Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day. ―A.A. Milne
Welcome to this week’s edition of The Source in which we explore how powerful the practice of present moment awareness is in cultivating patience.
The ancient Chinese sage, Lao Tzu is known for this powerful set of teachings, which reinforce the Divine Principle of Awareness:
- Do you have the patience to wait till 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.
In my upcoming, new book Sacred Powers, I discuss how patience is a virtue because a person must be able to sustain it in the face of difficulty. You know how challenging it can be to maintain patience when someone is pressuring you; and how difficult it can be to stand in your truth when all around you are pushing you to adopt a contrary belief. [tweet_dis]Patience is a virtue because it needs to be cultivated, nourished, and practiced.[/tweet_dis]
This is where a present moment awareness practice that you can call on throughout the day comes in handy.
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 life 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 presence into 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.
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. And, the easiest way to connect with the flow more effortlessly, is to practice throughout the day – while your sitting in traffic… standing in a line… sitting in the bathroom… attending a meeting… 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 2600 years ago.
Start with a long, slow, deep inhale and,
watch your breath slowly move into you through your nose – down deep into your belly;
then hold the breath in and witness it as it sits in your belly for a bit;
then release your breath and observe it as it moves up, through you, and out of your nostrils;
as you continue to exhale, witness your breath as you continue releasing it out, and watching it the whole time as it dissipates into the air.
Witness your breath the whole time as you move through this simple 4-part technique. Each component takes about 4 seconds, with the whole experience lasting 16 seconds. And 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 four times; or to 5 minutes by doing it 20 times.
This time-tested process will instantly infuse all of the conversations in your mind with a tiny bit of stillness – a little bit of breathing room, patience, and calm.