How to Both Stay Present and Move Forward
A student asked, “When times of great difficulty visit us, how should we meet them?”
The teacher said, “Welcome.”
Last week we wrote about the importance of staying present during a crisis such as a flat tire. This week, the universe pushed the button labeled “Practice What You Preach” and produced the U.S. election results. It has been a challenging week that has brought strong divisions between people. In these times it is important to remember what brings us all together; to reflect on our shared humanity and our relationship to the earth and all the other beings we share it with.
We must treasure our relationships. We must hold close to one another and support each other in navigating through these challenges. Seek for unifying factors and ways to communicate with each other without increasing conflict. Take a breath. Practice gratefulness. Love is the great unifier.
Seek for unifying factors and ways to communicate with each other without increasing conflict #quote Click To TweetIn our previous blog, we discussed how staying with what is, instead of worrying about what will be, or trying to make what is into something else is the choice that supports peace and balance.
When we stay present, we are more apt to recognize that which is real from that which is not. We can be free from all our stray thoughts, worries and concerns. We experience what is actually happening and can be attending to what is happening with our full selves.
And in challenging times, we need everyone to be able to bring the full force of their presence to the situation. We need each other. We need to be able to function together if we are to have the ability to implement change and to bring peace into living presence.
Seek for mutual solutions. Look toward resolutions that take all parties needs into consideration. Listen to each other. Speak with each other. Be present with each other.
Conflict is NOT inevitable. There is another way.
Phil’s Meditation Practice
My meditations are like peeling an onion.. The outermost layer is thoughts, ideas, what happened yesterday, what my plans are, how I should tackle a problem, oops – I’m not watching my breath. Wash, rinse and repeat.
Once that layer is thinned out, I meet the layer of emotions that have been held at bay by those thoughts. My breathing speeds up and deepens, feelings flood out of me, and I am left with the breath flowing effortlessly in and out of me, and blood surging through my extremities and making me feel very alive.
And underneath these layers is a core of just sitting and watching the breath.
I’m not claiming I reach there in any pure form except on rare occasions; it’s more that the balance of these three layers shifts enough to give me a finger-hold on my center.
This week, I found myself in that still center of acceptance, along with floods of emotions. I’ve thought to myself that, good or bad, this is what happened, this is the political result. This realization is not a passive acceptance, but one that responds to the present reality. I have to find the path that acts with love, acceptance and understanding of everyone involved.
May you also find your center and act from there.