If you want to feel present, remove the future!
In the world of meditation, there one quintessential problem - a lack of urgency. Mindfulness meditation practitioners play in a domain without consequences for low effort, a lack of focus, or runaway monkey mind. But there's a hack.
Consider for a moment why every thriller has guns, drugs, or sex. Or at least consider the first two. If you're looking for sex, you opened the wrong blog post.
There's a pretty simple explanation for it. We want to see people on the edge because we know in our hearts that that's where real life is - the precipice of life and death. Those guys, the junkies with the needles and the man with a gun to his head are rolling the dice.
And because the uncertainty of tomorrow has just become truly confronting, there's nowhere else to be but here, mindful of every nuance and novelty that distinquishes this moment from the last.
We live vicariously through those cool dudes in the action flicks because they remind us of that edge, the adrenaline dump that empowers us to take charge of our lives, if even for a few moments.
But I think it's important to consider whether it's the scenarios they present that excite us, or the reminder that this moment has meaning, that choices matter and that life is RIGHT NOW. Guns in films do that. They can do that for you too in your mindfulness meditation practice.
On top of showing up regularly to your mindfulness practice (and ideally - standing meditation a la Weightlessness Training), add a sense of urgency with this visualization that removes options, if even for a few moments.
Visualize a gun to your head. You're graced with a few seconds of uncertainty - to live or die - and take a good hard look at your present. If you're anything like me you'll delve a little more deeply, take it a little more seriously, and stop accepting that distracted monkey mind from taking over. There's no time to waste!
Peel away the layers of your immediate experience. Listen carefully, mindfully.
This is your last moment.
Breathe as if its your last, as if it matters. Try this one RIGHT NOW for just one minute.