The Zen of Spacious Life – Slowing Time
Believe it or not there is another way which we can use to perceptually slow down time, by making a very conscious, clear and focused effort to be completely aware or ‘mindful’ of each of our experiences.
Of course, there are some people who are ones that seem to be more affected by familiarity than others may be, and are able to view the world with something of the fresh, first-time vision of children throughout their lives. You may know people like this, as they are the kind of people that are sometimes seen and referred to as eccentric by those familiar with them, and they are known to often begin sentences using phrases like ‘Have you ever noticed…?’ or ‘Have you ever thought about…?’
This kind of child-like vision sometimes moves them to suddenly stop and gaze up at a beautiful scene of the sun breaking or setting, through clouds or a silver moon above the horizon; or they may stare intently at the beauty of a horizon across the ocean, at simple landscapes or at animals, just like they’re viewing them for the first time. Musicians and artists are often gifted with this kind of ‘child-like’ vision, a vision that in fact provides them with the inspiration for their work.
People that possess this kind of wonderment and sense of strangeness about things they encounter, which most of us naturally take for granted, and they feel a strong need to capture and frame some of their more intensely perceptive experiences. In general, people like this will be far less affected by the ‘first time law of psychological time’ than most others, although time may very well take on the characteristic of speeding up for them, but possibly not to the same degree. So in a sense, we can simply cultivate this same attitude by developing a conscious effort to increase strong awareness and be ‘mindful.’
Developing the ability to clearly focus our awareness rather than focusing our attention on the ‘thought-chatter’ swimming in our minds or on routine tasks or environmental distractions like TV or computer games, can take some practice. We should try to focus on the time at hand, and live in the present moments, to devote our personal attention to the experiences we’re having, and to our immediate surroundings.
Start simple, like when you’re starting the morning with a shower, consider rather than letting your mind’s thoughts chatter on and on about all the things you’ve got to accomplish today or looking back on the things you did the night before, attempt to bring the focus of your attention to the present moment of here and now, and have crystal-clear awareness of the subtly-unique sensation of the cleansing water splashing against and streaming down your body and the heightened-sense of warmth and cleanness you feel.
Finally, driving on your way home from work, or on the bus or train, consider instead of thinking about everything you had to deal with at work, planning tomorrows activities in your mind, or daydreaming about whatever you did last night, clearly focus all of your attention outside you, closely observing the sky, the houses and buildings you pass, and be aware of yourself in the moment, a part of everything you visualize. With practice, your awareness will increase tremendously, and your mindfulness of each moment you encounter will slow down time as you experience the world of your spacious life.
strongemEvery moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such./em/strong – Henry Miller
strongemIf you aren’t in the moment, you are either looking forward to uncertainty, or back to pain and regret./em/strong – Jim Carrey
strongemI will thank God for the day and the moment I have./em/strong – Jim Valvano
strongemGood or bad, everything we do is our best choice at that moment./em/strong – William Glasser
strongemWe should not fret for what is past, nor should we be anxious about the future; men of discernment deal only with the present moment./em/strong – Chanakya
strongemIn the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you./em/strong – Leo Tolstoy
strongemYou must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment./em/strong – Henry David Thoreau
strongemBreathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure./em/strongstrongem My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment./em/strong – Oprah Winfrey