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From the Magazine: Live Mindfully in the Moment

How to Live Mindfully in the Moment

by Leo Babauta 

One of the most peaceful, meditative states is when you’re open to noticing what’s around you and what’s happening in the present moment. You’re receiving and accepting of the world around you (yourself included), soaking in the light, colors, shapes, sounds, touch sensations, just noticing.

When you’re completely open to living in the moment, it can be amazing. You begin to notice things you wouldn’t have if you were in your usual distracted state, and you start to appreciate the little details of everything around you. Most of us miss this almost all of the time. We tend to walk around in a trance, thinking about what we need to do, spinning stories about what’s happening.

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"...you can’t fill a cup with the present moment when it’s already full."

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When we’re not living in the moment we barely pay attention to it, thinking instead of what we have to do later or things we might be worried about. If it’s boring or uncomfortable, we habitually turn away from it and go to distractions, rejecting the present moment. We judge it as good or bad, pleasant or uncomfortable, and dislike it if things aren’t going the way that we want.

We don’t accept it as it is, we want more, become worried that we’re missing out, or think we should be doing something else. When we’re upset or frustrated, it’s because we have a story running in our heads, rather than paying attention to the present moment in front of us. 

But you can’t fill a cup with the present moment when it’s already full. So, I’ve been practicing emptying my cup. 

Whenever I notice that I have an emotional state or story that has filled my mind and is blocking me from noticing what’s in front of me, I let all of that flow out of the cup of my mind. 

Each time I notice that I’m in a distracted state, I empty my cup in order to soak in the moment. Over and over- I empty my cup. And that leaves me open to whatever is happening right now, the wonder-filled beauty and joy of the emerging moment.

Read more in the full article, "Inspiring Yourself to Live in the Moment" in the Natural Beauty Issue.

Photograph by VERGE Lifestyle & Urban Culture Magazine

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