I pledged to meditate every day in 2021 – it’s only January 2nd and I already have had a surprising discovery.
My mind refuses to submit to guided or structured meditation. “Don’t bother doing this now, do it later if you really want,” an inner voice coaxes sweetly.
I imagined lack of mental focus might be the problem – it turns out it is lack of commitment.
This is about safety.
Deep inside, a watchful part of me warns against investing too heavily in the present moment. My consciousness wants to be fragmented. Call it the ‘don’t put your eggs in one basket’ mindset. Or the ‘feet on the ground and head in the clouds’ approach.
And yet there is a whole industry of mindfulness banging on relentlessly about The Power of Now. To be honest it bothers me there is so little dissenting opinion about ‘being present’. Is the mindfulness craze actually cluelessness? Or perhaps it is the 21st century version of brainwashing.
Let’s get a grip on reality here – we need linear time to save ourselves from the present because many terrible, painful things happen in the present.
Our minds have developed the ability to take flight from the present – and we should thank god that they can.
From time to time, it’s wonderful to be present in yoga, in meditation, on a country walk or cuddling on the sofa.
Yesterday I came face to face with a giant bull, close enough to notice his exquisitely fine eyelashes.
Instead of legging it up the hill and leaping over the fence, I had the luxurious experience of lingering in the loveliness of the present.
But this was only possible because there was a hefty barrier between us. If it had not been there this would have been madness – not mindfulness. Very often there is a fine line between the two.