Two Minute Introduction to Mindfulness

There’s an enigma in the way we experience time.

We spend virtually all of our thinking time either with memories or with “what happens next…” So our thoughts are usually placed in the past or future. But physically we are always firmly in the present.

Mind in one time frame, body in another. This creates mental tension, and it also gets in the way of our savouring what is going on around us right now.

Mindfulness is the way to restore harmony – more of that in a moment.

Time perception is paradoxical in another way as well, in that “the present” is both vanishingly small and infinitely large:

  • At the moment the next word you’re about to read is in your future. But now you’ve read it, it’s in your past. That’s all the present is – that infinitesimally small boundary where future instantaneously changes into past.
  • But on the other hand the present is the only time frame we are ever in physically – we spend our entire physical life in it, so for us it is everything we do, it’s infinite.

Back to mindfulness. We can exploit this apparent paradox to improve our wellbeing through a short scripted meditation called The Now.

The meditation focuses our mind into the present moment, filling our awareness with it, so our body and mind are united in time. It also reminds us that whatever has happened in the past, and whatever might be about to happen in the immediate future, we are at this very instant, even if only for a brief moment, safe and secure.

With a little practise this quick to learn technique is a powerful tool for finding peace.

Whenever you feel overwhelmed, stressed, or sad, sit quietly, close your eyes, and rehearse the following thoughts:

I am centring my awareness in this present instant of time.

Calming my breathing, letting the slow steady rhythm of it fill my mind and my senses.

All of my sadness, all of my regret, all my guilt, shame and anger are in the past.

All of my fear, all of my anxiety, all my uncertainty and stress lie in the future.

That leaves nothing that can harm or disturb me in The Now.

In this present moment I am safe. I am savouring the peace and security I have in this very second.

Negative emotions are all about things that have already happened or will/may happen at some future point. Even something that might happen in five minutes cannot physically reach us right Now. We are always safe and composed in the Now.

With my best wishes for getting into the habit of savouring the present moment :o)

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