Friday, May 29, 2015

#100daysofjensmusings- Day 54: Bridging the Present & Future

Friday mornings are juicy. I get to sleep in a little bit, have a leisurely breakfast and sip my tea on the deck, and then teach a morning yoga class. In today's class, I integrated some of the reading I have been doing from the book Mindful Work: How Meditation Is Changing Business from the Inside Out. The book is fantastic and I am almost finished. I decided to incorporate some of the passages from the book into class, carrying the theme of mindfulness into asana practice. A lot of my students have been practicing with me for almost a year now and are noticing changes in their lives. I notice myself changing and evolving as a yoga teacher too. 

The readings today were about this whole realm of mindfulness and how when we carve out time to get into the present moment, usually through breath awareness, meditative states, and contemplative activities, we can access new realms of peace and contentment and actually change our brain. It used to be that many scientists thought our brain reached a point of maximum development, where gray matter could not be increased and that the brain had no plasticity. With lots of research and test subjects being looked at over and over, scientists are seeing that those who actively participate in meditation and contemplative work are changing their brains, increasing gray matter and developing more plasticity in the brain itself. 

When I think/read about all of this work being done, I can't help but have my mind blown a little bit. Simply by tuning into the present, we can start to mold our own brain organs.

Tonight, we went to see a movie with some friends and the premise of the movie was about changing our future. Although it wasn't the best plot structure, it did make me think about the paradox of how we can stay present in our daily lives and at the same time prepare for our future in an intentional way. Is there a way to bridge both? Does one prepare you for the other? 

Every now and then, I like to think about other realms, daydream about life forms outside of earth. It doesn't happen much, but when I do think about those things, it gives me perspective. It also reminds me that staying present is so important, no matter what. And if you can find some space between what happens and the reaction to what happens, that is the true lesson. Through our work on this planet we will continue to straddle the time realms of past, present, and future yet I am constantly reminded that we have choice in all of it. 

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