Welcome, Spiritual Warrior, to another edition of The Source in which we explore what happens when we find ourselves at a crossroads.
It never fails. Life tosses you a curveball; throws off your mojo; lays difficult decisions at your feet. And, we find ourselves at a crossroads feeling confused and overwhelmed about what we really want.
We don’t acknowledge that so much of what we want is already inside. All we have to do is awaken what already rests within. For the process to work, we need to come from a place of stillness and silence – which allows us to be less conditioned in our assessments, and less knee-jerk in our reactions. If we can come from this space – with greater regularity & consistency – we will make decisions LESS out of fear and desperation.
We all have experienced making a choice out of fear, poverty consciousness, desperation, or constricted less-than thinking. Rarely is the outcome what we envisioned. In fact, most likely, you will feel even more confused or overwhelmed because after the dust settles, you will not have what you really, really want.
For thousands of years, the ancient oracles, shamans, sages, and seers practiced and ultimately mastered the Sacred Power of Presence in their lives. And although it’s not very complicated, in our modern world where mindfulness and meditation are readily available to all, most people still have not cultivated a present-moment technique that they engage in every day.
The ancient Chinese sage Lao-tzu is known for this powerful set of teachings, which reinforce the Sacred Power of Presence:
Do you have the patience to wait
until your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
till the right action arises by itself?
The Master doesn’t seek fulfillment:
but not seeking, not expecting,
is fully present,
and can welcome all things.
As the swirl of life sweeps through you each day, allow these three powerful stanzas to become an ongoing contemplation. Gently rippling them through your thoughts will help you gain clarity, cultivate patience, and trust in the moment.
The ancient masters of meditation didn’t use apps or spa music to connect them to the present moment. They embraced the Divine Principle of One so purely, building their lives around daily present-moment practices, that they were able to effortlessly awaken the Sacred Power of Presence.
They infused their whole day into their present moments as opposed to inserting occasional presence into moments of their day. Buddha did not try to “squeeze” a meditation in between meetings, and the Bible is filled with references to Jesus praying throughout the day as part of his sacred devotion.
Cultivating a daily present-moment practice is much easier than you may think. And if we can accept the excuses of “no time” or “too busy” for exactly what they are—excuses (and lame ones at that)—then we can begin to integrate presence into our life and create a magnificent fusion of a fully present existence.
We know you weren’t too busy to send that text, “Thinking of you and sending love,” but if you did make some kind of excuse, stop reading now, and make sending that text your present-moment activity!
At first, “finding the time” to practice presence may feel like a chore, but this is the natural progression we all go through on our journey to stillness. The easiest way to connect with the flow more effortlessly is to practice throughout the day while you’re stuck in traffic, standing in a line, sitting in the bathroom, attending a meeting, or even taking a shower.
You can start out with an easy technique that requires no equipment called “16 seconds.” I’ve taught it to more than 200,000 people around the world, and it’s based on the ancient technique of mindful breathing popularized by the Buddha 2,600 years ago.
Start with a long, slow, deep inhale through your nose, and watch your breath slowly move into you and follow it down deep into your belly; then hold the breath in and witness it as it sits in your belly. Release your breath, and observe it as it moves back up, through you, and out of your nostrils. As you continue to exhale, watch your breath as you continue releasing it out, and observing it the whole time as it dissipates into the air. In. Hold. Out. Hold. Witnessing the whole time as you move through this simple four-part breathing technique. Each component takes about 4 seconds, with the whole experience lasting 16 seconds. You can approximate your time by counting along the way, or simply surrender to the process and see where it leads you. Sixteen seconds is all it takes to practice presence. And you can gently increase your presence practice to a minute by doing it 4 times, or to five minutes by doing it 20 times.
This time-tested process will instantly infuse all the conversations in your head with a tiny bit of stillness. The resulting newfound clarity in your mind will then start to subliminally pervade your choice making as your laser focus guides you in ways you never thought were possible.
This concentrated light of single-mindedness cuts through the fog of indecision, pierces the veils of confusion, and brings an instant settling down of emotions that would otherwise succumb to melodrama. Your tranquil inner dialogue evolves into a calmer and more composed outer dialogue.
The swirl around you slows, creating an inviting aura of tranquility that others appreciate participating in. And as all of your interactions start to proceed at a slower speed, you receive information more clearly, process it more objectively, and speak with greater poise and purpose.
Keep meditating, and i’ll see you in the GAP! Namaste. -davidji