Since I began practicing present moment awareness, I have known dark moments, even despair at times. It’s not as if the mere practice of present moment awareness means all is light for not all is nor ever was.
Present moment awareness allows me to attend the dark and light in me, to place every moment under scrutiny without fear of shattering illusions or poking at beliefs still circumspect. Light only illuminates the truth, even in the dark. There is no need to cling to any moment for any longer than it lasts.
Practicing present moment awareness turns the uncertainty of the unknown into the possibility of opportunity. It is “being here now” as Ram Dass has told us.
In one way or another, I write about present moment awareness in every blog post, perhaps even write around it at times. Yet, within the last couple weeks my present moment awareness practice has changed. Less and less, do I discover myself in past meanders or future scenarios. Dark or light, I am more now than not.
Perhaps it is because I am finally writing the old woman novel, not plotting, considering structure, or writing reams of back story. No, I am telling a story, which requires specificity, focus, “being here now.”
Certainly, some sentences and scenes are more ragged than others in this initial draft, but the present moment awareness of the novel’s world is seeping into my real life practice. That has my attention as well.
When I enter the world of the old woman, I meet her fears–fear moves a story along quite nicely–while her story is not my story, fear is an emotion magnet. When a character reveals fear to me, I am attracted into her moment by my own reservoir of fear.
Some days, the connection with the old woman takes my breath away, and I am blown back in time to one uncomfortable moment after another until I turn my attention to the old woman’s story, the vehicle into and out of my past. Only through the telling of her story am I able to close the doors she opens so easily.
At one time I believed my characters spoke to me but since I began my meditation practice, that belief no longer serves. To be clear, I do not hear voices when I write or when I meditate. It is much quieter than that. Frankly, stillness suits either practice as awareness or mindfulness has a practical application, at least for me.
In my daily meditation practice, there is stillness, a “gap between thoughts” as Deepak Chopra calls it, different than when I write but similar, too. My meditation precedes my writing practice; my mind is quiet as it enters the world of the old woman.
Physically, I am refreshed, deliberate in each hand movement, a uni-tasker, as I do not type. I use voice recognition software to write the story–the only voice I hear is my own–relaying observations and marking moments in an old woman’s life as I come to know her story.
Every day, the hours I spend in my meditation/writing practice increase. It is changing how I am in “the real world,” although I cannot characterize just what the effect is, not yet.
The only change is that my cat, EmmaRose, now meditates with me more often than not. At five and half pounds, she is more like a neck scarf than a cat around my neck or on my chest. Our meditation posture is a leaning back position rather than the more traditional cross-legged sit–for now. With constant practice comes constant change.