In today’s hyper connected world, it’s really difficult to be mindful and connected to the present. It’s hard enough to master “the art of being”, but you add in something as small as a smartphone with ubiquitous wifi or data access, and it becomes virtually impossible. One of the simplest (simple does not mean easy) ways to find joy in your everyday life is by just being.
What is the art of being?
Being means you are completely in the present. You need to focus your mind on what you are hearing or doing right here and right now. How often do you find yourself at home after work and still thinking of things back at the office? Then you go to the office and you’re thinking about the problems at home. You go through the motions of the day without actually experiencing the motions of the day. Your thoughts end up being everywhere except at this specific moment in time.
To “be in the present” you have to focus on two things: the here and the now.
Here: In order for you to be here, you can’t be somewhere else. If you’re somewhere else, you can’t be here. Seems logical right? The problem is that something as simple as a smartphone can disconnect you from the “here” and immediately take your mind to somewhere else. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you must be wise about being present when you need to be. Always be present when communicating with another person (especially with your spouse, and/or kids). Try to eliminate the distractions that prevent you from being fully here. Have designated times where you put your phone away or turn it off so you can focus on being fully present (meals, conversations, work, etc).
Now: When your mind is focusing on the past or concerned with the future, it’s not fully experiencing the present.
The art of being is about learning to be wherever you are. It’s about focusing your mind on the present moment and trying to “experience” the motions as you go through them. [mks_highlight color=”#eeee22″]Being in the present isn’t something you do…it’s something you experience.[/mks_highlight]
The art of being goes hand in hand with “Right Mind” from the Buddhist Eightfold Path.