Here & Now is is one of the most effective and easiest meditation techniques of all times. Here is a technique which you can perform anytime, anywhere and in any position.
I hope by now you know what is meditation (if not please see what is meditation ). In order to understand this technique let us recall the meaning of meditation.
Meditation is a systematic way of making our mind quiet so that we can contact our true identity -self, which is the source of everlasting joy, bliss and peace.
This state in which our mind becomes absolutely calm and relaxed is also known as the state of choice less awareness i.e. the state where we are fully aware of the moment yet our awareness is not focused on any physical or mental image/object. It is a choice less awareness. In the ‘Here and now’ meditation we will gradually achieve the state of choice less awareness with the help of three easy steps. For the sake of simplicity I am referring these steps as three individual steps. In reality as you perform these steps, you will realize that these three steps happens simultaneously and thus are parts of one single step.
The three steps of ‘here and now’ meditation technique are :
(1) Remind yourself that you exist here and now.
This will make you aware of your body as it exists here and now.
(2) Just be aware of the activities going on in and around you at this moment.
This will make you aware of the universe as it exists here and now.
(3) From now onwards start doing everything with awareness.
This will make you aware you of your self as it exists here and now.
Let us understand these three steps is detail :
First step: “Remind yourself that you exist here and now “
Remind yourself that you exist here and now. I am using the word ‘ remind’ because most of us tend to forget that we ,in reality, exist here and now. We exist in the present. Nobody can live in past or future. Whatever we do, feel, think or experience, we do it in the present moment. You may think about past, you may plan for the future but the very process ( of thinking about past or planning for the future) always happens in the present because at any given moment you exist in the present.
Your existence in this world is the sum total of many things. Your present personality is the combined result of your physical makeup , your cultural, social and educational background, your thoughts, your feelings, your past life, your future plans, your ambitions and desires etc. However, you, who is the combined embodiment of all such varied factors, exist here and now – in the present moment !
You can escape from the past, you can evade the outcome of future but you can not escape from the present. Most of us just keep thinking about the memories of past or fancies of the future and give very little importance to present whereas one of the most important and fundamental requisite for meditation is that you should live in the present.
In order to meditate and make our mind quiet, it is important for us to accept our life as it exists in the present moment. No matter how boring, banal, stressful , sad or colorless our present life is; at any given moment, it is all that we have with us. So accept your life as it is and remind yourself that you exists in the present moment. The aim of this step is to focus your whole attention on the present moment. This initial step act as a launching pad for the ‘here and now’ meditation as the entire attention of the meditator get focused on the present moment. So: Just be aware of the fact that you exist here and now !
“Just be aware of the activities going on in and around you at this moment. “
At any given moment. there are many things that are happening in and around you. Even if you are just sitting and not doing anything, many things are going on. Your breathing process is going on, your heart is pumping the blood and ensuring its circulation in body, the digestion process is going on inside you, kidneys are filtering the blood, various glands in your body are secreting hormones to ensure proper metabolism of the body. Your hair and nails are growing at a small speed, in short – hundred of activities are going on inside your body at this very moment.
In the outer world also numerous things are happening around you at the present moment. You are surrounded by a very active atmosphere, whose properties such as temperature, pressure etc are changing every moment. There are numerous sounds echoing around you at this very moment – movement of fan, ticking of clock, music in radio or your PC, conversation of people, rain drops outside the windows , the water you sip from the glass, sounds of your own movements etc all these phenomena are producing sound around you.
Well if you observe closely you will find yourself surrounded by a pool of various activities. This collective pool of activities constitutes the choreography of the universe as it unfolds itself every moment. Universe or creation is an ongoing phenomenon. It is a kind of cosmic dance that is going on. It’s not only you who is surrounded by so many activities.
Each and everyone among us is enfolded by this dance of universe. We seldom or never give our attention to these activities that goes on in and around us. However, the truth is that they keep happening on their own and produce an effect in our lives.
So in the second part of this meditation technique, you are required to become aware of this cosmic dance. Just be aware of the present moment. Just be aware of all those activities which are going on in and around you at this present moment. Do not concentrate upon them.
