When not present, when we are fixating on some object of perception, we tend to be reactive to new information. We are led around by this wild mind and reactive to the moment rather than in sync with it. Such a mindless state is at the root of most of life's discomforts, not only for the individual, but also for those around us. As if constantly stepping on our dance partners toes and our own.
Developing mindfulness in all facets of life, empowers us to make conscious choices. It empowers us to untangle the knots of our discord rather than to further bind ourselves. The Theravada tradition from Burma where I learned some of this calls it the 5 posture practice.
To be aware of our arising states in all states: sitting, walking, standing, laying down and everything in between! Meditation and other practices can help us to train this attuned state of present time presence.
When our attention becomes to fixated on the objects of our perception and we incur an increasing sense of attachment to these objects we increase our base experience of suffering. In this state it is hard to act appropriately in a world that needs us. And that's just it, mindfulness, meditation, yoga are not ends in of themselves but allow the space to participate more fully in life.
I've always found the below parable quite interesting in contemplating my relationship with myself and the world:
Mindfulness is the first step in shifting our perspective. The constant process of marginalized living --- of separating and dividing and of cataloging our experience into likes and dislikes --- happens only in reflection to the ever arising moment. To be at the tip of the arising moment in what ever form it may come, brings freedom from the compulsive behavior that permeates most of our lives.
I lived over the local highway and every time a car passed, which was fairly often, it would get a rise out of me! It was as if I would grow more irritated by the sound as the days passed on. This would not do I thought.
I certainly could not stop the flow of traffic though and the thought of moving from such a great situation seemed absurd. Rather than block it out, I set to change the shape of my vessel and quite literally used the sound of passing vehicles to correct my posture. Every time I heard a car, I mindfully shifted my reaction to the action of adjusting myself. Almost a decade has passed and you could say I am no slouch.
Many of life’s experiences would seem way to salty to bear, but perhaps our perspective is more powerful than we think. With just the right salinity of self, we may soften and hone many of the tasks at hand into vessels of mastery.
Epi-genetics and developmental psychology