We have all heard about the power of being “here and now” and we have all probably experienced the difficulty of putting it to practice. If we have a daily meditation practice, we struggle everyday to remain focused on the object of meditation. A one-pointed concentration though is a requisite and in every spiritual tradition we find preliminary practices to meditation to sharpen our concentration skills. In Zen training the student is reminded to focus his attention, not only during formal meditation, but on any task at hand with the intensity of a cat watching the mouse’s hole.

In my mindfulness workshops sometimes the question comes up of what is the point of concentrating, for example, on washing dishes to the exclusion of any other thought or distraction. Why give our precious attention to the insignificant task of washing dishes rather than just doing it quickly to get rid of such an unappealing task. The idea behind this practice is the development of a skill that allows us to be fully present in every activity and in every encounter with another being. So everything and everyone is worthy of our attention. In doing mindfully one thing at the time we stop being scattered and confused and become clear and energy efficient.

Our everyday awareness is normally involved with three things: our body, our environment and the concept of time. However, when we are concentrating, our attention slowly detaches from our body, the environment and even time disappears. This is what happens not only in deep relaxation or meditation but also when we transcend what we are doing.  In these moments we don’t worry about our problems or pain, we dissociate briefly from the sensations of the body or the connection to the environment and there are no more distractions, no time, no sense of “I” or “other” and we become “no-body”.

Dr. Joe Dispenza, author of Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself and many other publications ( explains how the human brain, through the frontal lobe, has the ability to lower the volume or even shut out the stimuli from the body and the environment, as well as the awareness of time.  As human beings, this is a privilege as we can disconnect from our re-active patterns triggered in the limbic system or the emotional brain. Without frontal lobe training we are emotional beings that sometimes think, bound in a loop of repetitive thoughts that produce the same chemicals which cause the body to have the same feelings.  Thinking and feeling, feeling and thinking like that for so long is what maintains our anger, anxiety, greed or other types of emotional pain.

When through effort we are able to remain alert and focused on this movement, this breath, this thought, this moment, we are short-circuiting our habitual tendencies that precipitate us to the same old ruts.  Can we trust the healing potential of these “no-body” moments? Can we move out of the way for a while and let the innate wisdom of the body and mind to do what it has to do to re-align us?  There is nothing mystical to acknowledge the intelligence that organizes and regulates the functions of our body and mind and, for that matter, the universe  This power keeps, among many other functions, our heart beating without interruption more than 100,000 times per day, without us ever thinking about it. Just now, in this second, 10 million of our cells have died and the next second another 10 million new cells have been born. This intelligence that created all the cells, the tissues, the organs and all the systems in the body is the same force that maintains and heals them. The abilities of this innate wisdom is far greater than any drug, therapy or treatment and it is only waiting for our permission to act.  As Dr. Dispenza says: “We are riding on the back of a giant and we’re getting a free ride.”


About suryasanmiguel

I'm a Yoga teacher and educator. I was born in Madrid, Spain and came to Canada in the 70's to study but remained here. I received a degree in Education from McGill University. In my student's years I had the good fortune of meeting my Zen teacher, Roshi Phillip Kapleau and I studied with him for 15 years attending numerous retreats. In 1988 I was also very fortunate to meet Swami Vishnudevananda at the Sivananda Yoga Camp in Quebec where I became a certified Yoga teacher My interest in Budhism and Hinduism also led me to meet several Tibetan Lamas and study their teachings and traditions. I live presently in Montreal, Canada but travel frequently teaching Yoga and giving workshops and lectures on spiritual related topics.
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3 Responses to HOW TO LOSE YOUR MIND

  1. says:

    This is so true. Thanks Silvia. Parfois on trouve dans une tche toute simple cette concentration, cette perte de notion du temps – et sans mme l’avoir cherche. C’est ce qui m’est arriv tout bonnement lorsque je prenais soin des plantes et des fleurs dans ma cour… La concentration s’est faite d’elle-mme, sans aucun effort. Saludos, Sylvie Date: Sat, 25 Jan 2014 13:53:28 +0000 To:

  2. Ginette Aubé says:

    Merci Surya pour ce texte qui m’apporte un soutien. Etrange coincidence, je suis à lire actuellement “le pouvoir du moment présent” de Eckhart Tollé. Ce n’est pas toujours facile de faire cesser le vagabondage de l’esprit…
    Tout comme le mentionne sy.fafard, moi je retrouve cette concentration, ce bonheur du moment présent , cette perte de notion du temps (passé, futur) quand je fais de la mosaïque. Je suis totalement à cette petite tesselle de verre que je choisis, taille et place sur l’oeuvre. Pur instant de grâce 🙂
    J’aime te lire, tes textes aident mon cheminement spirituel. Merci.

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