Be Here Now in the Moment: Simple Ways to Stay Present, Mindful

To be in the moment, play with your toes.
To be in the moment, play with your toes. | Source

Introduction

Thinking is a useful tool for us humans. We deal with the problems of life with the mental tools of recall, foresight, and logic, powered by our emotions.

Emotions also are useful tools. An angry tone will make "Stop it!" more effective. Joyous affection will make endearing words more pleasing and memorable than if said deadpan. "Help!" yelled with fright and urgency in it will more likely get attention than if said with no emotion.

But just as it makes no sense to leave a car engine, a lamp light, or a stove on when it is not being used, it makes no sense to be constantly thinking thoughts and re-churning emotions, needed or not.

Especially wasteful of one's time and mind power is to replay in one's mind patterns of thoughts and emotions pertaining to an incident that is past and done, or to incessantly worry and fret about a future decision or possibility. Using one's mind power for thoughts and feelings of resentment, regret, longing, apprehension, or other mental tethers to the past or future is at best of limited and short-lived usefulness. Such thoughts and feelings block one from finding interesting, or even noticing, the present moment, with its opportunities for appreciation, productivity, and creativity.

Meditating in Madison Square Park, Manhattan, New York City
Meditating in Madison Square Park, Manhattan, New York City | Source

Not Meditation

Some of the techniques I describe for being in the moment are used also in certain types of meditation, such as in mindfulness meditation or in mantra meditation. Here I am describing a different use of these techniques for a different purpose. The techniques that I describe below are for use when not meditating, when going about one's activities of the day. Regular meditation will increase the efficiency of the techniques described here, and the techniques described here will help bring into one's active life the gains of daily meditation.

These techniques differ from meditation techniques in these ways: 1) They are of comparatively brief duration, and 2) It's fine to switch from one to another,which can be done in an instant. For instance, one meditation technique is to mindfully observe one's breathing for 20 minutes, half an hour, or some other time unit, and to do only that, returning to mindfulness of breathing whenever one's mind strays. For present purposes, just a few seconds of mindful breathing may be sufficient to bring one's mind from wanderings in the past or future back to the present. Once back, one can just breathe without being particularly mindful about it.

And when it really is helpful to be mentally in the past or the future, that shift, too, from or back to the present, can be done in an instant. [What a beautiful day! Nice breeze! Where did I park my car? Think back an hour. Ah, I remember! It's that way. I'm watching for it.] There is nothing wrong with mentally wandering back or forth in time, when that's of help. It's just that the present is when and where one's life is "on live" and not in some mental re-run or speculation.

In My Own Experience

Bringing my mind back to full awareness of the here and now, instantly and noticeably reduces any feelings I may have of anxiety, depression ('the blues'), boredom, resentment, self-pity, dread, or worry. For years I was mired in such negativity.

Then I learned Transcendental Meditation (TM), the mantra meditation technique taught to my TM teacher by the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The routine of TM for 20 minutes twice daily gently, gradually, and effectively, over months, years, and decades, released a lot of my built-up negativity, allowing my usual state to instead mostly be a mellow equanimity combined with curiosity, gratitude, and fellow-feeling for all things. I became more productive and creative -- for instance, drafting and revising my first novel and getting it accepted for publication. I continue to meditate fairly often.

Regularly practicing TM, or any other technique of deep meditation, is like twice daily brushing and flossing one's teeth, while using the techniques described in this article is like as needed giving one's mouth a quick water rinse or using a toothpick.

The best default state of mind is attentive awareness. Why best? Because happiest, most interesting and satisfying. Described below are simple, easy ways to bring one's wandering mind instantly back to immediate awareness of the here now moment.

Mindfulness Techniques

Without controlling, changing, or influencing it, notice and observe your breathing. Hear and feel each breath as it enters and leaves your nostrils, as your body, naturally and automatically, in response to its needs, moves the diaphragm down and up, breathes in and out. Once being mindful of your breathing has brought your attention away from thoughts of what was, might have been, or might come, and your awareness is of here now, then just go about your business in a state of full awareness, taking no special notice of your breathing.

Observing one's breathing is the handiest mindfulness technique for returning one's awareness to the present and maintaining it there, because a living person does not ever not breathe for long, but any other regularly repeated action can be mindfully observed as a way to bring one's attention to the present. If you are walking when you realize your mind has wandered, note your steps. If you are eating, mindfully chew each bite. If you are dancing, dance mindfully. Remember that I am not discussing mindfulness meditation. Be mindful of an activity just long enough to return your attention to the present, and then just enjoy being there, doing whatever seems best.

Dancing is repetitive movements, stepping in a pattern to music. Many people enjoy it. On the other hand, many people regard other repetitive movement activities with resistance, wishing each were over and done with even as they do it. Why not enjoy the washing dishes dance, the making the bed dance, the tidying rooms dance, the vacuuming dance, the assembling parts at the factory dance, the opening mail at the office dance, and so on? If you can't play music on a radio or mp3 player, make up music in your head.

Repeating a Word Technique

This is like using a meditation mantra. I've found that, as I go about the routines and activities of a day, I can reduce mind chatter and keep my awareness more in the present moment if I repeat a word or phrase in my mind. One of my favorites is "hallelujah," which I sing or chant in my head. Others are "boom" and "amen."

Five Senses
Five Senses | Source

Five Senses Technique

You can't help but be aware of your here and now if you intentionally and actively look, listen, smell, feel, or taste. To bring your awareness to the present in an instant, simply look at what is in your sight. Take note of any person(s) or animal(s), of whatever is moving; of whatever is a particular color, of whatever is straight or curved, of shadows, or of other details.

Play cop and look for whatever is out of place. Look about you with an artist's eyes, noticing arrangements of color and form and whatever would be a good photograph or painting. Look with a parent's eyes, seeing possibilities for play, danger, and teaching. Look with a reporter's eyes, asking what's the story here.

Just so, just listen. As I draft this paragraph, I hear a clock ticking and, from outside my apartment, the tires on pavement sound of passing cars. I can't be attentive of the sounds I hear and be daydreaming at the same time. Perhaps where you are you hear a refrigerator motor, a bird call, a frog, the wind, your footsteps. Whatever you hear, or even if you are surrounded by silence, listen attentively; just by doing that, you will be in the moment.

Touch anything and note its feel. Just doing that will instantly bring your attention to the present. Touch several things with awareness -- a desk, a cell phone, a keyboard, a chair, a pet, whatever. Or take note of the feel of your weight, of gravity pulling you down, or of the feel of breeze on your skin, or of any sensation of warmth or cold. Then, aware of now, go about your business.

