“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” ― Plutarch

Every book on the shelf of our existence holds memories: fears, aspirations, desires, attachments, dreams, and more. The mind is vast and unlimited, and like many history books throughout time, all our experiences, each and every thought we’ve conceived, are bound in the pages of our mind.

Understanding the nature and developing relationship with our mind, are the first steps toward cultivating presence of mind. If you’ve ever observed your thinking, you’ll notice that it often has a “mind of its own”, with the potential to wander aimlessly from one thought to the next. The mind’s natural state is active and it will continue its activity with or without our direction. It is, therefore, important to align and direct the mind toward our highest goals and aspirations, lest it lead us astray.

As we begin to focus on being present, through our yoga practice or other personal ritual, we begin to experience the mind as a very powerful tool. When we weave our intentional presence through each page of our history, we guide the mind’s purpose in support of our cause by simply being. This presence naturally brings peace, harmony, and balance to our life. As we develop an ability to return the mind to the present moment, it will automatically be disposed to a state of awareness that extends beyond the memory. Diffusing memories in this way dissipates confused and vacillating emotions that can form barriers to seeing clearly. As these barriers fall away we open to the possibilities in the present moment. In yoga, we call this clear perception.

Having the ability to see clearly with a broad observing awareness, allows for greater insight into our being, strengthening the dynamics of our relationships and the beauty of this shared journey. Being present with life and in life is our natural way of being. As as we consciously meet each moment we become a living prayer. No holding. No judging. Just pure existence.

Daily Reflections

Ask yourself:

How is the memory of my past experience influencing my perception of today?

What memory from the past am I holding that prohibits me from seeing clearly in the present?

How can I be more present in this moment?