MINDFULNESS MEDITATION: EXPANDING CONSCIOUSNESS IN THE PRESENT MOMENT
So much of the stress and anxiety we experience in life is directly related to our preoccupation with rehashing the past or rehearsing for the future. The ability to pay attention to our immediate experience, to truly be present in the here and now, invites a pure awareness that diffuses the habituation of negative thoughts, emotions and behaviors that are obstacles to happiness and fulfillment.
Mindfulness meditation emphasizes the transformative nature of the present, which is sometimes referred to as sacred time. Meditation is about raising consciousness, which can only be achieved in the present moment, as we notice and experience—beyond preconception or judgment—intelligent energies of a living universe that exist beyond human thought. A personal sanctity occurs in this space, an empowerment of insight and meaning, a transcendence rooted in the physiology of focused breathing and the mind-body connection, that invites us to inhabit the ‘center’ of our individual worlds.
Our Perception Of Time
Like the practice of meditation, the concept of sacred time is ancient. The cycles of day and night, the turning of the seasons, the celestial system of astrology and ancient astronomy, are evidence of time being originally perceived as circular, and serve as a basis for the enduring representations from every culture of the circle and wheel as universal symbols of life.
In Celtic wisdom, time is contemplated in two distinct aspects:
- Historical time as being linear and consisting of the past, present and future
- Sacred time as being circular and existing solely in the present moment
Science reveals that the physical forces of the universe which function to create our perception of time are all cyclical. The prevailing viewpoint of time, however, is that of a linear phenomenon where the future is fundamentally different from the past, a perspective that has biblical foundations and corresponds to the evolution of written language and the recording of history. But science confesses to having trouble with time because Einstein’s theories of relativity rendered over a century ago disproved the idea of time as a universal constant. Consequently, the common belief that time is a temporal occurrence is not absolute in the learned minds of those who study the physical world. (See Discover Magazine article ‘Time May Not Exist’ here).
The earth spins at about 1000 miles per hour creating a gravitational pull that curves or ‘warps’ space-time. And with the moon in its orbital tow, the earth rotates in concert with eight other planets around the celestial fireball in the center of our solar system. No “past” or “future” exists in this circular equation of cosmic force; only the here and now. Akin to the mathematical conundrum of measuring the circumference of a circle, for which no formula is precisely accurate, there is also no true measure of time. Perhaps the most palatable theory comes from quantum physics and its contemplation of a constant increase in entropy—the continual expansion of the universe—which may be the origin of why we perceive time as always marching forward. (See Wired Magazine article ‘The Flow of Time’ here).
The Absolute Now
Timelines are man-made, visual constructs; they serve as a means of looking at what has gone before so that an ordering of the world might be conceived. Yet circles, like the divinity of creation itself, are infinite and therefore defy determinite resolution. Sacred time contemplates eternity as the absolute now. Practices such as mindfulness meditation expand consciousness in the present moment and enhance our ambient communion with a living, breathing, intelligent universe. Thus, when we embrace this subtle yet remarkable discipline and become present in the moment of our own lives, we are in-step with the entropic sentience of the cosmos . . . the absoute now.
©2015 Shawn Quinlivan, C.Ht. and Cathexis Therapeutic Imagery
Cathexis Therapeutic Imagery specializes in innovative approaches to workplace wellness, mindfulness training, and personal development. Via private coaching, presentations, workshops, training events, and our partnership in the unique online wellness community Your Wellness Room—used by Kaiser Permanente, EFactor and other notable companies—our nationally recognized programs and practices help people and organizations make positive changes. Please call for a free consultation at (818) 512-4371 or contact us via email.