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mikeupnorth
October 26th, 2006, 07:52 AM
Good morning! I am going to be in and out of town over the next several days so I thought I'd jump in and get the discussion started while I had the chance. I'll still be around, but may not have quite as much time to post. I will just be having too much fun! (Sober fun, of course!)

One of the things that I have always found a challenge is living in the present. Even as a teenager I was planning (down to the smallest detail) my move off to college. Now that I look back on it (see, I'm doing it again!) perhaps that is when I developed the habit of avoiding the present. The present I was in at the time was unacceptable to me, so I avoided it by planning my future. I took that to an extreme, and have made it my modus operandi.

Here's the dilemma. I spend my time in one of three ways.
I obsess over the past, either missing the old days, or living with regret. I am biding my time until something "good" comes along in the future.I am so busy that I don't have time to really think.You see, I don't really know what to do with myself -- with my mind -- if I have free time. This is where my mind starts playing tricks on me and I am vulnerable to a drink. That's one thing I used to use a drink for. It quieted my mind, and allowed me to just BE. I could be comfortable -- at least for an hour or two -- and not have to be busy, or planning, or anything else.

I think this is where the AA's and the spiritual gurus are truly onto something. The stuff about "living one day at a time," and "letting go and letting God," trusting in a higher power, laying it at the feet of the cross, practicing Zen mediation, take your pick. It all serves to quiet one's mind and spirit. It lets you just be comfortable in the here and now -- and be comfortable in your own skin.

It's clear this is an area that's difficult for me. I'm curious -- where are you all at with this? What do you find helpful to stay in the here and now?

dilayne
October 26th, 2006, 08:47 AM
Good Morning everyone, and Mike!
The power of the present moment, WOW, Yes! I think it is totally where it's at. Recently I've read Eckhart Tolle's, The Power of Now (and listened to the CDs several times. It has been extremely helpful to me..and incidentally, to my husband, which I think has contributed to the quantum leaps we've made in our own relationship. (see Eckhart Tolle (http://www.eckharttolle.com))

Mike, I also first encountered the concept in AA almost 20 years ago..the truth of it never left me. When I am feeling like I'm 'in' my power, it is always when I'm in the present moment, often only lasting a minute or two. If I'm feeling buggy, it's because I've somehow shifted into fear mode..something has triggered what Eckhart terms the 'pain body'..which then just takes me over..I become unconscious! The same thing happens with physical pain occurs, ironically..especially during the menstral cycles (sorry men, but it's true). Ekhart says that we can use these times to move toward consciousness, not away from it, if we choose.

I've become much better at recognizing the shift in my consciousness from the present to either the past or the future. I can catch myself fairly quickly about 50% of the time. Recently it (I'll call it projection) became very pronounced in my marriage..we've been in this difficult transitional space lately and it's been very obvious to me how my husband was latching on to the future to keep us from being present to what we were dealing with (and of course, I was extremely tempted to go along)..I could feel the 'pull'. This was a weekend getaway that he had planned..for weeks, all I heard him talk about was how fantastic this week would be. It began to feel really uncomfortable whenever he brought it up.

It hit me between the eyes because living in the past or present doesn't always look like pain or fear or worry..sometimes it can be placing too much positive expectation on something outside...the ego will use anything to avoid that present moment because what happens in that present moment is so threatening to our old coping mechanisms..they have to die, and what greater fear is there but to face death?

I have to watch myself right now because I am really feeling better and feeling a breakthrough from the heaviness that I've been carrying for so long..I have to be careful not to cross that line of joy (because joy can be frightening to) and not to move into the future..I'm walking a very thin line these days, so thanks so much for the reminder!

xtexan
October 26th, 2006, 09:22 AM
Greetings and Ante Meridian:

Timely topic here, Mike.

One thing I've been experimenting with in the last few days, is a form of Zen meditation, supercharged by a light/sound machine session.

I was watching that movie, "Little Buddha", where I got the idea, and sort of modified it. Classical forms of meditation, involve a mantra. In the Hindu tradition, this often takes the form of the word "ahm" or "ohm". While watching that movie, "Little Buddha", I saw one of the monks chanting a mantra that had the words "no mind...no time... no self... etc."

So on a whim, I hooked into the mind machine, and set for 45 minute ramp from 12 cycles/second clear down to about 1.5 cycles/second. During the first phase, the chant was something like this, "No body...no heart...no breath...no form", while the ramp took me to about 7 cycles/second, or the beginnings of the theta wave region.

At that point, I changed the chant to "No mind... no thought...no feeling....no awareness", again and again.
This continued until the base at 1.5 cycles/second. At that point, I was effectively body asleep, and mind just barely aware. A very beneficial session, and a very deep restful sleep followed.

Remember, the chant or mantra is a personal choice. The watch words are "whatever works for you". It's true function is to focus the mind on things other than the past or future. Worries and regrets.

