What can be challenging this day and age is staying present. When we're present, it means we are not thinking about the future or the past, and we are not overcome by intense emotion. Rather we are right here in this moment, present, aware and our life is unfolding with as everything else unfolds around us.
Being in the present moment provides us with a certain stability and calm. It allows us to really see what is around us and respond properly to the moment without the mind getting involved in too much of an active way. If we are able to be present in most situations then we can start to master our minds and our emotions as we can begin to see what the mechanisms are that take us out of the present moment and into our heads.
When we are too much in our heads, it is very easy for us to think our way into the future or into the past. It very easy for us to worry about something that may need doing tomorrow or next week. If we are overcome with a certain emotion such as grief or fear, then being too much in our minds lessens the opportunity we have to really confront and be present with those emotions and ultimately learn from them and about ourselves in a more profound way.
In a sense, the early stages of meditation (a practice becoming much more common these days) are about being with the breath, not getting drawn into our thoughts or ideas. This is the same as practicing presence. The more we can tune into the present moment in our waking lives, the deeper we can get in our meditation and the more stable we can feel in ourselves.
In Chinese Medicine, this state of being present very much relates to our sense of self. If we have a strong sense of self, a feeling of being rooted in the present moment, then our ability to face the world and to face our challenges is enhanced. It can be seen that if someone has a weak or distorted sense of self, then for them it can be difficult to stay present and out of their mind/thoughts.
For this reason, acupuncture can be used to help someone become more present and aware of themselves and the present moment by helping the mind to feel calmer, clearer and less stressed. The symptoms of stress, thinking too much and being stuck in our minds can be related to having too much qi or energy in the upper parts of our body including the head. This is usually the result of a weakness in our vitality so when the mind is helped to calm down, the qi enters the lower parts of our body and helps us to feel grounded, rooted, and less in our minds.
My clinics are based in Croydon and East Grinstead where I practice acupuncture. I will be writing more blogs to add to my website as a way that people can read and hopefully understand the mechanisms of life in a clearer way according to Chinese philosophy. Please visit Elemental Acupuncture for more information.