Why is it so important to practice coming back to the present throughout the day?
Most of us have a constant voice going on in our heads, a never-ending stream of thoughts. These thoughts tend to be repetitive, are often negative and utterly unrelated to what we are experiencing in the moment.
Thinking is useful and has its place of course, so we are not suggesting here that you shouldn't think at all. The problem is that all of our attention gets absorbed in thinking.
Constant mental chattering also takes us away from being in touch with the present moment. We are not really there to experience the beauty of the sky, the birds, our loved ones, the preciousness of life itself. And so, in the middle of a perfect, beautiful day, we may feel regret, guilt, loss, anxiety, stress, worry or fear.
The worst part of this constant mental activity is that it stops us from being in touch from the deepest part of ourselves. Our very being, our true nature is peace, joy, love and kindness. But we lose touch with this inner dimension, which is inside every one of us, deep within the body, by having all of our attention out of it, in our heads. Life is then perceived to be difficult, boring, heavy and tough.
To live a more fulfilling life, it is essential to come back to the present, over and over. And this requires cultivating stillness. Stillness, the way we use it here, means inner silence. It is about creating a gap between thoughts, which allows you to experience the present moment directly. It is about creating space inside your mind, and in this space you are fully aware, fully present.
Practicing stillness is simple. Anyone can do it and all it requires is your willingness to bring your attention back to the present moment. So it is not about being zombie-like or going mentally blank. It's about being fully attentive to the here and now, which is the only thing we really have.
As you gradually live more in touch with the reality of what is, you will feel an unmistakable sense of joy, aliveness and inner peace. More and more, you will really "be there", present to the beauty and uniqueness of the moment.
You will also be able to see things with more clarity and perspective. Stillness allows you to tap into your natural creativity, intelligence and wisdom. And amazingly, the mindfulness that you develop, by itself, gradually transforms you and everything around you, for the better, without you needing to try to change anything.
The most important discovery that inner stillness helps you to make is knowing that there is a deeper dimension within you. That you are not your thoughts but rather, the consciousness, the awareness behind it all. This is one of the reasons why all spiritual traditions teach one form or other of cultivating stillness.
Perhaps you may be thinking, "This all sounds good but I just don't have the time to be still and more present." This is definitely not true. Even in the mist of a very busy day, you can always take a short moment to reconnect with the peace within you and then continue afresh.
This is the premise behind Stillness Buddy, that with very short but regular pauses, you can practice being still within and feel at peace, even during a busy work day.
You may now want to read in more detail how Stillness Buddy works.