care of yourself and may God bless you.
posted by Debojit Chowdhury @ 3:08 PM,
- At January 21, 2007, Dr Michelle Tempest said...
Thanks for this - it is always good to be reminded of the power of the present.
- At January 21, 2007, Debojit Chowdhury said...
Thank you Michelle for the lovely comment. God bless
- At February 15, 2007, Pearl said...