Wherever You Go There You Are Summary
Have you ever had a day when you thought to yourself, Now, I've made it? But then it hits you. You're not all there yet. You start thinking about all the other things. That's exactly what the mind does. It does anything it can to take us out of this moment. But what if this moment is exactly where we want to be? How can we stay here? The answer is mindfulness. In this book, wherever you go, there you are, John Cabot explains how to bring mindfulness to our everyday life and live in the present moment. Most people go through their lives without ever truly being present. Mindfulness or living in the present moment can help to make our lives more fulfilling. In this video, I share with you three key lessons that I learned from the book, which can be applied to everybody's life
Key Lesson #1: Meditation is all about being rather than doing
If you are like most of us, you probably are doing something all the time. But what we need the most is instead of doing mode, we should shift into being mode. This is basically the whole idea behind meditation. In meditation, you are not trying to do anything. You are just being. That's why there is no correct way to meditate. Different techniques work for different people. But be careful here. Even though meditation is about non-doing, it's not doing anything. Meditation is consciously stopping with the intention of cultivating stillness. This may look simple, but it's never easy. Anybody is capable of living in a mindful manner. It just takes time.
Key Lesson #2: Formal meditation is to be still and focus on your body and breath
Formal meditation is when you put everything aside just to do meditation. You usually are sitting up straight without being stiff and you are relaxing your shoulders and face. In meditation, the goal is to focus on one thing, and usually, that's our breath. Each time you catch your mind drifted, you gently bring your attention back to the breath. That's it. This is meditation. How long you do this is up to you. But the author found that thirty minutes per day to be a good standard practice. You're basically sitting there and focusing on your breath. When you have an impulse to end it, just watch the impulse, stay with the feeling, and breathe with it. Breath is something that happens in the background all the time and in meditation, we become aware of the flow of the breath in our body.
Key Lesson #3: Informal meditation can be practiced while standing, walking, or lying down
When we think of meditation, usually formal meditation comes to mind. But it's not the only way to meditate. If you find it challenging to sit still, you can try walking or standing meditation instead. The purpose of walking meditation is not to try to get anywhere. The key is to bring your attention to every movement that your body makes. If you do standing meditation, try to do it around trees. Trees are such great teachers of stillness and calm. You may also want to close your eyes and listen to your surroundings and feel the presence of nature. In laying down meditation. You lie down on the floor and consciously release your muscles, bring your focus to the body and imagine your whole body is sinking to the ground. You might also do a body scan, which is focusing on one part of the body at a time and moving through the entire body. As you inhale, contract the body part and as you exhale, you can relax and let it rest in stillness.
We are constantly on the move and try to cram a crazy amount of stuff into our day. As a result, we lose the ability to enjoy the present moment. We are either focusing on the future or obsessing about the past, and we are forgetting that the only time that we really have is now. What to do about it? Just pause, even if it's for five seconds, and become aware of your breathing. That's your gateway to the present moment. Set aside just a small amount of time each day and pay attention to your breathing. Look at the trees around you, feel the wind, hear the birds singing. This is a process and with practice, you'll see how your life changes for the better.
This book is not a quick fix for life problems, but it shows you the way that you can change your life for the better. If you're interested to know more about meditation, be sure to check this book out. And if you liked this summary, check out other summaries that we have on this channel.