Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Never Jam Today “The rule is, jam tomorrow and jam yesterday- but never jam today.”
Alice finds herself quite confused in her conversation with the White Queen. As they discuss the possible benefits of being the White Queen’s personal attendant, Alice is told that she would receive “Twopence a week, and jam every other day.” As Alice probes further, she realizes that “The rule is, jam tomorrow and jam yesterday- but never jam today.” For Alice this makes no sense, and for your reading, it is equally nonsensical.
When you are working for the White Queen, there is never any jam today. Does this sound at all familiar? Great rewards await you, but just out of reach. Never any now, always something promised in the future, or just passed out of reach. If this rings true, then you can be assured that you are working under the scarcity rules of the White Queen. It might be helpful to take out your magnifying glass and take a good look at the architectural design that has created the limitations of your mind. Is it a belief that there is never anything worthy of praise in the moment you occupy here and now? Are you unable to access the sweetness of life inside the body and space and time you inhabit with this breath?
It might be time to let go of old lenses through which you gaze upon your land of Wonder and take in the deliciousness that has been served up for you today.
You might find that you are being preoccupied with the jam that awaits you tomorrow, or the jam that was so delicious from yesterday. And somehow, as a result, there never seems to be any jam today. Why? Because, my dear, you are never here to eat it. Always going this way and that. It is amazing, despite the absurdity of it, how much time we spend with our minds in the future and the past. It happens so much so that we are almost living there in these non-existent times, and yet there is little we can accomplish when we do this. The past is done and gone (even in the Looking Glass land, once something has passed out of the present moment, its movement takes it away from the center). The future can only be affected by what we do in the here and now (for our minds have the ability to travel through time and space via the imagination, but our bodies are stuck in the present, and it's usually a good idea to drive any machine with the driver at the helm). So, the only real opportunity we have to make an impact on the events in our life is to be as much in the present as possible. Body and mind work best as a team, so it seems most logical to let go of the past and the future and focus on what exactly is in front of us. Don’t be fooled. Even moments into the future is still the future, and what just happened a moment ago is still the past.
It would be really difficult in our world to always be in the present, but it is a good idea to bring some balance to things by spending some more time in the here and now.
I will let you in on a little secret. I have a friend who is a time traveler. She mostly lives in the future. She says it is great there because this is where everyone puts their hopes and dreams (which is powerful manifestation energy). So, the future is genuinely rich with everything we could ever want, but only because we keep misdirecting our thoughts there. Since we don’t have the technology to get all of us into the future, we’re missing out on all of our hard work. If we could start opening our imaginations to where we really are, right here, right now, we’d have a lot more of what we want (and we’d quit providing for those lazy futurists who are living off of our thought-creations ;-).
How does one go about living in the present? It seems like a simple thing to do from the outside looking in, but go ahead. Give it a whirl. See how long you can sit and just focus on exactly what is happening in the moment and see how long it takes before you are thinking about that conversation you overheard at the store yesterday, or pondering what you are going to say next time you see so-and-so. The mind somehow has a resistance to being in the present. Sometimes it is because there are things going on in our minds and our bodies, usually catalyzed by feelings, that are uncomfortable. Sometimes it is because we have no clue what deep bliss lies seemingly hidden in such an obvious place. No matter what the challenges are, the rewards are even better. It may not be jam, but Alice doesn’t like jam anyway.
Meditation: This meditation practice could easily take months to really develop, and I suggest you do it as long as you can, as frequently as you can, as it serves you. This one particular meditation has been the sole practice of thousands, for hundreds of years. Get yourself as comfortable as possible, and before you close your eyes and move into your practice, light a candle, asking for the light of the flame to help to hold your mind, body and spirit in the present. Set your intention to allow all distractions to leave, and to keep your mind focused on each moment. Now, just start noticing your breath. Notice how long it is on the inhale, and the exhale. Notice where it goes in your body. Is it deep? Are you breathing slowly? How does it feel to breathe in? Are you breathing through your nose or your mouth? You can also pay attention to your body. How is it feeling? This can get tricky, because the body’s complaints can quickly take us out of the present: “Ooh, my neck is still sore from not sleeping right last night,” or “If I keep sitting like this, my legs are going to fall asleep.” This is past and future creeping in. Don’t feel like you’ve failed if this happens. Just ask them to wait in their respective places, and get back to the present. How is your breathing now? It may take a long while, but it is possible, while becoming skilled at just living in the present, to find a deep sense of bliss. Once you feel that starting to spread, you know that you have nailed the exact point of present moment awareness. There may be some interesting gate guardians that will try to throw you off the mark, like phantom pains, or the notion that you need to get up and do something other than sit here. Continue to stay focused on finding that present moment, and you will make it. Just as sure as Alice returns from Wonderland and through the Looking Glass.