Take note of the smells coming to you. I have a terrible sense of smell, so usually I can't smell anything, but just trying to smell whatever I can brings my attention to the present. Smell, when I do smell something, is the perception most likely to bring a nostalgic memory. A gasoline smell might bring a memory of my grandfather's Model A Ford; a grass smell might bring a memory of mowing the lawn when I was a child growing up in an Illinois village; a fish smell might bring childhood fishing memories. I welcome such memories, say an affectionate hello and good-bye to them, so to speak, and then give attention to the smell in its present context.

Being mindful of the lick of ice cream in your mouth is a fuller, more intense taste pleasure than will be your memory of the taste experience. Notice the good old days as they are going by now. Live life live.

Is he living in the moment?
Is he living in the moment? | Source

Game and Sports Techniques

I think that a major reason the playing of games is popular, whether sport games, parlor games, card games, or board games, is that games put one's attention in the present. A game is an excuse to not be thinking about problems, plans, arguments, and worries and to instead take a micro vacation, one's mind in the moment.

Sports and pastimes keep one of necessity focused on now. If your mind gets to thinking about the past or the future while, for instance, you are playing ping-pong, pounding a nail, riding a bicycle, playing a musical instrument, or sewing a hem, then you are liable to miss the ball, hammer your thumb, ride into a pothole , play a wrong note, or sew a crooked hem line. If while you are a batter waiting for a pitch in baseball, you are having Walter Mitty daydreams, or you are thinking about what you should have retorted to the other car driver who last year cussed at you, you will probably strike out.

Hunting with gun or camera requires paying attention. If you are not alert at the crucial moment, you won't be able to act in time when the 10-point buck stands like a statue staring at you before bounding away, or when the mallard flies right over your head.

"Woolgathering" while you are playing, for instance, poker or chess will decrease your odds of winning. Not paying attention in some sports -- car racing, glade skiing, canoeing difficult rapids, skywalking -- can lead to serious or fatal injury.

To live a balanced life, include in it some play time. Games, sports, and other pastimes, as fits your circumstances and interests, are an enjoyable way to be in the moment. Especially precious is the moment you realize you survived a dangerous feat unscathed. Yay!

The 'Seeing Ahead' Technique

This is one of my favorite techniques for living in the moment. Form a mental image in your mind of what you intend to do in the near future. Perhaps you intend to take a plane trip next week or to do grocery shopping tomorrow. Whatever is coming up for you pretty soon, picture that. Now picture what you will be doing in the even nearer future. Perhaps you have in mind to get the mail, drink a glass of water, and see what's on TV. Keep shortening how far in the future you will do what you now visualize, until you visualize what you are going to do in an instant. For example, mentally see yourself sitting down on a chair an instant before you sit, reaching for your loose shoelaces an instant before you reach, grabbing the ends of your shoelaces an instant before you grab them, pulling your laces tight an instant before you pull them, and so on.

The technique is to visualize your future as you expect it will be in an instant (say in a guesstimated millisecond) and to do that continually. Because the gap between what is now and what is coming in an instant is too short to think about or even to notice, the apparent effect will be direct awareness of your present continually arriving here now out of infinite future possibilities.

The 'On Camera' Technique

My very favorite be here now technique is similar to the last one, but it adds a fun element of pretense. My brother John Leekley writes movies. One time back in the 90s a TV movie starring Helen Hunt that John wrote, em>In The Company of Darkness, was being made, and some scenes were being filmed in a Chicago suburb less than an hour's drive from where I then lived. I got to visit the set one day and watch the filming, which I did with much appreciation and wide-eyed interest.

At one point the director asked me to play a background character, which I gladly did for the fun of it. What I've remembered ever since about the experience is how alert and aware I was while on camera. I wanted to do my little part just right, so I would please the director and the actors and not ruin the shot with a flub. I had to be realistically in character and react appropriately without calling the audience's attention to me. When the cameras were on, I was very much aware of my every movement, my stance, my expression. The director said I did fine. They shot the scene a few times from different angles, plus some closeups of the main characters. I was in some of the shots but not most of them; I ended up in just one brief, edited shot in the movie. I'm a background blur that you'll miss if you blink and won't notice if you don't blink, because you'll be watching the main characters.

The on camera technique is to pretend that cameras are now filming the happening now scene in the movie of your life. Being "on camera" makes one very aware of being here now. You improvise, guided by the Director's suggestions, which come to your mind in a pretend high tech way as words or image.

The Director is Mr. Intuition, and he is very supportive and encouraging. He suggests not only what to do moment to moment but with what attitude to do it. Director's Voice: "With enthusiasm and confidence, you break the two eggs into the batter."

When I am "on camera" in that pretend way, not only is my attention in the present, but, encouraged by the imaginary Director and a host of affirming imaginary spirit beings, this technique also helps me to be more confident, more courageous, more decisive, and less awkward than usual for me.

The 'Doctor Who' Technique

Doctor Who is a TV science fiction fantasy series in which a Time Lord known as The Doctor, starting from the far away planet of Gallifrey, travels through space and time, having adventures on different planets, including earth, using his ingenuity to save societies from calamities and villains. The navigation controls of his TARDIS spacetime ship have been damaged, so when he travels in it, he doesn't know where or when it will land. Each time it lands, Doctor Who must learn fast how to survive and cope in whatever situation he finds himself.

To me the Doctor Who stories symbolize reincarnation. This is the concept that when a human dies, that entity's disembodied soul spends some amount of time in another dimension (different cultures of the world and different psychics have different stories about the details) and then chooses to be reborn. Delivered by his or her mother like Doctor Who is delivered wherever whenever it lands by his TARDIS spacetime machine, a newborn begins learning at birth about its new here now world.

Pretend that you have been traveling with Doctor Who and that you just stepped out of the TARDIS, which to your dismay immediately left, leaving you wherever you are to fend for yourself. Expect the unexpected. Stay alert.

The 'On Vacation' Technique

Taking vacation trips is popular in part because during a vacation one's mind is attracted more than usually to the here and now. The sights, sounds, and smells are unfamiliar. Around every bend of the road an adventure might await. A stranger might be friendly or unfriendly. A momentary lapse of attention might mean missing an interesting landmark, an awesome view, or a fascinating happening.

This technique is to pretend you are on vacation. See, hear, and smell your familiar surroundings with an attitude of curiosity and wonder.

Want to Be Here Now

This is the simplest and most effective technique for living in the moment, for being here now -- to choose to want most of all to be here now. When others speak of the good old days or of the coming utopia and ask you about the times and places you wish you could experience again or wish to experience in the future, say, believe, and feel that your heart's desire, your greatest wish is to be here now. This moment is what you can, fleetingly, possess with your senses. Want it. Possess it. Be aware of it, for its instant.

