Living With Spirit And Purpose
The Practice of Mindfulness
To live with spirit is to be so intimate with our *God* force within that it shines forth from every corner of our lives and finds its expression in the world around us as our life purpose.
Living with spirit is made possible by mindfulness; the act of consciously and intentionally focusing on the present moment without expectation or judgment.
When we stop our frantic rush into the future and come to rest in the present moment the spirit within ourselves and the world around us begins to reveal itself.
".. one of higher consciousness is one .. who is fully connected to only what is present in the moment, having no relationship to the past or to the future. It exists in present time. Higher consciousness exists in present time."
French Wildflowers And The Purpose Of Life
Imagine we are eating a slice of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. We are in a hurry because our very important future is calling. We have somewhere else we absolutely have to BE - and it is not here. We bolt down the cheese - the one that has been countless years in the making - so fast that it barely registers on our palate. And then we rush out the door.
Now let's rewind that - let's just imagine we decide instead that our future can wait. Instead of bolting down our snack we allow a slither of cheese to rest for a while on our tongue. Our body becomes motionless - no part of it wrenching forward into the future or backward into the past. Our full attention falls to the moment. Then, ever so slowly, we begin to move the slither of cheese around in our mouth and - mindfully now - to bite into it.
A dog barks outside our house and a passing car honks its horn.We hear it but don't react. We are nowhere else but here - Now - with our cheese.
And as the moment billows like a canvas sail on the high seas we notice that we can taste the sweet wildflowers that grew in the meadow high up in the mountains of France where the ewes that produced the milk that made this cheese grazed. Our spirit sings with joy! Now we know what Henry David Thoreau meant when he said in Walden that "God himself culminates in the present moment".
Perhaps some of you are asking "What does all this talk about cheese and French pastures have to do with finding my life purpose?"
It has a lot to do with it. It shows that things we would never normally notice reveal themselves when we come to rest in the present moment. Beautiful, astonishing, sacred, revelational things.
Think about it. If we are eating a cheese sandwich as we rush out the door, texting as we go, are we likely to come to a screaming halt and exclaim - "Oh wow! There are wildflowers in my cheese!!!" No. We won't. Because we won't notice it because we are not present. We are where we are headed and we are where we have come from. Our attention is scattered and splintered and the chances of us finding ourselves standing in a French pasture while we are eating this cheese are - zero.
But just because we don't notice all these little mini-revelations in our everyday moments doesn't mean they are not there. It simply means we are wearing our "Oh well you know I'm far too busy" blinkers. When we live like this we become less and less likely to notice how exquisitely detailed our ordinary lives really are.
And we become estranged from the still small voice of our spirit - the One that knows who we are because it IS who we are. The One that is present in every moment of our lives urging us to be still and listen for the meaning and purpose of our lives.
The present moment is not just a bit of glue that sticks our past to our future. It is a glorious voluminous bubble of potentiality - OUR potentiality. Our life purpose. All we need do is rest there now and then and listen. Wondrous things will reveal themselves to us!
Through the practice of mindfulness, when we step aside from our busy daily routines and come to rest in the Now, we are telling the still small voice of the spirit - "I am listening. I am open. Look here. I have made a place for you in my day. Please help me to know you."
During mindfulness meditation we become our own observers. We watch our thoughts, our bodily sensations and our breathing dispassionately. When we do that we enter a tranquil state within which gamma brainwaves increase in the rear of the brain. This results in a variety of benefits:
Benefits of Mindfulness
* increased compassion * improved happiness * enhanced intuition * boosted sensory perception of reality * improved brain functioning ability * improved memory *
“The God-stuff roars eternally, like the sea, with too vast a sound to be heard”
If we don’t know what our life purpose is there is nowhere else to look for it but within ourselves. The greater the sense of connection we have with our God-stuff the more likely it will be that we will be guided to uncover our unique life purpose and mission.