"Rooted' In The Now
"It is easy to stay present as the observer of your mind when you are deeply rooted within your body.
No matter what happens on the outside, nothing can shake you anymore."
As the world around us appears to be speeding up and moving off the rails, our own mind can reflect this accelerated pace by continually thinking, worrying about and resisting the speed at which the world is moving. It can seem that, no matter how much meditation we do, books we read, or retreats we go on, this over-whelming intensity of thought is always lurking just round the corner of every moment we try so desperately to be aware of. All of this can lead to a feeling of exhaustion as we do the best we can to stay present while living our lives with grace and poise. Being present in the here and now (and really, is there anywhere else we can actually be?), is as simple as coming down from the continual mental stream in the head into the spacious freedom of our bodies.
If we look, because we are so busy thinking all of the time; we rarely, if ever, actually inhabit our bodies below the neck. Unless we experience some kind of distress or pain in our body, we aren't aware of our feet, or our hands, let alone any other part of our bodies (unless they're hurting). One of the most powerful practices for staying present in the here and now is to actually bring our awareness into our bodies and inhabit them fully. This is easier than we can imagine; close your eyes and take a moment now to just breathe down into the body and FEEL it from within, as if you're present in every cell. If this is difficult for you to do, then begin by breathing down into one of your feet or one of your hands. FEEL the aliveness in this area of your body from within.
With dedicated practice you can begin to inhabit your entire body as a single field of awareness, instead of just living as a walking, talking head. When you do this you will notice that, not only does it FEEL REALLY GOOD, but being present in the moment becomes easier and more natural. The reason is simple; you can't be present in the moment without also being present in your body. They are one and the same. And vice-versa; when you are present in the body, you are present in the here and now. Of course, to KNOW this, and experience the peace and stillness that goes with it, you must practice, and the only time to begin is now.