Glowing

This ultra-simple technique is that I pretend or imagine that I am glowing--that my whole body is glowing like a firefly, except steadily. Of course no one, me included, can see any glow, but I imagine feeling my body glowing as though it really were.

What are the benefits of glowing?

  • It is pleasant enough that I like doing it but not so pleasant that I mind not doing it.
    When I have nothing to do--when I am waiting for the faucet water to turn hot or waiting for a computer program to load or waiting for a bus--I can glow. It's something to do and an alternative to fretting, worrying, or grousing.
  • There are many simple tasks that I can do at the same time that I am glowing. I can wash dishes while glowing, get dressed while glowing, and so on. While I am busy glowing, pretty soon a bunch of tasks have gotten done, it seems effortlessly and in little time. If a task requires closer attention, I give it and automatically stop glowing.
  • When I don't know what to do next with myself and many shoulds are competing for my attention, I glow. That satisfies my feeling that I should be doing something. And then usually intuition sends me an impulse what task to do next.
  • Glowing helps me to listen attentively. If I am glowing as I am listening to someone, I can occupy myself with glowing during their pauses, decreasing the risk of my mind wandering and missing what is said next.

Often while I'm "glowing" I also pretend that I am starting to float. I don't know why, but this rising up, starting to float sensation brings a feeling of elation to my body and a big smile to my face.

What is your preference?

  • I prefer to be aware of what is present at this now moment
  • I prefer to daydream
See results without voting

Conclusion

Those are a few of the ways to be here now. No implication is intended that being fully present is better than having one's attention on a memory, an anticipation, a hope, a worry, or a conundrum. Use the mind's tools, such as thinking and memory, when and as needed, and afterward bring your attention again to your here and now, using such techniques as described above. It takes but an instant to switch from one of the techniques to another or to switch from mindfulness of the here and now to thinking about the past, the future, or hypotheticals and then back to the present moment. The instant you enter a moment, you are leaving it. Or it is leaving you. Wonder at the ever now flow of moments.

Addendum February 2015: Mind Mapping and Mindfulness

This winter I have been learning and practicing mind mapping as developed and taught by Tony Buzan. It is a wonderfully useful and easy way to take notes, as of a meeting or a lecture, or to brainstorm, as when formulating a plan, a novel, or a hub. Doing mind mapping with pen and paper led me to the practice of mental mind mapping. I realize that it seems peculiar to do something mentally that is based on a way to write that is based on how brain/mind processing of information and ideas naturally works.

Suppose that, using one of the techniques described in the essay above, my attention is here, now, in the present, or such a tiny instant, fraction of a second, ahead in time as to be experienced as what is becoming becoming now. Supposed that as I am experiencing and enjoying the wonder of now, I open my refrigerator door and see a package of ground beef and think, "Lunch. Hamburger. Yum," as I reach for it. An example of mental mind mapping would be if I were to very briefly, in moments, think ahead, mentally seeing branching possibilities—ground beef, supper, chili, or spaghetti sauce, or tacos, so for lunch tuna salad on toast or in a sweet red pepper or on lettuce, or vice versa, tuna salad for supper; the salad is quicker to prepare and I have things to do, places to go in the afternoon, so I pause my reaching for the ground beef and grab the mayonnaise and celery instead and step to the pantry shelves to grab a can of tuna. Suchlike brief mental mind mapping of future consequences of president actions doesn't take one's attention away from the here and now for long—just moments—and makes smooth sailing ahead, metaphorically speaking, more likely.

Why wouldn't I mentally look a little further ahead to the probable consequences to myself and to life on earth of a meat diet? Good question. Substitute a vegan example, or substitute a nonfood example of mental mind mapping, such as whether to turn on the TV when there are so many other possibilities.

More by this Author


COMMENTS 140 comments

Zainnisar profile image

Zainnisar 4 years ago from Little Island, Heart.

By the end of first paragraph I have tears in my eyes but did dried before they could shed. Its true we humans do think a lot and it's a blessing but when it take over your conscious its begging of a very big problem leading you to isolation and that's exactly what I did with myself, there is no one else to blame. Irony, No matter how hard you try, whenever something happen, My Mind will go in overdrive and I will find myself standing at square one, Once More.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks for sharing your comment, Zainnisar. I know the back to square one feeling. I especially get it every New Years Day when I make the same resolutions year after year and realize I'm the same imperfect me. I hope you find ways that work for you that lead you out of isolation and that ease your mind.


KeithTax profile image

KeithTax 4 years ago from Wisconsin

"Live for today, for tomorrow may never come." Similar quotes appeal to me. You provided us with several tools to focus on the only thing every one of us has: "now."

Like many, I spend too much time focused on the future and agonizing over the past. B. Leekley, your hub has encouraged me to refocus on the "now." Your experience is a powerful tool we can all learn from.


Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 4 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

Yep--this is a big subject, I agree and you have touched upon a lot of cool ideas today. Your sight problem must be unpleasant. I found I enjoyed this very much. You have this laid out beautifully and it is easy to understand. Keep up the great HUBS. I must give this an “Up ONE and awesome.” I'm always your fan! RJ

Based upon your HUB, you might enjoy this HUB…

http://hubpages.com/entertainment/Tiny-Tim-and-the


myrtle McKinley profile image

myrtle McKinley 4 years ago

loved your hub "How to live in the moment. It was so informative and relatable.

I am a new hubber, with only two so far.

Check them out.

Regards, Myrtle


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, Keith, Reynold,and Myrtle. Myrtle, I am a new hubber, too. I joined 2 years ago but did not actually publish my first hub until last month. I'll look at your first one later today.Reynold, thanks for mentioning your Tiny Tim story. I gave it lots of positive feedback. It gave me the thought that one of these days I'll do a hub review of the book YOUR HEART'S DESIRE by Choquette. Keith, I'm glad you found my suggestions helpful. I've always been a daydreamer, and I use those techniques a lot to keep getting my mind back to now.


Talisker profile image

Talisker 4 years ago from UK

What a thorough and engaging hub. Humans are so complex that when we try to break down the workings of emotions etc, we end up even more confused! I agree with your philosophy. It does no one any good to get overcome with negative thoughts and feelings.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, Talisker.


Caitlin Cole 4 years ago

I like the techniques, and I like how the author described his own experience. It made me feel like I was listening to a sage friend! I also appreciated the links at the end for further study.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks lots, Caitlin.


