Contrary to popular belief, meditation is not just about calming our mind, which is obviously nearly impossible. Not even the highest ranking monks can all simply sit down thoughtless and blissful, there is always a wandering thought somewhere.
So, meditating is about observing our mind. It’s about watching what goes by. Just like laying outside watching the clouds go by and trying to make images out of the cloud’s shapes, likewise we just need to sit down and watch our thoughts go by and put titles to the images.
Vipassana meditation is the meditation where all we do is watch our breath, body and thoughts/feelings. For every breath we take, we note to ourselves, “breathing in, breathing out” or simply counting our breath. For every movement we make with our body, we note to ourselves “moving” or “adjusting,” or whatever it is you’re doing. And for every thought, we note to ourselves, “thinking.” Or we can be more specific, “food,” “hunger,” “happy,” “angry,” etc.
By mindfully watching everything we do while in meditation, we’re telling ourselves, “hey, I know what you’re doing and I’m watching you.” The more mindful we become, especially with our thoughts, the less distractions will arise.
The present movement doesn’t necessarily mean RIGHT NOW in this VERY millisecond of a moment. It just means being mindful and observant of yourself and your surroundings. If we regularly go outside, we might have a routine; walk the dog around the neighborhood, get coffee at a local shop, chat with some neighbors, etc. But if we sit and meditate outside and be mindful of the present moment, we might hear and realize things we’ve never known or noticed, like the sound and smell of the wind, birds, the rattling of a house or building, and of course our own body. That’s what being present really means.
Smile and be well!