Being Present

By Ben Turshen

Growing up, my coaches would shout at me, "get your head in the game". My school teachers would constantly remind me to "listen, pay attention". I was not alone in receiving these instructions. 

We often find ourselves reviewing the past or trying to predict the future, speculating, and mostly worrying. Why is it that we have a such a hard time being in the present moment? How come our mind and body become so easily disconnected? Stress is the main culprit. 

Stress is caused by any overload of experience, even a pleasurable one. When this happens, the mind and body store every minute detail of this experience, what it looked like, sounded like, tasted like, smelled like, felt like. It's as if we downloaded a program that's running continuously in the background, putting us one on high alert 24/7. This draws our mind away from where we are. 

There are many types of meditation where the goal is to try to be present by attending to thoughts or focusing on breathing or concentrating on some other activity. But trying to be present and being present are quite different experiences. When you're trying to be present, you're not actually being present. 

Vedic Meditation is different. The technique involves no focus or concentration, the mind is not forced in any direction. With Vedic Meditation, the mind settles effortlessly and spontaneously, which means there is no trying at all. While practicing Vedic Meditation, the mind de-excites automatically and the body achieves levels of rest exponentially deeper than the deepest rest that can be achieved in a night's sleep. This is the exact opposite physiological state as when we are overloaded by stress. By revisiting this state regularly in our Vedic Meditation practice, we delete the old programing. The result is that outside of meditation, we find ourselves present and aware in the moment, without trying. And this is where want to be.