Sunday, 7 August 2011

Be Here Now

When I studied Practical Philosophy for 3 years the words BE HERE NOW were repeated over and over. There was a very simple reason why these three little words became my mantra.

In the chaos of the modern world, there is a beauty in simply doing.

We’re buffeted wildly by whatever emails, conversations, news, events, demands, that are going on around us.

Our minds become a constant deluge of thoughts dwelling in the past, worries of the future, distractions pulling us in every direction.

But all of that melts away when we focus on just doing.

It doesn’t matter what the doing is: sitting, walking, writing, reading, eating, washing, talking, snuggling, playing.

By focusing on the doing, we drop our worries and anxieties, jealousies and anger, grieving and distraction.

There is something profound in that simplicity. Something ultimately heart-rendingly breath-takingly gorgeous.

So when you are caught up in the sandstorm of thoughts, feelings, to-dos, meetings, readings and communications.

Pause. Breathe. Let all of that fade.

Now focus on doing one thing, right now. Just choose one thing, and clear away all other distractions.

Seriously, clear it all away. Turn off your Internet. Stop reading this article (OK, read a couple more sentences, then close your browser!).

Let all thoughts about anything other than the doing also fade away. They’ll come up, but gently make note of them, and then let them go. And return to the doing.

If you’re washing a dish, do it slowly, and feel every sensation. If you’re eating a fruit, taste it, feel the textures, be mindful of your hunger or lack of it. If you’re writing something, pour your heart into that writing, become the writing, inhabit the words.

Just do.

The rest of the world becomes meaningless distraction. It’s just you, and your doing.

And you realize: this is all that matters. In this, there is everything.

"Before enlightenment - chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment - chop wood, carry water".
~Zen Buddhist Proverb

This sign caught my eye when I was walking in Paddington, Sydney today - 7th August 2011.


T's Daily Treasures said...

Hi Peggy, I love this post. BE HERE NOW is my mantra too. In fact, this summer, except for our trip to Nepal, I have been home, enjoying down time, to-do list thrown to the wayside and I have been DOING what I want ... staying in pajamas, crocheting, cooking ... exactly one week from today, I go back to school and back to the rat race, so am enjoying every day that I can til then. :) Hope all is well with you, Tammy

Lisa Gioia-Acres said...

Hello! Guess what I just got back from doing? Just Being. Yes, before I came to read your words, I went outside of the guest house I am so privileged to stay in here in the woods in Oregon. While my friends and grandson slept, I (at 7 am) went to sit outside and watched the mules, donkeys, and goats wake up, heard the rooster crow, looked up at the trees, smelled the scented air, and did nothing but soak it all in.

I love what you wrote and will use your words as my mantra today. Another one I have to repeat often is, "It is what it is."

Thank you for my inspiration today, my friend.

Christine said...

I'm a natural 'do-er', it's my focus when things get chaotic.

Interesting sign.

Cinderella said...

Being present makes all the minutia of stress fade away. You're just doing what is in front of you - or just at peace with the moment, or both:)

Happy Sunday to you Miruspeg!

McMGrad89 said...

I am always doing more than one thing at a time. But when I cook tomorrow, I will try to only focus on that.

Cameron said...

You never cease to be the voice to what gets suppressed within us...and your timing is always impeccable!

Needed to read many neglected and unfinished things to take care of after a month away....I just need to take a deep breath, tackle one at a time, and be aware...

No worrying about not getting it done, no endless list of tasks scrolling thru my mind...just do....

Missed you, Peg :)

Anonymous said...

This is the essence of Zen, and the Zen saying "When I eat, I eat. When I sleep, I sleep."

A simple yet profound philosophy.

Mike Smith said...

Peggy, I really meant it when I said you should write a book. Your words strike a chord every time. I'm taking your advice and going to switch off my laptop and focus on that bottle of brandy eyeing me from the corner of the room...

lisleman said...

Alright I'm just doing this comment and trying to be focused. I like this idea. I like simple. It is hard to keep the outside forces at bay. You need to be somewhat practical about it. You couldn't get by just doing dreaming all day. At some point you will have had too much to dream. Relax good but don't fall out of your chair. I'll work on it. thanks

Chapter Forty said...

You offer us great advice Peggy. I will endeavor to simply 'do' from now. Particularly around those children of mine, who happily live in the moment, where time and consequence rattle the space.

I lived in Paddington, near five ways for a year, (in another life - before the kids) I miss those tiny shops and hip happening places.

miruspeg said...

Have I told you have much I look forward to reading all your comments my dear blogging friends!

Many thanks for stopping by and adding your insightful thoughts to my posts.

"Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after."
~~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Keep shining and pausing!
Peggy xxxxxx

Marja said...

good one Peggy. I am very aware since I make photos When I walk I scan the environment all the time for a good shot and at the same time see more than ever before. Cool that you studie philosophy. My son gets it at high school and it is the thing he loves most

Debra said...

You put all of this so well, dear one. Interesting how we often find ourselves in parallel spaces. Sometimes we are so wrapped up in the chatter of our own minds, that we forget to just be. Thank you for this gentle reminder!

Big hugs and so much love,

Can-Can said...

When I was in my late teens, I stumbled upon a publication by Ram Das (I think) whose title was "Be Here Now." Over the years I forget and return to those words. Trying to live mindfully is a challenge. How rewarding it is when one achieves it. Actually listening to the conversation you're in with focused attention. Enjoying every morsel you are eating rather than just eating. Being attuned to and grateful for every tree, flower, home, person as you walk. This is a message that bares repeating. Thank you.

miruspeg said...

Once again thank you for adding your stories to this post Marja, Deb and Candelaria. I loved reading them.

Focusing on one thing in this day and age with the pace of life so fast and expectations so high is very difficult but certainly worth striving towards.

So here's to focusing our attention on what/who is in front of us.

Namaste! xxxxxx

Evil Shannanigans said...

I am going out to take Pepper for an awareness walk right now. We are going to be living in the moment the whole time, even when I scoop her poop

Lilly said...

Oh how I have missed your wise words Peggy. I love this anow I am going to make myself a huge sign or a few and place them around the house to remind me - Just do - it works.