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

Wow! What a plethora of different approaches, all with the mindfulness in breathing. Incredible hub! I really enjoyed this and am bookmarking it for future reference. Thank you so much for sharing!


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, cclitgirl. Glad it's helpful. And with imagination, one can think up even more live in the moment techniques. Like, when I'm alone in my wife's and my apartment, I often pretend that life is an opera.

Recently I saw this Zits comic strip reproduced by someone in Facebook (quoted here from memory):

Teen Boy: My new philosophy is to live in the moment. Unless, of course, the moment sucks. Then I live in some other moment.

Teen Girl: Works for me.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

I'm going to try some of these -- thanks for pointing them out. The "Seeing Ahead" technique is the ones that seems most useful to me. Voting this Up and Interesting.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks alocsin. That technique is my favorite, too. These days when I am doing something routine like going for a walk, washing dishes, or gazing out the window, I switch between mindfulness of the moment and mindfulness of hub ideas.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

A fascinating hub filled with techniques which work as I can attest to. Living in the now is my only option. I applaud you for overcoming and I applaud you for an excellent hub!


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thank you, billybuc.


Sonya L Morley profile image

Sonya L Morley 4 years ago from Edinburgh

This is informative and very helpful, great hub, thanks for sharing it.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks Sonya


Robert Erich profile image

Robert Erich 4 years ago from California

These are some great tips for living in the moment! So many people have a tendency to dream through their entire lives. I appreciate this article helping us all live more in the moment. Thanks for sharing.


mindful mamo profile image

mindful mamo 4 years ago from Sooke, BC

thanks for the great techniques. Some i already use and have written about. i appreciate having new mindful daily practices, being here, now is all that matters.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Robert, thanks for commenting. I'm glad you found this hub helpful.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Mindful Mamo, thanks for commenting. I'll take a look at your hubs to learn additional mindfulness practices.


el-empirico@hotmail.com 4 years ago

I Thought that's wonderful

Could explain what's that and what it feeling ?


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks for commenting,el-empirico. I am uncertain what you are asking. Please clarify. If you are asking what is being in the moment, it means being aware and attentive of your present surroundings rather than thinking about a real or imagined past or future. What it feels like depends upon your emotional reaction, which depends on your personality and on your circumstance at that moment.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

I write this comment on 6-19-2012. Two weeks ago yesterday I asked the writing group I am in to critique this article. In recent days I made their suggested improvements, which regarded such writing style flaws as overlong sentences and repetitive use of certain words. Yesterday the group found a few flaws in my rewrite. Today I made those improvements. I hope my readers like the result. I welcome suggestions for further improvements in how I write as well as comments on what I write.


Tracey Roberts 4 years ago

Well done, B. Leekley!


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Tracey, thank you very much.


Farmer Rachel profile image

Farmer Rachel 4 years ago from Minnesota

B - this was a wonderful article. Voted up, useful, interesting, and Facebook-ed :) I tried some Zen-type meditation about a year ago and found I didn't have the patience for it - but that's the problem, isn't it? Reading this has inspired me to give it another try and to give the process the time it needs. Thanks for sharing your insight and wisdom!


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, Farmer Rachel. I'm glad you liked my Live in the Moment article. There are lots of meditation techniques. I hope you find one you like. One idea would be to make a labyrinth on your farm and then walk it from time to time. See http://labyrinthsociety.org/make-a-labyrinth/ and also http://www.angelfire.com/tn/SacredLabyrinth/

There are probably lots of hubs on meditation. I'll write one one of these days.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

Fascinating hub. You've presented some wonderful techniques for remaining present in the moment.

I agree that even small doses of mindfulness can help break a negative cycle and get us refocused on something more positive and peaceful.

I loved the way you wove your personal experiences of utilizing the techniques.

Also enjoyed the video that showed Olive Henry's skywalking event in celebration of her 80th birthday.

Showed we can all do exciting things that help us feel alive and completely present no matter how old we are.

Voted up across the board except for funny.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks lots, Happyboomernurse. I've been reading an interesting 1984 book on a related topic: PLAYING BALL ON RUNNING WATER: LIVING MORITA PSHYCHOTHERAPY, THE JAPANESE WAY TO BUILDING A BETTER LIFE, by David K. Reynolds. It's a way of life coaching to help people get free of neurosis. Learning to be fully aware in and of the moment is just the starting point. Then (p. 67), "We trust the inner prompting that tells what needs to be done in the moment." It's that doing that's key, for reasons the author convincingly explains. The philosophy seems influenced by Zen and Taoism. Maybe I'll write a review.


stessily 4 years ago

B. Leekley, Although I am deeply familiar with mindfulness, I appreciate your presentation, which not only serves as a helpful introduction for those unmindful of mindfulness but also is a refreshing review for those mindful of mindfulness. All of the techniques presented by you are effective, enlightening, and enjoyable; I shift between them spontaneously as well as at times specifically set aside for mindfulness. I love the way they expand my perspective and enhance my appreciation of now.

The Russian video of "The bridge on the island" does not feel like a vicarious experience of altitudinous awareness; rather, the sights and sounds through camera angles effectively convey the dizzying heights, buffeted by winds, so that the wind is palpable and each movement succeeds through awareness.

Your anecdote about your film experience is interesting and pertinent. My research on and experience with film, photography, and theater have convinced me of the importance of a heightened awareness of separateness as well as of oneness in creativity.

Thank you for sharing your understanding and practice of mindfulness.

Appreciatively, Stessily


Emanate Presence profile image

Emanate Presence 4 years ago from the Head to the Heart

Hi B. Leekley,

You have written a volume in an article, packed full of useful information and helpful tips. I like your balance of facts and the personal touch.

T.M. reminds me of my experience in 1971, when as a writer for my high school newspaper I went with three other students in the middle of winter to a log cabin in Rocky Mountain National Park. I sat across a coffee table from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and interviewed him. Large snowflakes were falling outside the picture window and Maharishi laughed as he spoke about bliss. His hair flowed onto his shoulders. I asked him about mantras such as Om mani padme hum, as I was reading books on Tibetan mysticism at the time, and he answered that it was needed to have a personal mantra. It is a gorgeous memory from more than forty years ago. Your site came up as a recommendation after I published 'Authenticity and the Art of Life'. Glad I came by to visit.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks very much, stessily.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, Emanate Precense. That interviewing Mararishi sounds like a wonderful experience, I think I recall him saying in a book or a videoed lecture that Om is for those who want to devote their lives to contemplation in solitude, to the life of a monastic, while the mantras given in TM training are better for those with active lives. My mantra has worked well for me -- much better than any I made up myself. I have not experimented with Om mantras. Maybe I will. For awhile a few years ago I experimented with doing TM using the Christian mantra "maranatha" (an Aramaic word found in the Bible that means "Lord come"), and it worked as well as my usual mantra.


