Here and now

Today I realized we can live multiple “here and now” at the same time.
It seems a paradox but our conscience can indeed expand, progressively increasing awareness on reality as a whole. As an example it can take into account, in a sort of “stereo” mode, our actions, our thoughts and feelings, the situation around us, our purpose with regard to ourselves and others around us, and so on.
To me the real purpose of practicing mental presence is to reduce the number and level of clingings, limit reactive judgment (this is good-this is bad) and increase more conscious response to external and internal stimuli.
Of course this is a never ending journey and we need initial training to create such a habit. Like in any training, conditions have to be simplified in order to achieve first successes, so welcome is the effort of “going slow” or “doing one thing at a time” in moments that we can consider of practice like the ones of our daily routines. Walking, washing our teeth, cleaning the house are great occasions for this.
However, real life offers infinite occasions of even better practice, although more difficult and challenging because we are not in protected conditions anymore. What better conditions do we have to exercise mental presence than situations when we are upset, unbalanced or disturbed?
When this happens to me I try to contact my feelings without judging or rejecting them (“There is …this feeling” – anger, anxiety, frustration) and I try to ask myself a few questions. “Can I stay in this situation with my feeling?”. “Do I see the event that triggers this and the related reaction mechanism?”. “What am I clinging to or avoiding?”.
Over time, applying this or a similar process will make us respond instead of reacting and it will increase moments of peace and serenity, in us and around us.
Finally, one mechanism that often takes place is being dissatisfied with our level of practice in being present, here and now. Well, then let’s make that moment another occasion of additional practice, staying with that feeling and trying to see where the clinging is (“I must be good”, “I must reach 100% of presence”, or whatever it could be).
Thanks A. for stimulating these reflections.

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