Do You Want To Feel Alive?

Hi everyone! I just got back from a wonderful 3 day getaway to the beaches of Bintan. It was the best time I’d had in a long time :)

Before I left, I was feeling stressed, detached, and uninspired. Knowing I’d have the chance to be away, I resolved that I’d practice a timeless technique to bring me back to the moment and recharge myself.

Several times during my vacation, I took time to practice it, and it helped me feel alive again.

As a Zen master once said; this technique is so simple that a 5 year old can know it, but a 90 year old man can fail to practice it.

It’s simply the practice of being in the now.

The past and future never exist except in your own mind. But how many of you have had your mind zip away to somewhere else while reading this article? How many of you are, right now, thinking of something you did or going to do, instead of being fully here?

Every moment you spend away from the present is a moment you lose, and the only time you can ever really be alive is now.

But centering yourself isn’t rocket science, it’s quite easy. You don’t have to go anywhere, find anyone or even do anything much.

All you need to do is breathe!

1) Decide to take a moment for yourself (maybe this moment? :)). Find somewhere you won’t be disturbed.

2) Close your eyes, if you can, and decide to focus on nothing else but your own breathing.

3) Start taking deep breaths, and become more conscious of how it actually feels to take deep breaths. How does it feel going into your nose? How does your chest feel when it expands? Focus on nothing except your breath.

4) If thoughts of any kind intrude, let the thought go and come back to focusing on your breath.

6) Repeat as many times as you like, until you feel centered and in the now.

7) Open your eyes, noticing how differently the world looks, hears and feels.

We get caught up in our errant thoughts that often we lose focus of what it really means to be a human being, not a human doing, and to focus on the only time we have to be truly alive.

Give yourself the gift of now today :)

Me overlooking the sea

(That’s me on my vacation overlooking the beautiful seafront!)

7 Responses to “The Path”

  1. Lance
    June 13 2008 at 10:05 pm #

    I like this approach, thanks for sharing it!

  2. Ramesh
    June 13 2008 at 10:30 pm #

    Nice approach. If you could give an concrete example of how one could follow the process it might help better though. For instance take the “Why can’t I forget him after so many years of relationships” or “Arrh.. This person makes me so frustrated!!!” and run through the process you take to let-go from it.

  3. Bill Cawley
    June 26 2008 at 1:03 am #

    I enjoyed your article. I wasn’t sure how much I would get out of it at first because I am not willing to drop it all to begin meditating and living in seculsion. I am happy with my life but like many of us trrying to find a good balance for myself. However, your ideas weren’t “to out there for me” and I really do believe thoughts and words lead to action. Action was the other part I relly liked. Making big changes in our lives require taking action and to often today people are beng told to just think it and believe it and everythig will comte to you. I am firm believer that action is required- I liked the kite analogy.

  4. Long Lost HS Friend
    August 21 2008 at 12:39 pm #

    Three years???
    Sorry, I didn’t even know that you became a monk.
    I remember that I met you last time a little over three years ago when you came back to Thailand one weekend.

    At the time I knew only that you were training for a marathon and you were about to publish a book.

    Well, อนุโมทนาบุญด้วยครับ

    April 21 2009 at 9:30 pm #

    Letting go, surrender. Come to think of it, people surrender to many things. Why can’t we surrender to happiness? :-)


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