During the month of February, challenge yourself to participate in MMC’s 28-day meditation program. It’s simple: Commit to meditating each day and connect online to share experiences – pleasant, difficult or otherwise. We will follow the meditation program outlined in Sharon Salzberg’s book, “Real Happiness.” This blog will be your guide, including links to helpful Web sites and guided meditations. Meditation can help with overall wellness, pain, stress, anxiety, sleep and concentration. This is your opportunity to start a new practice to enhance your wellbeing or to continue your practice in the company of your fellow Griffins.

Sign up with the form below and to the right and check back here often.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

What's the big deal about this moment?

We spend our time in meditation practice being present in this moment ... and this moment ... and this moment. Catching ourselves when we've strayed into planning and fantasizing and rehearsing the future or longing for or regretting or reliving the past. And we bring ourselves back, again and again to our experience in just this  moment.

So, what's the big deal? Why is this important to do?

During this past week, the value of being grounded in the present and fully aware of my experience in each moment has been driven home.

 I'm caught up in a debate within a volunteer group I'm part of, and I can't seem to drop thinking about it, not even long enough to think about and attend to other really important aspects of my life. I have found myself almost obsessively rehearsing the future and reliving the past.

And how has that strategy benefited me? Well, I'm tense, my muscles hurt, I'm unhappy, I've said things I regret, I'm not enjoying gifts like snow days. So, how has this benefited me? Um ...not! It certainly hasn't turned the debate in my direction. Only I am suffering.

And what happens if I come back to the present moment? My awareness opens up. It's like pulling the camera back from macro zoom focus to panorama focus, and I can see a much larger picture. This brings a sense of calm and clarity. The tension and sense of urgency and clutching onto my position and my point of view can drop away. I still might not win the debate, but if I don't, I'll be able to accept that.

Here's a quote from Jon Kabat-Zinn, a significant writer and teacher of mindfulness meditation:

... there is nothing particularly unusual or mystical about meditating or being mindful. All it involves is paying attention to your experience from moment to moment. This leads directly to new ways of seeing and being in your life because the present moment, whenever it is recognized and honored, reveals a very special, indeed magical power: it is the only time that any of us ever has. The present is the only time that we have to know anything. It is the only time we have to perceive, to learn, to act, to change, to heal. 

How is your meditation practice going? What have you noticed? Please feel free to share ...

May you be happy!

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