Simply Here or Hear…

you are here
What can we do when our minds are too frazzled to focus on our breath to even begin to be mindful?

I was so fortunate yesterday to have 50 mins in the car -a perfect time to listen to a podcast from My mind was feeling really scattered and by chance I listened to a talk by Gil Fronsdal, (Zencast 427, July 2013) labelled ‘Here’ that really resonated with me.

Gil shared a simple practice he uses to calm his mind down. He gently repeats ‘here’ to himself, and each time he says this he has a moment to just notice, without judgement, what is happening right now externally and internally. On a really frazzled day this might only last a moment but then you say it again, and what I found really effective is you might say ‘Hear’ for a different focus, what can you hear right now? This is a beautiful mindfulness practice that can be done in a meditation while your mind settles but it can also be done as you drive, sweep, listen to your children, wait in a queue….I tried it this morning and loved it!

What was so powerful in this talk was that Gil insisted that if your mind isn’t calming down as you would like then this is the perfect start to beginning to understand your mind, observe without judgement, where does it wander to? Does it wander to ‘there’ and ‘then’? He really emphasised the need to sit with where you are at – as if you were holding something precious in both hands, just watching it, OR as if you were sitting with your best friend in comfortable silence, just allowing them to be whoever they are in that moment! I found both of these images very powerful in being gentle with myself and just sitting with what is rather than judging myself or chasing a ‘better’ mindful moment or a better meditation!

So I’ll leave you with 2 words to take a moment to sit and reflect on…

‘here’ & ‘hear’

What do you notice?

Cultivating An Attitude of Gratitude

I find that if I can pause and say to myself ‘ I am present, right here, right now’, I can then begin to think of what I am grateful for right now: ‘our health, food, shelter, water, the loving touch of someone, the warmth of a dooner, the view’.  It doesn’t matter what I am grateful for….or if even at the start I’m not feeling grateful … by cultivating the list, my mood shifts…it stops the ‘woe is me’ thinking that I hate to say is often going on in my head and instead pulls me into the present and into a different, more open, more accepting mood of gratitude!  Nothing has changed on the outside….I just feel different about it on the inside!

I have also noticed the whole mood of our family can change just before dinner if we all say one thing we are grateful for before tucking in to our meal.  The kids roll their eyes ‘ not this again!’ but the mood change is palpable…everyone settles, is more connected and more open!  Writing this blog makes me more determined to cultivate the attitude of gratitude in our house!!!

I am present, right here, right now

wombat Tasmania 2014 smallest version

That’s it, that’s all you need to say to anchor you to the present moment…sometimes I need to say it 3 times…but each time I become more aware of where I am, what I’m doing, who is with me, it really helps!

Of course bushwalking and spotting a wombat is ALSO a really good way to be jolted into the present!!