Emanate Presence profile image

Emanate Presence 4 years ago from the Head to the Heart

Very interesting that you experimented with the mantra 'maranatha' and TM. Being playful with the mantras gives an expanded experience. After all, the guru is within. Have you come across the translations of the Lord's Prayer and Beatitudes from the Aramaic language which Jesus spoke? The first line of the Lord's Prayer, which reads, "Our Father who art in heaven" in the KJV, can be translated "O Birther! Father-Mother of the Cosmos, who fills all realms of sound, light and vibration." or "O Thou! The Breathing Life of all, Creator of the Shimmering Sound that touches us." - translation by Dr. Neil Douglas-Klotz


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks Emanate Presence. If the Klotz translation is from the original wording and is accurate, then the King James version translators did a poor, inaccurate job.

Ever since I read books by Edmond Bordeaux Szekely (which he claimed without evidence to be translations of 4th century documents), I've mentally translated "father in heaven" as "father sky", with the sky, or space, symbolizing the infinite boundlessness of God.


Emanate Presence profile image

Emanate Presence 4 years ago from the Head to the Heart

B. Leekley, the translator is a scholar in Scotland who's made it his life work to accurately convey the original meaning of the words of Jesus. He says the Aramaic language lends itself to more than one rendering and offers multiple interpretations of each line. From his book, the credit line: The Prayer of Jesus in Aramaic ("The Lord's Prayer"): Transliteration and original translation by Dr. Neil Douglas-Klotz from the Peshitta (Syriac-Aramaic) version of Matthew 6:9-13 & Luke 11:2-4. Yes, I would say with you (as a former believer in a literal interpretation of the Bible) that what we have in any Bible translation is far removed from the original message. I was in metaphysical and eastern thought before converting to Christianity, then found a way to living my truth. Good for you that you have mentally translated "father in heaven" with a feeling of the infinite boundlessness of God.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks for the additional information, Emanate. Another work that can be, and has been, translated many ways is the Tao Te Ching -- including my brother Guy's translation, published in 2008 by Anusara Press.

The most interesting take on the Jesus story that I've read so far is the one told in trance readings by Edgar Cayce.


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 3 years ago

Wonderful hub. Thank you so much for sharing this. I especially like the see ahead technique, but they are all very helpful. I learned a lot and am sharing this on twitter. Rated up, awesome, interesting and useful.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks very much, toknowinfo, for the positive feedback and for sharing this hub. I'm glad you like it.


glassvisage profile image

glassvisage 3 years ago from Northern California

Wow, I've never heard of many of these techniques before. I think this would be a great habit to get into - to focus on the here and now. This is something I've been trying to do lately and I think these methods would be a great start.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, glassvisage. I hope my suggestions are helpful. Please comment again in a few months and say which, if any, techniques (whether from this hub or from another source or discovered on your own) have helped you to live in the moment.


the girls profile image

the girls 3 years ago from Los Angeles, California

Your techniques are unique and effective. In sports/exercise alone, I couldn't think anymore if I am out of breath. The games does shift your concentration, especially when challenging and enjoyable. There is a board game called "Pictionary" where it allows to show the "child in me" by acting weird and laughing at the same time. Sharing :-)


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, the girls.


healthylife2 profile image

healthylife2 3 years ago from Connecticut, USA

All I can say is WOW!! I know the value of living in the present and you provided so many techniques that people can actually follow regardless of the lifestyle. Even five minutes of stopping and simply focusing on your breath can be done anywhere and is a benefit. I also like the concept of focusing on the five senses or pretending to be on vacation. Very interesting description of being in a movie and focusing on being present. I guarantee I will be coming back to this hub many times. Voted up and shared!


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks lots, healthylife2. I'm glad you like it. I'm an enneagram 9 and have a tendency to daydream, and I use these various techniques to stay more in the present. Maybe sometime I'll add a video showing the technique "Life is an Opera".


Louisa Rogers profile image

Louisa Rogers 3 years ago from Eureka, California and Guanajuato, Mexico

Hello B Leekley, Just discovered you via your fan mail (thanks!). I am a meditator and co-facilitate a meditation group. I am especially intrigued by the 'seeing ahead' technique, new to me. Mindfulness when I do it helps me with all kinds of compulsive tendencies (such as unnecessary eating and pretending to be busy). Thanks! Voted up & interesting. PS I got an email saying you'd commented on my "enough" hub, but there was no comment to be found!


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, Louisa. What meditation technique do you use and teach? Guided meditation? Have you written a hub about it? I did write a comment on your "enough" hub and also shared it. I must have neglected to click the Send or whatever button. I'll recreate it as best I can tomorrow.


Louisa Rogers profile image

Louisa Rogers 3 years ago from Eureka, California and Guanajuato, Mexico

Hi BL,

I don't teach meditation. I belong to a meditation group that is part of a larger zen center in Northern California. Our "satellite" group is very grassroots; we take turns leading, but in a very non-directive way, and there's no formal teacher. It's wonderful. There is no one technique recommended. I also live in Mexico, and belong to a meditation group here as well, "led" by a Japanese teacher except he does no active leading. Complete silence.

I've done a lot of mindfulness walking, including the 540-mile Camino de Santiago and other long-distance walks.

My husband has written more on mindfulness & meditation than I have. He's published several pieces in Tricycle, the main Buddhist magazine. I don't find meditation easy to write about, so I come at it through other topics!


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

A 540-mile mindfulness walk is awesome.


Hallowmyst 3 years ago

Wonderful. Fascinating. Thank you!


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, Hallowmyst.


Made profile image

Made 3 years ago from Finland

Wow! This hub was an eye opener to me. There are so many different techniques for "being here now". I want to try the dancing right away. This is a hub I'm probably going to return to. Sharing and voting!


CrisSp profile image

CrisSp 3 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

This is a perfect motivational read to start off the New Year with mindfulness and begin with a positive transformation in life.

I feel the readers are left with some thought provoking statements on your conclusion on switching from one technique to another: "The instant you enter a moment, you are leaving it. Or it is leaving you. Wonder at the ever now flow of moments."

The "glowing" part and its benefit is very interesting. Voted up, useful and very interesting.

P.S. Olive Henry's video is very fascinating! What an inspirational woman she is!


