Imagine for a second, you are a billionaire, you own everything you could possibility have wanted. Luxury cars, mansions, yachts, you have them all – how would you feel?
As you read this, take a moment to observe your surroundings. Acknowledge the sights, sounds, and smells. Notice the subtle elements that would go unnoticed without your alert attention.
In this moment – millionaire or not – your senses occupy the same experience. There is nothing more you can add to this moment than what is right here in front of you. You can simply experience this moment in a different location – in your luxury house, yacht, or car – however, your ability to appreciate the moment is not enhanced in anyway.
If you can learn to appreciate the present moment for what it is, you do not need these luxuries to experience the richness life has to offer.
Here are some ways to bring presence into your life:
Throughout your day, become aware of any subtle sounds that may be underlying or going unnoticed. Acknowledge their presence. Sounds are a perfect anchor to bring you into the present moment.
Be careful not to label sounds good or bad, allow them to be as they are. The simplicity of alertness to sound breaks the unconscious thinking that consumes the mind. You become free of worries, doubts, fears – the mind becomes still.
“Whenever you are immersed in compulsive thinking, you are avoiding what is. You don’t want to be where you are. Here, Now”
– Echkart Tole, Stillness Speaks
Nature represents life, the same life that is in you, the same universal intelligence that is in all life forms. Nature however, doesn’t “think” like you, there is no mind telling it what it should be – it just “is”.
When you rest your attention on nature appreciate the stillness it represents. Do not allow your mind to form ideas about the particular image, and just experience its beauty and vastness from a quiet mind. It’s from here you will experience true peace.
Nature can have a healing effect on the soul, find out how here.
“Look deep into nature, and then you will you understand everything better”
– Albert Einstein
Ever wondered why you feel so good after exercise? It’s because the brain craves movement. Pleasure chemicals serotonin and dopamine are released when you move the body.
There are specific types of movement designed to transcend the mind (yoga, tai chi) – most forms of exercise can also do the same, often unknowingly. Notice the next time you play sport or intense exercise how quiet the mind becomes. Overthinking often leads to poor performance – most sports demand an element of no-mind, to become powerfully present in the activity, this is what is commonly known as flow.
In positive psychology, flow, also known as the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.
Appreciate any opportunity to move your body, this simple act can be done without money, without much knowledge, and even without a reason. When you move just to feel good, you have mastered the art of simplicity.
Liberation from your ego
True happiness comes when the experiencer and experience come together as one. Humans have created a separation – the brain perceives the experience of life as separate from the eternal life that is present in all of us.
The word for this mind made separation is, ego. The moment you become aware of your ego you see how frequent it tries to take control of your experience.
The ability to experience this is always available, but is often overlooked by the thinking mind. When you appreciate sounds, nature, and movement the ego is transcended – there becomes a connection to the formless life; however brief, this connection will fill you with peace, love, and joy.
The more you do this, the simpler life becomes.