“Don’t you go staring out into space now……..Do something!! Ride your bike, do some sewing, play with the cat, do some drawing, play the piano…….” My mother’s words stay in my head even today. “DO something!” These words came towards me as a child on a number of occasions as my little head drifted off out the window and just sat gazing into space. Kids know how to do this innnately. Teachers berate them for just gazing out the window into the nothing. Their attention is constantly brought back to the DOING of the moment. “Idle behaviour” is not to be tolerated. We live in a world riddled with the imbalance of DOING. We have a DOING epidemic.
What are the kids up to when they are just staring into the void? They are exhibiting a beautiful undervalued trait called BEING. Ah, beautiful BEING. Being is so blissfully simple and natural as a child and a state that meditators attempt to access across months and years. OK, so what is BEING? It is experiencing the moment intensely. Simply experiencing oneself. A type of letting go. Allowing whatever is going on around you to just flow. Sitting in nature can entice us towards this state. The bush and beach with their lulling noises of bird song, swaying trees, swishing surf and cawing sea gulls. They are hypnotic. You know what I mean. Remember how it feels to sink your feet into a lush patch of spongy grass or grainy sand. Oh heaven! If we spent time being, then we would feel far less tired, far more creative and spontaneous and far more connected to life.
So much of our time is past and future orientated. If we are to physically sit in stillness for a while our mind is usually too busy, dissecting the past and planning the future to find our BEINGNESS. How often do you find yourself doing one of the following; reliving some beautiful moment from the past and sitting with that feeling. It’s like a rewind / play setting…… Or agonising over a fight with a lover or friend or analysing a poor decision at work, or how you feel hurt by some-one’s behaviour. All past moments. Or are you more centred in the imaginings of the future? Is there a rampant planner in there that goes into over drive. A dreamer who likes to fantasize about the next romantic encounter or the next fabulous holiday / retirement? Do you even have an awareness of where your consciousness is predominantly centred? The mind is a fabulous tool if it is used correctly, but it often drags us away from the beauty of the moment. It is missing the moment in anticipation of an imagined future or remembrance of the past.
If we start to play with becoming the witness of ourselves then there is far more chance of re-entering that beautiful state of BEING. What does this mean; ‘the witness?’ OK. What part of you is reading this right now? Are you hurrying because there is some other DOING beckoning you in the next few minutes? Are you really relaxing and soaking up the messages here. Being reflective? Is the critic reading this and deciding you already know this and don’t need a refresher? Is there an awareness of how you are engaging in the reading of this material? Is it joyful? Mundane? Interesting? Boring? Where are you? The witness part of you, holds a constant awareness of your immediate environment and what you are being in that.
If there is a spark of interest in developing the Watcher within you can start out by creating some little checkpoints through the day. Meal times are good because they are generally spread evenly throughout the day. As you prepare your meal or snack, watch where the mind is going? Are you centred in the moment in preparing your food? Just watching the knife slice through the apple and marvelling at whether the texture is floury or crisp; smelling the freshness of the fruit. Perhaps your mind is telling you about getting ready for the meeting at work this afternoon, or picking up kids on time from school after your appointments? Can you just bring the mind back to the moment with the apple. Nothing more than the apple? Appreciation for the nourishment and the taste. The effect on the cells of your body in taking it in? Thankfulness for the farmers who took time to plant, water, nurture, pick and pack? It’s colour and texture. You are BEING in the moment now.
This will change your experience of the world. It will become rich and vibrant.