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thank you, Made. I'm glad you like it.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, CrisSp. I'm glad you like this hub. I tend to be scatterbrained and to indulge in daydreaming, so I need to put these techniques to use a lot.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 3 years ago from North Carolina

Wow! You certainly have a gift for philosophy. This is very interesting and I want to learn more about this art. It seems like the visualization technique used by Holmes in the new Sherlock Holmes movies. Very, very interesting!


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, tammyswallow. I'm glad you find this hub interesting. I've needed to make up techniques to compensate for my tendency to be scatterbrained, distracted, and daydreamy. I'll look for a chance to see recent Sherlock Holmes movies.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 3 years ago from California

I loved this and am sharing it!


ALUR profile image

ALUR 3 years ago from USA

I'm blessed to have stumbled on something that addresses the wandering mind-my own thoughts had trouble actually keeping still enough due to the length but what worthwhile information. These "tricks" are absolutely a great tool that stems also from neurolinguistic articles I've read of.

The key is to REMEMBER to breath and be in the moment, when easily we are distracted.

Hope you visit/rate my versatile hubs as well:)

Thanks again.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thank you very much for sharing it, Audrey, and I am glad you love it.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks for commenting, ALUR. I hope you find some of the be here now techniques that I use helpful. I agree that the key is remembering to use any of them.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 3 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I have found that the concept of "concentration" seems to be a common feature to improvement techniques. It could also be "focus." Like you point out our minds wander Focusing on whatever one is doing helps to do more with less frustration. Easier said than done in my case.


mary615 profile image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida

This is a Hub that I have to bookmark and go back and reread. It is late and my little brain can't handle all this information. I have meditated for many years, and I try to "live in the moment". I read the Power of Now and truly believe in what it has to say.

Lot to think about in this Hub. I voted it UP, etc.etc.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, Mary. I hope you find the hub beneficial.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina

Brian, this is a very well presented article on techniques of mindfulness. I'm sure they will serve people well. I also loved the examples you gave, including the videos. Rated up/U/I/A


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks very much, Denise.


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 3 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

I'm very glad to have been led by your awesomely informative hub today. I have one of those busy worrying minds and needed some practical suggestions in the daily execution of life! Quality is dripping from this hub! Thank you for all you did here which I find wonderfully thorough and extremely helpful! Will link this to my hub called "Still the Waters" on the subject of being in the moment so even more people can find it. My hub, though, is more about the importance of silent stillness, but I didn't have any practical suggestions in the daily going about your business routine!Blessings to you, Kathi :O)


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 3 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

So thankful to be led to this today. I have one of those busy worrying minds and could use this practical advise. You have certainly provided it with an awesomely thorough, well written hub dripping of quality! Will link this to a hub I posted about the "silent stillness" so even more people can find this. My hub "Still the Waters" quotes today's gurus on the subject, but wanted more practical advise to give people. This will be perfect! Bless You, Kathi

BTW I grew up in Kalamazoo and now I live in the Saugatuck area ... Best of luck on your book and I will check out some chapters another day. Got to get back to my own book now... thank again


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks lots Fossillady, for your positive comment. I took a look at your Still the Waters hub. It's a good introduction to some contemporary writers on spirituality, with well chosen quotes. I'm thinking that sometime soon I will put a link to it in this hub. Your photos are lovely.

Silent stillness of mind is something that I sometimes have briefly during transcendental meditation.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks for commenting again, Fossillady, and adding that you grew up in Kalamazoo and are living in the Saugatuck area. How do you like my Kalamazoo hub?


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Live each day to the fullest is how I often think, and you have said more than just that there, brilliant techniques which I haven't heard of and such a meaningful Hub to life.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, DDE.


kims3003 3 years ago

You are a very talented and gifted writer - one of the best! This hub is amazing - Have passed it on to several people close to me.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

I'm glad you like it, kims3003.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

There are so many techniques here that are definitely useful to help us enjoy every moment. I love the philosophy "Be Here Now" and the exercise of living the Dr. Who moment of reincarnation. I'll be marking these references for some future reading. Thanks so much. Voted way up!


brightforyou profile image

brightforyou 3 years ago from Florida

This is a very thorough and helpful hub full of information and well-written. You take the concept of 'present moment' living and break it down into bite sized chunks for us to chew on.. I loved this hub, thank you!


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, Peg.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, brightforyou.


elnavann profile image

elnavann 3 years ago from South Africa

Thanks. This was a much needed reminder ..... I tend to lose myself in the past and future. Also very well-written


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, einavann.


Kathryn Stratford profile image

Kathryn Stratford 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

This is a very interesting article, and I liked hearing about the different ways you focus on being in the moment. Thanks for sharing this insightful piece with us, and have a wonderful weekend.

~ Kathryn


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, Kathryn.


Abby Campbell profile image

Abby Campbell 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

I love this hub, Mr. Leekley. It is full of wonderful and useful information that I have been looking for for a long time. Thank you! I will incorporate some of these techniques starting today. :-)


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Abby, I'm glad this hub might prove helpful to you. Thanks for commenting.

I'm currently attending a weekly free class on mindfulness meditation. It usually includes twenty minutes to half an hour of meditating, with the teacher doing a guided meditation of "body scan" mindfulness or of breath mindfulness. Sometimes I use the time for Transcendental Meditation, which I learned in the mid 70s.

I find that the techniques described in this hub for bringing awareness back to here and now during a day's activities and regular meditation (using whatever technique) complement each other.

TM is a mantra meditation technique. A mantra is a verbal sound (with or without meaning as a word) that the meditator brings to mind as effortlessly as any other thought and then observes mindfully as the mind repeats it however the person pleases. If the meditator notices he or she has been thinking other thoughts, he or she gently brings the mantra back to mind and continues. Sometimes the mantra gets finer and finer and fades away, leaving one briefly in a state of pure awareness, like listening to silence or floating in darkness. It's all good -- being mindful of the mantra and having thought sidetracks and having moments of awareness of being -- so long as it is done without effort beyond the easy one of bringing the mantra into mind as a thought. Best to learn TM or some other deep meditation technique from a trained teacher who can answer questions about experiences that might come. For instance, as the body gets very relaxed while the mind is alert, old stresses might be released and bring strong memories or feelings.Regular meditation, day by day, month by month, year by year, gradually releases such harbored stresses, resulting in increased positivity.

The mantra I learned when I was taught the TM technique is from a Hindu tradition. Sometimes for a mantra I instead use the Biblical word "maranatha".


Jatinder Joshi profile image

Jatinder Joshi 3 years ago from Whitby, Ontario, Canada

Great hub. Enjoyed reading about all the techniques that you have listed. Have attempted some; will attempt the others. Thank you for sharing.

