Scripture “And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” Luke 12:15-21

Spiritual Focus “Life is short, and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are traveling with us.  Oh be swift to love, make haste to be kind.” Henri-Frederic Amiel, 19th century Swiss philosopher and poet

Breath Prayer    Inhale: Swift   Exhale: to love

We all know we shouldn’t text and drive.  But did you know you shouldn’t text on your phone and walk?  A recent study shows that texting while walking decreases our situational awareness, causing our bodies to release stress hormones.  We are made to walk upright, head lifted, alert, so we can spot the proverbial tiger and run away.  When we are distracted by our phones while walking, our body’s innate intelligence becomes alarmed, concerned that we may be putting ourselves in danger.  

Staying present, undistracted by multi-tasking, centers us in the here and now.  It has a soothing effect not only on our bodies, but on our minds and spirits as well, gently unsticking us from dwelling on regrets from our past or worries for the future. In our busy world, staying present is remarkably difficult to do—there are so many distractions that grab our attention away from the moment.  Cultivating our awareness, simply noticing what is around us, is the first step to returning our attention to the present, to where we actually live out our lives. 

In this week’s scripture, Jesus has something to say about being present and how we choose to live.  He tells the parable of the rich farmer, who is preoccupied with building large barns to store his wealth, to hoard his abundance for the future.  Jesus reminds his listeners that life is short, encouraging us to live in the present “rich towards God”, and to use our gifts today to love God and one another.  

In yoga we practice present awareness by bringing our attention to the mat; we notice our breath and body sensations as we move through asana, and modify shapes in response to our body’s present needs.  At the end of the practice we are refreshed and ready to move off the mat, more open to present opportunities to love and be kind to our neighbor and the world.  

Practice off the mat:  Summer is a wonderful time to practice present awareness with a walking meditation.  Start out by giving yourself permission to be fully present on your walk—turn off your phone.  As you walk, experience your environment through your senses.  Be curious.  Notice colors, sounds, smells, and the feelings on your skin of breeze and warmth.  If your mind wanders, gently guide your attention back to the here and now.  At the end of your walk,  observe how you feel without judgement or evaluation.  What did you see or feel or smell or hear that was new?

© 2020 Yogadevotion | Made with love.
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