The Moment You Notice
“Meditation is becoming completely one with your world” – Unknown
I started the day yesterday with 15 things on my list of things to do. This included responding to emails, working on a presentation, being uptown for a meeting, helping my dad with business stuff, meeting a friend downtown, and then being back near my house for a yoga teacher training class at the YMCA; we were going to have a test on Anatomy, which I wasn’t ready for.
I woke up, hopped out of bed, and went into the bathroom to take a shower and quickly get ready.
I was set to take on the day.
As I was in the shower, I noticed that my mind was buzzing; I was thinking about the things I had to do and the ways I would approach them. I felt tension in my muscles, an uptightness to my breath, and a nervous energy in my chest.
Then, almost as if by chance, I remembered a conversation I had had recently with a friend about what time really is. We spoke about how both of us, and so many others around us, seemed to be constantly rushing through their days trying to beat the traffic, cross off things from their to-do lists, and living life at a frantic pace; all because they were racing against time.
So, what is time?
If you think about it, physics tells us that time is relative. The current time in Toronto, is different from the current time in San Francisco, Rome, and every other place in the world. This notion of time that we have established as a society, is simply to help economies run smoothly. But if you think of how that time was established in the first place, things get interesting. To do so, we need to zoom out and see the big picture.
The time on Earth is simply how much time has gone by since the beginning of one rotation of the earth along its axis from the Prime Meridian in Greenwich, England. All time zones in the world are then just set relative to this. The time of year, is simply how much time has gone by in the Earth’s rotation around the sun. But what about after that? What is our solar system rotating around, if anything? What is our galaxy rotating around, if anything?
When I take my thinking to the level of the universe, I realize that everything is just flowing in its natural progression and that time is just relative. This reminds me that this notion of time that we humans have created in order to understand how the Earth, Solar System, and universe work, is simply an anthropocentric version of time. I believe that although it might help us operate our societies and economies, this version of time which often speeds up our lives and makes us live at a frantic pace, takes us away from the most important unit of time we all have – the moment.
What if time is actually about momentology? What if we viewed time and our lives as only about having beautiful, rich, and meaningful moments; one, after the other, after the other.
Practicing mindfulness for me means mind-sitting; noticing where my mind is at any given moment, and bring it back to the present. Through this practice, I return to the moment’s true nature, and away from my mind’s chatter or skewed paintings of reality. I return to what my friend and naturopathic doctor, Mami, refers to as “savouring the deliciousness of life”.
While having a shower yesterday, after these thoughts crossed the screen of my mind, I took a deep breath in and out, and returned to the moment. I ignored my mind, and practiced mindfulness in the shower. I began watching the artistic flow of water down the tiles, and smiled at the droplets of water resisting the pull of gravity as long as possible by clinging to the side walls of the shower. Feeling the warmth of the water wrap around my body, and the water pressure from the shower head massaging gently my muscles, the tension in my body began to ease. I lowered my shoulders, slowed my breath, and the anxiety I had for my busy day simply melted away.
This week, how can you practice mindfulness and return to the moment?
Maybe you can practice while in the shower, while doing exercise, or perhaps, while spending time in nature or catching a sunset. Notice how it feels when you connect to the moment and feel grateful for it. Notice what exists all around you when you stop the flow of your mind.