To me the first photograph of the baby counting the toes said it all. I have a four year old granddaughter and she is my greatest teacher to be here and now. Children are always, 'here and now'; living in the present moment. Somehow as we grow, we pride ourselves in doing many things at once and lose the ability to be here and now. Good or bad, I am not sure.

All this is tied to our mind and the tricks it plays to keep us entangled. In the present moment, the mind ceases to exist. Mind is all about past and future. Meditation in effect tries to stop this 'monkey' mind from going from Paris to New York and then Japan in less than a second.

Have a happy unmindful day!


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks lots for your comment, Jatinder. I agree about the baby photo. That picture and the photo of a man surfboarding an ocean wave to me say, "This is being in the moment."


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 2 years ago from Northern California, USA

I have a lot to explore. These are all such excellent techniques. I think I'll start with the Repeating a Word technique.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks for commenting, MarleneB. Looking at the matter from a Christian perspective, one might consider that God is far away in heaven and also here now, in us and among us and in His works and everywhere. So to be present and aware encompasses both the world of perception and the presence of God -- revealed, for instance, in the striving for life and growth by a potted vine in my living room, in the creativity begun by my wife with some pieces of fabric and left by her sewing machine, and outside my window, the sky, ancient symbol of God's boundlessness. The Bible has lots of words that can be repeated to keep one's mind present at the here now: hallelujah, amen, maranatha, hosanna, etc.


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 2 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Hi- Thank you for sharing this enlightening article. I am always telling my spouse to be in the moment, when we have a discussion about something and he moves on to other items. I can usually not concentrate on many things at a time. I guess I need to be in the moment and not have my mind jumbled by using my brain to the point of overload. I do meditation and other calming processes, and I learn by asking questions. Your article points out the importance of looking around , thinking of pleasant things and not ruminating over happenings. It is easy to do but best not done. What point is it to look back at yesterday or worry about tomorrow. Someone once said."Yesterday is gone, today is here, and tomorrow is an enigma." Well done. Pinning and sharing. Blessings Audrey


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks lots, Audrey.


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest

Voted and shared. I use a few of these mindfulness techniques and I do practice meditation a lot. Nothing is better for relieving anxiety or stress than to put oneself full and present. You shared a few techniques that are new to me though that I am definitely going to try! :)


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, ChristinS. I'm glad you found this hub helpful. I agree re relieving anxiety and stress.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Strange but we learned these things in life from a young age and did not label them at all. We lived in the country and there were creeks to cross and cliffs to climb and missteps could be fatal. Funny that we used the term "Pay Attention". And yet now as a Christian pastor who teaches meditation I see those words were right on the money.

Great hub


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Yes, Ericdierker, for sure being in the moment is a necessity when hiking or climbing where you need to watch your step, or when playing a sport like basketball, or when working a job like dentist or air traffic controller at a busy airport. It does not come readily and easily for me when I'm sitting at my desk to pay attention to what is going on outside my head. Like, a few years ago in another city, a sniper killed and wounded several persons less than a block from where I sat and everyone in the neighborhood heard the shots except me. These be aware of here and now tips of mine are opposed in me by the lure of daydreaming.

The main point of an interesting old (1959) book, The Management of Time by McCay, is that if you are in business and don't stay aware and alert, you're not going to clearly understand all that is said to you, and that is going to mean foolish decisions, lost business, and wasted time. (Actually the book has a more sophisticated discussion of problems of perception, but that's my take-away.)


CrisSp profile image

CrisSp 2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

I've been reminding myself time and again, it is here, it is now and you've just reminded me again. Thank you for this wonderful hub. Pleasure to read it and definitely pinning and sharing it.

Just like what my favorite Jason Mraz said in his song:

"Live in the moment

To live my life

Easy and breezy

With peace in my mind

With peace in my heart

Got peace in my soul

Wherever I'm going, I'm already home"

Cheers! Voting up and across.


georgescifo profile image

georgescifo 2 years ago from India

Meditation and participation in games and sports two of the major activity that I take to keep me cool and composed.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks very much, CrisSp, for pinning and sharing and for the song quote. I'm glad you like this hub and find it helpful.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks for commenting, georgescifo. I agree that those are good practices to have in one's daily routine.


DreamerMeg profile image

DreamerMeg 2 years ago from Northern Ireland

Very interesting. As a child I daydreamed all the time but now, as an adult, I live more in the present.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks for commenting, DreamerMeg. I daydream about those long ago years when I was a child daydreaming about being a grown-up. Then I whack my head and bite my tongue to remind me to stay aware of here now.


DonnaCaprio profile image

DonnaCaprio 2 years ago from Newburyport, MA

I love your tips about staying present. My mind often wanders so all help is appreciated! I love the video of the 80 yr. old sky walker. Thanks for a great hub!


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thank you, DonnaCaprio.


Kathleen Odenthal profile image

Kathleen Odenthal 2 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

Thank you for the follow. I see we share many common interests. I liked this hub and look foreward to reading more!


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, Kathleen.


grand old lady profile image

grand old lady 2 years ago from Philippines

I actually took notes from your hub and am doing the breathing technique right now. It is so helpful. Amazing how such a small thing can make such a big difference. Great hub!


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

Congratulations on the Editor's Choice award on this excellent topic. I find it helpful to think about camping or the ocean when I cannot sleep or need quietness. I enjoyed your sharing.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

I'm glad you find my Be In the Moment hub helpful, grand old lady. I'm scatterbrained and prone to daydreaming, so I need these simple techniques to stay present and aware.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks for commenting, teaches12345, and for letting me know I got an Editor's Choice award. I haven't yet looked up what that is, but I'm pleased I accomplished receiving it. I've been a slow hub writing learner.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas

Living in the now is important because now is so fleeting. You have a lot of good suggestions for bringing oneself back to the moment, but it's really the future because moments are pass so quickly.

Very interesting. Enjoyed your various perspectives. I think they can be helpful too, to people who may feel their lives are out of control or beyond their control. Quieting one's mind and bringing oneself into the here and now can be very helpful in regaining the control one believes they have somehow lost.

Voted up, AUI, pinned to Awesome HubPages, and sharing with my followers.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA

This has a lot of excellent insightful information and varied techniques for not letting one's self get caught up in either daydreaming or dwelling on past problems that can't be changed. I will read it again...and perhaps again to familiarize myself with the techniques and your suggestions.

I have a tendency to daydream that, while it is often pleasant, is not practical and wastes time that could better be used enjoying the moment or doing something useful in that moment (or hour).

