I have a challenge for you.. one which, should you choose to accept it, could potentially transform your life.
Here it is...
For the next 24 hours, I would like you to do the following exercise:
Choose one addictive mind-driven activity that you enjoy; it could be using Facebook, Instagram, perhaps reading articles on the Guardian, the BBC.. maybe even be using Tinder or another dating app.
For the next 24 hours, every time you do any of these activities, I would like you to make note of the time you start and then the time when you have stopped, essentially noting how long you have spent doing it. For instance, if it's facebook you are choosing, you must also include the time you spent reading articles on links you have clicked on, watching videos, chatting with your friends or anything else which is an offshoot of it.
Next, (here comes the fun part) I would like you to commit to meditating for the same amount of time you have spent using this activity, in the same period of 24 hours.
Up for it?
To be clear, the objective of this is not for you to control how much time you spend using facebook, reading the news or chatting with your friends on messenger... In fact, I am quite against the demonising of modern technology.
I am however interested in balance, and the commitment to our path of personal growth.
We begin to find that we have an infinite amount of divine power available to us at any given moment, a power we can use to achieve anything we want, whether financial development, relationships , resolving health issues or anything else.
What disconnects us from this power is, first, the fact that we forgot we had it, and second, the fact that we lose focus on the present moment. And the main way that we lose focus on the present moment is by letting the mind wander to the past and the future.
Our energetic and physical bodies function in the now, allowing them to become gateways to our infinite wisdom.
When we let our awareness float away with the mind, we expend a large amount of energy on things we could do little about, things which are past, and things which haven't even happened yet. Indeed, as Eckhart Tolle explained in his best-selling book the "The power of now" the now is all we have and if we simply focused on that everything would always be fine.
How many of us believe that there just isn't ever enough time? A phenomena which is plaguing our society...
I was quite surprised myself when I moved to a small Mediterranean town, deciding to only work 2-3 hours/day and still found myself feeling like there wasn't enough time!
I realised that this feeling of "lack of time" actually stemmed from my mind and the energy that was wasting on things that were not relating to the present.When we begin to live in the now, through meditative practise, we get into a completely different rhythm, finding ourselves in an abundance of time, floating through life with ease and comfort feeling like we always have more than we ever need. .
So the exercise I mentioned above is simply about noticing how much time we dedicate to activities which are mind-driven, and how quickly time seems to fly away when we do, and how spending the same amount of time in meditation can feel 4-5 times as long!
That is a clear indication of the spaciousness of the present, vs the escapism of the mind.
Being in the now brings more spaciousness in our life and we can begin to truly evolve and expand.
Presence is truly the key to bliss and happiness.
Kick off your path to presence by doing the above-mentioned exercise.
And to give you a bit of help, I have added a short video showing a basic pranayama meditation technique.
Pranayama is a practice which is hugely beneficial for mastering and controlling the breath, therefore allowing us to sharpen our awareness to the present moment.