Being present

It has been years since I started practicing mindful meditation but it had always be on and off depending on how crazy work gets. But in the recent months, I managed to keep up with it regularly through listening to podcasts in the morning on my hour-long shuttle to work, and then meditating right before I go to bed.

This week, I think I finally tasted the sense of euphoria described by so many who practiced this. And it came in the simplest of forms. I’ll try my best to describe a couple of those moments.

  1. A song from my childhood came to mind all of a sudden. So instead of playing my usual podcasts that morning, I searched for the song on Spotify and looped it for an hour on my way to work. I looked out the windows at the scenery outside and thought to myself ‘Wow how beautiful this is. Why didn’t I pay any attention to this for the last 6 months taking this route?’. I thought of the times I would eagerly look out of the windows on the drive when I’m on road trips and vacations, trying to remember everything I see and etch them into memory. Today, when I paid attention to the daily route I take to work while listening to the good old song from the past, I felt humbled by the details of the sounds and sights in that moment.
  2. I went to see an acupuncturist for my tight neck muscles. He put the needles in me and had me lay for 15 minutes to rest. In those 15 minutes, I paid very close attention to the sensations in my body from the needles, the very tiny vibrations, pulses that seem to dissipate like waves as time passed. And I listened to my heavy breathing. It was a long, fast-paced day at work and I felt like I was starting to slow down. In those 15 minutes, I was 100% focused on feeling those sensations in my body and did not have any other thoughts in my mind. After the session, I left feeling great physically and there was a feeling of absolute gratefulness towards everything. I walked out of the clinic, stepped into the drizzle in the dimly lit sky of the evening and felt renewed. It was probably a combination of the treatment and the focused attention. The feeling was amazing.

I’ll be continuing to pay more attention in my daily life — it has shown me a lot of truths I was previously unaware of.