Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Resisting the moment by clinging to speed

Modern people take pride in how quickly they do things, or how many things they do at once. How fast can you eat, talk, work, read, build, how little can you sleep, how long can you work without a break? Faster, bigger, longer, rest is a sign of weakness- that is what society tell us.

Even some yoga styles emphasize constant movement and no stillness. We resist the peace within us but distracting ourselves with constant movement, constant thinking, constant tension. We are seldom actually present in the moment. Our patience and attention spans are shrinking.

What is the point of living like its a race to death? We rush our kids to grow up fast, then lament that they grew up too fast. We even get streesed on our vacations, and have to fill every moment of that time as well. We forget that the point of all that doing is to have time and space to relax and just be.

We get so used to the stress and adrenaline of rushing that we are addicted to it, habituated to fast-paced living. Isn't that a god thing? Not if it sacrifices quality of life- health, peace and quality time with loved ones! We even rush through relaxing, we stare at televisions that are jumping from one thing to the next constantly, we zone out instead of tuning in to the peace available only in the present moment. We can eat very fast, but if we don't taste our food and end up eating too much, if we don't chew well enough and it results in gastric upset, then what time did we save, what good was it?

Practicing mindfulness is a very important remedy to mediate this negative habit. Just by tuning in, bringing the mind and body to the same place at the same time, we begin the process of slowing down. We aren't weaker, dumber or lesser by slowing down- we become deeper, more awake, more fully conscious. We tune into a deeper level of awareness, and detect a whole different layer of meaning and information in each moment. Slowing down is savoring life, experiencing each moment expertly and with optimal attention to really get every bit of bliss and peace possible. Otherwise we'd be likely to ignore the value of most moments and dismiss them as less meaningful. In this way, so many people just disregard and throw away their life.

Slowing down by becoming mindful is like a boycott of disatisfaction in life. It is a way of honoring the inherent value of each moment and thus finding bliss and peace within it. When we have bliss and peace, there is not much left to seek. This is an invitation to stop rushing, stop resisting and just be fully alive.


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