Also, sometimes when my mind wanders I allow myself to go back and think of past mistakes, injustices, unhappy experiences, etc.--in other words, things that can't be changed. Any lessons available from those happenings have already been learned so there's no profit from dwelling on them. My time (of which much less is left these days) would be better spent 'in the moment.'

Thanks for sharing all of this in a great hub.

Voted Up++

Jaye


Patsybell profile image

Patsybell 2 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

I have wondered about mindfulness and being in the moment. Lots of information here and now to think about. Voted up, U, I, tweet.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks lots, Au fait, for commenting, pinning, and sharing. I agree that the now moment is really the future because of the lag time between event and perception. By thinking about the future in smaller and smaller time intervals, down to a flash fraction of a second, one can seem to be in the present moment.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks for commenting, Jaye, and voting Up. It sounds like our minds work a lot a like. I need techniques for getting my attention back to the present because my mind likes to meander away into daydreams and rehashing the past. My biggest difficulty is staying attentive when listening to a speaker.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks lots, Patsybell,


caseymel profile image

caseymel 2 years ago from Indiana

I used to take a yoga class that would help us center ourselves and be in the moment. I really learned a lot more than just yoga from that class.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 24 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

That sounds like a worthwhile class, caseymel, especially if you've retained that ability to center yourself and be in the moment.


askformore lm profile image

askformore lm 22 months ago

Thank you for a great hub! I have bookmarked it, and will visit you again. Thumbs up!


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 22 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks much for the compliment, askformore.


jponiato profile image

jponiato 21 months ago from Mid-Michigan

Thank you for this interesting treatise and these techniques. Bookmarking for future reference. Voted up, interesting, useful.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 21 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, jponiato. I'm glad it's of use.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 20 months ago from Dallas, Texas

It's interesting that when I scroll through someone's hubs looking for one I would like to read, that often, I unknowingly select the same one again. Here I am back to absorb and reread this excellent and profound article once again. Of my favorite parts, this one stands out, "For years I was mired in such negativity." So was I before I decided to "Be Here Now".


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 20 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

PegCole17, I'm gad you like this hub. The "mired" quote reminds me that I should write a hub about my positive experience practicing Transcendental Meditation, which is how I shed most of the negativity.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 20 months ago from California

Your seeing ahead technique is very similar to what I do in singing. I hear every note and word before I sing it--and I hear it the way that I want to sing it, and then I sing it that way--it is the best way to eliminate fear and worry and other distractions so that it is just me and the music


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 20 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

What a wonderful practice, AudreyHowitt. I assume that the time between your mentally hearing a note and your singing it is a short fraction of a second. I'm going to try that in conversation -- not ponder and worry what I am going to say (when I should be listening) but rather imagining myself speaking each phrase an instant before I speak it. Maybe I will be a more effective and less anxious conversationalist.

I wish I knew how to sing a particular note. I know how to play the notes in printed music on a piano and using some other instruments. If you say play middle C on a piano, I can do that, because I know what the note looks like on a page and I know what the note looks like on a piano keyboard, but if you say sing a middle C "oh", I have no notion how to even attempt that, unless I can hear an instrument play or a person sing that note; then I can match it or make a chord with it. It is awesome and mysterious that you and other singers can hear notes in your heads and can sing the words of a song in a song book note for note. Could a singing teacher teach me how to do that and how to identify notes by sound? In church I use the hymnal to know what words to sing but I figure out what notes to sing by matching my notes with those of a nearby good singer, and I try to make chord sounds, but I have no notion what notes either of us is singing.


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 18 months ago from Northern California, USA

One of the most important things I need to do for myself this year is to begin practicing the act of mindfulness. I found this article very timely and helpful.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 18 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, MarleneB. I also recommend doing some meditating each day. Google on: "mindfulness meditation" and on "mantra meditation" and on "guided imagery meditation" and on "Christian meditation".


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 18 months ago from Houston, Texas

I will look at things differently today and try some of the techniques you gave us in this good hub of yours. Thanks!


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B. Leekley 18 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, Peggy W. Glad you like it.


ThatMommyBlogger profile image

ThatMommyBlogger 18 months ago from The Midwest

I'm a constant thinker. My brain just never stops. I bookmarked this so I can read it later.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 17 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks for commenting, ThatMommyBlogger. I hope you find this article helpful in finding simple techniques for switching back and forth between thinking and attentive awareness -- also called mindfulness.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 13 months ago from Oakley, CA

Most interesting and useful, indeed. I have been in a 16-week group session, in which 'being in the moment' was discussed. I think you have captured the essence of this as well or better!

I am reminded of the line, "Carpe Diem," from the Robin Williams movie, "Dead Poet's Society," (although the saying predates that movie by centuries)!

I had to chuckle at your lengthy treatise on concentrating on breathing. I have done this from time to time; it is not a constant with me. But my younger daughter (age 44), has anxiety, and I was telling her the technique, and she said, "Oh, my goodness, no! I'd be worrying about my breathing by doing that: 'am I breathing too shallow? too deep? In danger of hyperventilating? ' etc..and that would cause me even greater anxiety!" So it's not a universally useful technique, though it does work for many.

Voted up, interesting and useful as well as shared.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 13 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, Dzy.

Observing one's breathing as it is happening without thought or effort is just one of many ways to bring one's attention to the present.I expect your daughter can find ones that work well for her. My mother's technique was ironing a basket full of laundered dress shirts. Holding a baby works. Standing on one foot works. Watching an ant's meandering journey works.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 13 months ago from Oakley, CA

Thanks for those extra ideas. LOL @ ironing. Iron = 'four letter word.' Not said in my household. Hahahaha


Parimalpolymath profile image

Parimalpolymath 11 months ago from India

Great article! Very elaborate.

I practice mindfulness daily but in the form it is prescribed by psychologists. I have heard about the transcendental meditation but I am skeptical about it.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 11 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, Pharimalpolymath.

Skepticism is good. Research TM thoroughly before coming to a decision about it. I hope and expect to write a hub before long about my TM experience.

I know a man who teaches mindfulness of the kind you practice. He charges for most of his classes, but he also has a monthly drop-in class with only a $5 suggested donation. I've been to it a few times. He does some explaining and then guides a mindfulness meditation. During it, I use the TM technique. Maybe next time I'll meditate his way.


darciefrench profile image

darciefrench 6 months ago from BC Canada

Thank-you for this peaceful hub :)


mchllhwgt profile image

mchllhwgt 2 months ago from England

Fabulous article on techniques. You put my own writing to shame! I'm only a few years into my mindful journey with so much still to learn. I follow with anticipation


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 weeks ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, Michelle. You're a very good writer. Re mindfulness, I'm better at writing about being mindful than I am at being mindful.

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