As the New Year has turned and 2012 is upon us many wait in anticipation for what this much discussed year will bring. Looking forward into our diaries how many of you out there are already wondering where you want to be for the 21st Dec 2012? For those of you slightly in the dark this is the predicted date of great global change according to the ancient Mayan calendar. (A good book to read on that is ‘Fractal Time’ by Gregg Braden.)
Having just come back from three wonderful months in India where I hosted our Dalai Lama tour, I reported for duty at a training company where I teach from time to time in London. It wasn’t long before I was reminded of that fact that here in the West we are in such a rush, constantly trying to create a better future for ourselves that we actually missing out big time on the here and now. I was greeted at the door by my training colleague who cut our catch up conversation short mid way in order to check her emails! Now before I went on my nice long break where I had many wonderful teachings by the Dalai Lama, I too would have behaved in exactly the same way but in that moment it felt so wrong. We are neglecting the people we love, the pets who adore us and the very spirit of who we truly are by trying to run headstrong into a ‘positive’ future.
One of the biggest teachings in Buddhist philosophy is present moment awareness. Being aware of being aware. Hearing the birds outside our window, feeling the breeze on our face as we cross that bridge, remembering to smile and say thank you to the shopkeeper. And I think most importantly of all being grateful that in this very moment we are alive. So what are we doing with this moment? Surely if we can reign in our mind from that future or past it is so hell bent on chasing we can relax more and become much more effective at what we are currently doing. For example if I need to write an article for publishing that will help drive future business yet I am sitting there mainly worried about the future business not happening chances are my article will be lacking in vibrancy. However if I can let go of the worries, sit there and really be with my work, throw all my mental resources and capabilities at it, then the experience for the readers will be much more improved. Along with the likelihood of future business!
It all sounds so simple doesn’t it? Yet one thing I have noticed about the Dalai Lama when he is teaching is he repeats himself over and over and over. And we all sit there listening again and again and again. Why? Because taming the mind takes time. It is one step at a time. One moment at a time. So rather than making a resolution for the year, I reach out and challenge you to make a resolution for the moment…this moment right now… and that is to really experience it! Come back into the room and breathe.