Thing are happening on their own. Just be aware of them. Wind is blowing, machines are running, fan is moving, TV is on, music is coming from the radio, traffic is running on the roads, trains are running on tracks, dogs are barking, children are playing & fighting, hawkers are shouting to attract the customers.
At any given moment the whole world is full of activities of every kind. . Just be aware of these activities. Don’t contemplate over them, don’t try to make them a part of your thinking process. Just, at this very moment, be aware of this cosmic choreography. This step of becoming aware of the present moment helps the meditator in increasing the depth of his/her awareness.
After the first step of meditation ( which requires you to be aware that you exist in the present moment), this second step will help you to be aware of the whole cosmos as it exists in the present moment. So just be aware of the activities which are going on in and around you at the present moment.
This moment is as it should be, because the whole universe is as it should be. The moment — the one you’re experiencing right now– is the culmination of all the moments you have experienced in the past. This moment is as it is because the entire universe is as it is.
A relevant thought from: The seven spiritual laws of success
By Deepak Chopra
Third step : “From now onwards start doing everything with awareness”
This step is the third and the most important step of this meditation technique. In the previous two steps you become aware of the present moment and of the cosmic chaos which exists at this moment. In this third step, you are not required to do anything special. Just keep doing whatever you are doing at this moment but —- do it with awareness that you are doing it.
Let me explain what I mean:
If you are eating anything : eat it with awareness that you are eating something. Just be aware of every step you take in eating. Right from holding (say bread for example) in your hand , taking the bread towards your mouth, inserting it in your mouth, chewing the bread and swallowing it in mouth, just perform everything with awareness.
Same with drinking : Whatever you are drinking, drink it with absolute awareness of the process of drinking. If you drink a glass of water, drink it with full awareness while you hold the glass of water in your hand. Be aware of the sensation your hands feel on touching the glass, take the glass near your mouth with awareness, just be aware of every sip you take. After drinking, put back the glass with awareness.
If you walk, walk with awareness. While you walk, just be aware of the movements of body as you walk. If your right hands comes forward while you move your left leg, just be aware of this. If while walking in the garden you feel the urge to take a deep breath, take the long breath but take it with awareness.
Include this practice of awareness in all those process also where some kind of movement is not required. For example if you are not doing anything and just sitting somewhere, be aware of that (i.e. sitting), just have an awareness of your sitting posture, watch with awareness as your body changes it’s position while sitting. Similarly, if you are lying on a bed, just be aware of the fact that you are lying. Have an awareness of the movements your body performs while lying on the bed.
Doing everything with awareness is something that can be done anytime, anywhere and in any posture. It does not requires allocating some extra time, or sitting in a particular place. Just start doing everything with awareness. It is very simple and you can do it right now.
If you drive, drive with awareness.
While bathing, take your bath with awareness, just be awareness of the sensation you feel when you pour water on your body. Just be aware of how it feels when you use the towel to rinse the body.
How do you greet a regular friend, neighbor or coworker ? When you say him Hello, do you wait for his response ? Does your act of greeting others has become an unconscious mechanical habit ? Think over it. Are you living with awareness ?
Tomorrow as you start for your office, greet the people with awareness. Just say hello in a warm, conscious manner and wait for other people’s response. Don’t make your life mechanical. Try to do as many things as you can with awareness.
The main aim of this meditation is to break the habit of a mechanical life which most of us are living. We all have become some sort of robots. There is very little awareness left in us. Almost all our daily work such as eating, drinking, bathing, reading, playing, driving, talking, traveling, writing, listening, watching etc are done by us in a mechanical manner. In such a mechanical life, when we are not even performing very basic mundane tasks with awareness, how we can explore or know the awareness of our self ?
This Here and now Meditation aims to increase our overall awareness of everything. When you perform every task with awareness, slowly you will start recognizing the witness in you who watches everything as you perform the task. As your awareness increases, you will start becoming more and more aware of your true self.
As you keep practicing this meditation, after some time a stage will come when two distinct aspects of your identity will emerge : one – doing and another – being. You will be doing every work assigned to you, yet there will be some in you (the being aspect) who will remain intact as a watcher while you perform your work. This ‘being aspect’ is your true self. Once you realize this ‘being aspect’ you will realize the immortal part of your existence. You will realize the supreme consciousness.
Next Meditation Technique : Death Meditation