Zen mind, is being "in the moment" in totality. There is no past and future, as those really are just constructs of the brains' temporal lobes. The only thing that exists for real, ....is the NOW. But the question arises, "Just how long is the now?" Is it a second long? a half-second? a millionth of a second? Without getting too far into it, the NOW is perhaps not defined by any interval of measured time at all. It is a zero point, and all that is, is concentrated at that point. Einstein and Steven Hawking not withstanding, even at the speed of light, the NOW is the still the NOW.

Just some experimentation, with the infinite. Being in the moment is peaceful, and calm.

Be well.

Neil

southernbelle47
October 26th, 2006, 11:57 AM
Hey Guys!

Good question , Mike...

I think you all know that in 2003 my son was in Iraq. God "spoke" to me and said...."Be still and know that I am God". Ps. 46:10.

This is not something we are used to doing in our hurry scurry world today. I was "removed" by circumstances from everything I had been "busy" with at that time.
He said......know...........The word know is used there as in being in completeness with Him as in marriage with our spouse. To know Him intimately....His deepest nature......His intermost thoughts...A very personal relationship with Him........
The only way for this to happen is the same as with a live human person that you want to get to know. Spend time with them.......talk, cry, share intermost thoughts, and a biggie is to listen.....to actually "hear "what is being communicated to you.
We not only "hear" with our ears but also with our hearts and spirit. If we have unhealed wounds on our heart, we may not "heart" correctly.

Short story long............I have learned that time alone is not really alone.
I don't have to fill every minute with some activity or work ar even "what am I going to think about". My most intimate relationship is with Him. He is always available. He always listens and He always answers....My job is to be available for Him and to "hear" Him speak!

:h you guys! Wow....it takes TWO boards for some of us! :H
Nancy:l

dilayne
October 26th, 2006, 12:59 PM
Beautifully said Nancy...I just sat here thinking...mmmmmmmmm..I guess, as in 'yum' or 'YES'...it's so simple, But.... thanks for sharing that!

p.s. I think I'm being listed as unregistered because I am a member but forgot my password ...

Guest
October 26th, 2006, 02:32 PM
the here and now

I have not been feeling well the last few days and had planned on taking my son to a Halloween party this morning. I started to worry about it last night--and just said I will make that decision in the morning when I will actually know how I am feeling. I woke up, felt a bit better and off we went to the party. I was at the party having a great time--seeing things through the eyes of my child--and it was a blast. Once we got back home I started to debate whether I would go to a meeting tonight or not. Then I said--well, we will make that decision later when it is time to go and decide how I am feeling. One of the things that helps keep me in the present is to stop trying to make a decision NOW--that really should be made later. This has flowed over into financial issues--worrying about all the what if's that most likely will never happen is just a waste of time. I also find that I am able to focus more. At work, I'm at work--home, I'm at home. If I am reading a story to the kids--I am doing that and not thinking about anything else.

As much as I like "One day at a time"--I use "One thing at a time"--a whole day can sometimes be too much for me.

spacie
October 26th, 2006, 06:25 PM
All of your thoughts are great and I need to re-read but want to jump in for a second and say, hi.

I plan way too much and keep myself so busy that my nerves are a lttle close to the surface. I can relax for a short period of time, but what I would like to teach myself is to savor the here and now, and not be thinking about so many other things that you miss out on the moment.
Mike, have a good time on your trip.
spacie

spacie
October 26th, 2006, 06:26 PM
All of your thoughts are great and I need to re-read but want to jump in for a second and say, hi.

I plan way too much and keep myself so busy that my nerves are a lttle close to the surface. I can relax for a short period of time, but what I would like to teach myself is to savor the here and now, and not be thinking about so many other things that I miss out on the moment.
Mike, have a good time on your trip.
spacie

spacie
October 26th, 2006, 06:27 PM
oops i got a little impatient trying to move on not staying in the moment I posted twice. Arrgg

Guest
October 26th, 2006, 06:33 PM
you guys are talking exactly about the issue i'm grappling with right now.. that issue about trust and letting go... and mike knows (is that why you posted that mike?) my tormented brain and how hard it is for me to trust..

so i wont say much.. i'll just re read what you have said (says she talking!!!)
brigid
your zen stuff sounds interesting neil.. that up my alley in terms of things i can accept as higher power

MonaCat
October 26th, 2006, 11:06 PM
Does anyone here meditate?

Guest
October 27th, 2006, 12:15 AM
meditate

Does the blanked out state while I am driving count?

MonaCat
October 27th, 2006, 11:34 AM
You too Discovery?!

dilayne
October 27th, 2006, 12:31 PM
Hi Mona, I've tried several different methods of meditation and have recently returned to something that I do naturally..I journal every morning and have quiet time then. I've also been practicing (periodically) contemplative prayer, which, to me, is the same thing as meditation. I also try to do yoga, which is a form..I've not been disciplined enough to make it a consistent and regular part of my day...I read a lot as well. I have learned that it needs to be simple and natural and there is no right or wrong way..practicing 'being' in the present moment is one way, just focsing on breath is one of the best, I think...the key is discipline, I think, to just still the mind.