Cherishing the Present
“The morning wind spreads its fresh smell. We must get up to take that in, that wind that lets us live. Breathe, before it’s gone.” — Rumi
Developing greater presence, for me, has been through engaging and celebrating all of my senses. And in that focus and gratitude is mixed the awareness of the experience’s passing nature, bringing even more gratitude. It was a very active way of ‘meditating’ at first but very enjoyable and creative. After working more with tuning in to all of the senses, it became easier to tune into the breath or observe the arising of thoughts.
To engage my sense of smell, my go-to’s have long been cedar, nag champa and sandalwood, but I experiment with a variety of incense, candles, spices, foods, lotions, etc. I surrounded my space with things that were calming and visually beautiful to me. A variety of textures from clay, stones and crystals to soft fabrics, water and uncooked rice gets me present to touch. Sound offers an endless exploration. Sometimes I may listen to guided meditations, visualizations, frequencies, chanting, nature sounds or bells or other times to music of all different kinds. Bringing tastes into the mix is easy to do as well, with lots of possibilities. I’ve found it most helpful to work with the smallest bite or sip and savor it mindfully for as long as possible. And throughout tuning in to what I sense energetically, or intuitively.
It’s fun to experiment with levels of focus, alternating fore and ground for simultaneous stimuli and having exercised the senses, let them drop into stillness as you follow the breath. Reflecting on so much to be grateful for. Breathing it all in and breathing out the stale past that no longer serves.
Grounding in the present with gratitude is a habit worth developing. The time is too short not to take it in fully, moment by moment, “before it’s gone”.