As I upload some new meditation CDs to my iTunes, it occurred to me that life is a string of moments. I have thought of these moments as “the knife’s edge” of time, each moment slipping away as soon as it arrives, just as do grains of sand under the foot when the tide washes in and out at the seashore’s edge. Maybe a more helpful image than the razor’s edge is a string of infinitesimally small pearls, strung on invisible string, slipping one after another through the fingers, almost like an infinite Mala bead string. Staying present to each pearl of time is to string together a life that grows increasingly rich, through staying present. It is the staying present part that imparts the richness, because then, accepting each moment as it comes, and absorbing all it has to offer, gives us the fullest experience we can achieve. Maybe this is the crux of the meaning behind the yogic concept of “no mind”, as opposed to the so-called “monkey mind”, which hops between present, future and past, planning, regretting, savoring past events, anticipating the future.
OK, so I have just described three images that one could use to describe the super abstract concept of staying in the moment. When I go to my mat for my own personal practice, I stay present by letting the sounds of my breath fill my consciousness. That, too, is a way to stay present without inviting in monkey mind. My breath is part of the moment by moment experience of asana practice, letting me develop a “one point” mind. I try to carry that focus with me throughout my day. What images do you use to help you focus during asana practice? How do you stay away from “monkey mind”?
Namasté, y’all, and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!