Wherever you are reading this, it’s your experiment in this moment.
“Are you here?” Are you really here in this room? I don’t mean your body here, because that is obviously the case. But are you here? Do you feel that you are here in the room? Are you aware of being present here, and of your actual experience in this moment?
Or are you lost in thoughts, fantasies, plans, emotional reactions? Are you here, or are you busy liking and disliking? Are you here, or are you busy judging yourself and everyone else?
Are you here now, or are you trying to be here, making a token effort because this is what we are talking about? When you hear the question, “Are you here?” it’s not important in answering that you try to be good or correct. It’s important only to sincerely explore for yourself - are you here or not?
Are you in your body or oblivious, or only aware of parts of it? When I say, “Are you in your body?” I mean, “Are you completely filling your body?”
I want to know whether you are in your feet, or just have feet. Do you live in them, or are they just things you use when you walk?
Are you in your belly, or do you just know vaguely that you have a belly? Or is it just for food? Are you present in your cells, inhabiting and filling your body?
If you aren’t in your body, what significance is there in your experience of this moment?
Are you preparing so you can be here in the future? Are you setting up conditions by saying to yourself, “When such and such happens, I’ll have time, I’ll be here”? If you are not here, what are you saving yourself for?
Regardless of the stories you tell yourself, at this moment, this very moment, there is only this moment, here, now. Nothing else exists. For your direct experience, only the here and now is relevant. Only now is real.
Regardless of the ideas about past and future that dominate your experience, right at this moment only this moment exists, and only this moment has any significance for you.
Whatever is happening at this moment, that is your life.
~ Excerpt from "Are You Here?" by A.A.Almaas. Ordinary Magic, Everyday Life as Everyday Spiritual Path (1992). Ed. John Welwood.
Feel the weight of your body as you sit. Your body is in relationship to all things, to what you sit on, to the air that meets your skin.
What is the first thing you notice about your body?
Each time you notice something, don’t shift or adjust. Don’t change it. If I notice my posture is folded.. pause. Feel into it. Where is the tension? Where is my energy? What else is here?
Only after I attend to this, notice this, do I shift or adjust.
If I notice tension in my jaw, pause and feel it. Ask it a question – Why are you here?
Ask lots of questions with no thought to the answer. Trust any thoughts or feelings that arise in you without analysis.
Only then, relax the jaw.
Usually, when we bring attention to the body we move ourselves quickly into where we want to be, or ‘should’ be. Listen first. This is where you found yourself.
What is your everyday communicating?
Here’s the flow again:
Notice – Are you here? What does it feel like?
Don’t move or shift from where you are. Allow the body it's voice. Let it show you what’s happening.
Direct any questions to yourself and keep a blank screen for any responses; images, thoughts and feelings.
Only then adjust.
If you do adjust, i.e, your posture, release the tension etc, notice what you move into, and how it feels.
This simple practice can be used throughout the day. When you usually leave your desk to get tea or coffee. Before you stand, pause. Notice what is happening. Bring presence to all of you. Attend to any and all sensations.
Where is my energy coming from?
Where is my tension?
What am I not aware of?
Pause and sense it before you change anything.
When we give things a voice, they shift in far deeper ways than is possible by us merely ‘correcting’ the thought or position we believe we ‘should’ be.
Give all information due credit. In reading our our body we can access deeper understanding and transform with more ease. We can uncover exactly what’s needed and why it is so. This is one simple way of befriending our incredible body.
~ Haaweatea Holly Bryson