Have you ever pondered how strange it is that we fill up our lives with much to do? We are called human beings, not human doings, yet how rare do we get a chance to just Be. From the moment we open our eyes in the morning, our brains swing into action, we dive straight into our routine, ticking things off our list one after the other until night falls and we allow ourselves to rest once more. Only to continue the same cycle the next day — and the next — barely noticing that life is passing us by in a swirl of activity and ambition and “what’s next?” Until one day we find ourselves old and our best years behind us.
Do you ever wonder about the things you have missed — if only you were not so distracted? How often do you take a pause? Not a pause to gather your wits for the next thing, but a concerted effort to put aside the thoughts that cloud your mind and fully embody the vessel that holds you in this physical space. A pause to cultivate awareness.
The present moment is a gift. To fully inhabit the here and now is a hard-earned ability that many of us seem to have forgotten, what with our daily preoccupations, the things we need to attend to, our monkey minds jumping from one thought to another. If we are to inhabit the present moment and live a full and satisfying life, it is of paramount importance that we understand how our mind works. Most of us live with some measure of anxiety or permanent worry as a response to the conditions created by our modern society. These fears mostly do not correspond to a real danger that we face in the present moment, but to situations that we dread taking place in the future. We may also find mental distraction from an inability to move on from past events, which carry residual emotions that can weigh us down with guilt, resentment or regret. These fixations undermine the quality of our present moment and steal our peace.
Carrying these fears and regrets on our shoulders, indulging the recurrent cycles of worry, anxiety, tension and intense emotion — these patterns can really take a toll on our physical health when they manifest as dis-ease in the body. When these automatic and repetitive thoughts are activated, we lose not only our sense of empowerment and self-confidence, but also a large part of our energy is spent unproductively. We must learn that we can only change what is happening in the present. Everything else is an imaginary projection about the future or a despondence about the past that weakens our ability to act right now.
Through the practice of mindfulness we can become more aware of why our minds are distracted and how we can release these unproductive fixations. Originally a Buddhist concept, mindfulness has been co-opted by contemporary psychotherapy in an approach that complements cognitive behavioural therapy for patients who experience major depressive disorder. Mindfulness can alter one’s relations to thoughts, such that they are less likely to influence problematic feelings and behaviours. Meditation is central to the practice of mindfulness, which presents a powerful tool to interrupt the automatic processes that often trigger low moods and depression. Additionally, meditation paves the way to self-inquiry, allowing us to understand ourselves better, to learn what we’re capable of and to reclaim our full potential. Aside from improving our emotional well-being, meditation can improve skills such as attention span, concentration and memory, as well as helping to develop emotional intelligence and improving interpersonal relationships, promoting creativity, decision-making skills and the ability to acquire new perspectives. Meditation ultimately is a discipline that can help us deconstruct the obstacles that take us away from being fully in the here and now.
Through meditation we can cultivate an understanding of the mind based on experience. This goes beyond mere intellectual knowledge; it is a different quality of knowledge that can only be acquired through practical application. We can train ourselves to observe our automatic behaviours, move past them, and become objective observers of our thoughts, emotions and physical sensations without feeling attachment or passing judgment. We allow anything that emerges simply to be acknowledged and then released, such that it does not obstruct our awareness of, and connection to, the present moment. Buddhism claims this is our natural state; it is a profound yet simple state of being that must be experienced to be understood.
When the unnecessary thoughts and emotions we carry have dissolved into the ether, what remains is space to accept life as it comes without mental judgment — space for both joy and suffering as innate qualities of our mortal experience. What emerges next is simply compassion and love for the beings that journey with us in this experience called Life. Being present is being connected to all things. We are all one.
When was the last time you spent the whole day receiving love from people holding your Space?
We invite you to join Suraya as she welcome YOU into the present moment with some of the most Restorative and Therapeutic ways to ease an active sympathetic nervous system. Suraya has dedicated her practice to various paths of healing, wellness and tranquility. She believes that the combination of the healing frequencies from the sound of the therapeutic musical instruments, restorative effect of yin yoga, stillness for the nature around and the feeling of being in a community can help you to relax and center yourself back within a safe mode of existence.
Book your spot here!
Self-love is something all human beings are worthy of and we hope to see you in our retreat! Price includes goodie bag, yoga and meditation props, refreshments and sessions with facilitators.
Written by Izzy Liyana, content creator & writer for HOA