Thursday, October 28, 2010

Meditation Day 4: Living in the Present

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

Today’s Reading: Matthew 5-7

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be present. I remember a few years ago I was reading The Power of Now while also reading through the Bible again. The book was interesting. It was talking about how important it was to be present.

When I came to the passage from Matthew above I put that book down and never picked it back up.

I was surprised to see that same message in the Bible, out of Jesus’ mouth no less. It was an issue that really spoke to me because it is so hard me. I constantly lived in the past and the future. I’m naturally a very analytical person. I have always tried to use the past to understand what I should do in the future. But rarely did I allow myself to just “be” in the present.

This led to a whole lot of unnecessary worry and stagnation. I was like a deer in headlights in my life. I knew that there were moves that I could and maybe should have made but I just couldn’t make them. I was too afraid, and at the same time moving too fast mentally with my constant predictions and preparations for what might come my way.

Now I am learning the importance of calm. My first glimpses of it where when I was in high school playing basketball. I used to hear NBA greats like Magic Johnson refer to the game slowing down. They got to this point where everything would slow down so much that they could find spots that no one else could see. I was starting to see that. I realized that although I was quicker than most players, it didn’t get me the results I wanted. When I calmed down and slowed my pace I was able to see more of what was happening. I was able to dissect the environment and make the best decisions.

I didn’t start to see that again until I trained capoeira. I reached a certain level and seemed to plateau. I knew how to do the basic movements. I thought I was better than people who were moving up but yet my master didn’t agree. He just told me to work harder.

So I did and I got more and more comfortable. Then his instructions changed. He kept telling me to be calm. CALMA! Is what he’d say when I was playing in the roda. I knew what the word meant but I had no idea what he meant by it. So one day I asked him. He only gave me a few words but he told me that when I relaxed I would see more.

So I tried it and I was able to see what he was talking about. I played some of the best capoeira of my life. I was seeing things I had never seen before. My perspective was totally changing and it stayed this way until I broke my ankle.

That really sucked. But when I look back on that time it was a blessing in disguise. I don’t think that God struck my ankle down or any such foolishness, but now I see that that time of being handicapped forced me to sit still in life. It gave me an opportunity to stop doing what I had always done with running around feverishly in the future and the past trying to figure out my present.  But I still didn’t fully get it. The frustration of sitting still overshadowed the truth.

But now in this week of fasting I am starting to see it again. Just like with basketball and capoeira before I am seeing how much I truly need calm to stay in the present in my life. I am seeing clearly now how the path towards faithful peace leads to true enlightenment. If we can just sit still for a second and reflect on what IS, rather than on what was or what will be, we will have the ability to step out of the fog of worry and into the clarity of mind to act on faith to create the future we desire.

So right now I am finally calming down and sitting still. And I am seeing things take shape. I’m looking forward to what the future will bring.

Not so balanced but I did adhere to the rules.

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs
Lunch: grilled chicken, brown rice, and veggies (hooray for rice!)
Dinner: scrambled eggs with spinach (I need to lay off the eggs… in related news I need to go to the grocery store)


  1. Hey Man of God,
    Day 4 was really good. After barely eating anything for the first three days, I have transitioned into that place of having to force my self to eat now. Although I'm exhilarated with high energy.

    What I've discovered through this particular time of mediation is exactly in line with your post. I am actually enjoying this time. it doesn't feel like a hard task at all.

    Its almost a shame that it ends on Sunday. Hmmmm, will have to see about that, for me.

    Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs and tea.
    Lunch: Small bowl of Strawberries, Cantaloupe and Grapes.
    Dinner: I chicken breast and lots of water.
    Workout: Walking

    Much Love

  2. Perfect blog, perfect time, for the perfect moment in which I needed it.

    (And I was just singing to myself "stand still and know, that God is God activate your faith and give Him the praise...")

  3. @Nicole haha yeah it is a shame isn't it. You can always go longer... I know that I am going to go longer on the dietary tip though I may bring the internet back into the fold. We shall see.

    @JNjema I'm glad that it was on time for you. God is always on time! I hope you are well!


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