Present Moment Awareness: A Simple, Step-By-Step Guide to Living in the Now ~ Shannon Duncan [updated]

The concept of Present Moment Awareness has become a huge spiritual phenomenon through the massive success of THE POWER OF NOW. Now, in this down-to-earth, practical book, Shannon Duncan brings us a truly accessible, step-by-step guide for living in the present.

A self-made millionaire, Duncan soon realized just how far removed happiness was from wealth. Through self-exploration and study, he began to understand that happiness only comes to us once we are at peace with ourselves. And that the key to finding our personal peace is through becoming truly present. Through easily-absorbed anecdotes and exercises, he shows us a simple process by which we can discover the true causes of our stress and discontent, drop our emotional baggage, calm our self-limiting worries about the future, and start enjoying the peace and happiness waiting for us now.

Shannon Duncan is an internationally published author, professional speaker and Certified Mindful Life Coach.

He began his efforts towards spiritual development and self-discovery at a very young age, and started his full time endeavors to help others in their personal and spiritual growth after retiring as an entrepreneur at the age of 29. He has taken many years of research, study and profound personal experiences with psychology, philosophy and spirituality and forged them into the heart of what has become Present Moment Incorporated – a company that is dedicated to providing sensible, practical and highly effective personal and spiritual growth tools.

Present Moment Awareness
From “Present Moment Awareness: A Simple, Step-by-Step Guide to Living in the Now” by Shannon Duncan
Living in the present moment is the full awareness and appreciation of the life we have, right here and right now. Present moment awareness is being aware of what is happening in ourselves and our world instead of being lost in random fears from the past and uncertainties, hopes, and expectations for the future. In the absence of those fantasies we have the opportunity to enjoy our day-to-day living. To get started, we need to gain a sense of what it feels like to be present. The ideas and exercises in this first section may seem simplistic, but they are crucial to understanding the deeper concepts that come later in the book. Like the layers of an onion, we are peeling away the causes of our discontent, starting with the most easily recognized symptoms.

Right Here, Right Now

When we are living in the present moment, we are using our bodies for the purpose for which they were designed — to feel the raw, uncontaminated reality of life. By learning to be deeply aware of our physical senses, our thoughts, and our emotions, we can greatly increase the clarity of that experience. In making this effort to be present with ourselves, we are fostering the opportunity to grow.
Most of us carry a great deal of fear over what is yet to come, which leads us to react blindly to the inevitable obstacles that appear from time to time in our lives. In being so absorbed in our worries, we miss out on the only real life we have — the one happening right here and right now in the present moment. Because so many of us are not used to simply “being” with ourselves, without some kind of distraction, it is not uncommon to find the barriers of anxiousness or restlessness blocking our way. This is completely normal and should not be allowed to distract or dissuade us from our efforts here. As we shall explore later, these can be some of the greatest inhibitors to the enjoyment of our lives.

Try this

A Glimpse of the Present Moment

When we are present in the moment, we are not thinking about our environment. We are simply experiencing it. The goal is to observe without judgment, analysis, or thought.

Take some time to notice what you are experiencing in this moment. To do this you should pay attention to all of your senses. What is the temperature? How bright is the lighting? Are your hands cold? Feet warm? What do you smell? Do you notice random thoughts floating through your mind? Are you feeling any specific emotions? Are you relaxed or tense? How does it feel to be supported by your chair? How does this book feel in your hands? What sounds can you hear?

For example, if your cat’s litter box is a little rank, don’t consume yourself with thoughts of changing it. Simply experience the smell “as it is,” and allow any thought of changing the litter to float by. Notice how you can be aware of something, such as a stinky litter box, without having to conduct a mental dialog about it. You can be aware of what needs to be done without having to think about it. This excess thinking is mental static, a noise in your mind that distracts you from the reality of the present moment.
Close the book now and take this opportunity to glimpse the present moment. When you feel comfortable with this exercise, please continue.

Welcome back. In doing this exercise, you may have experienced a few moments of being present in the here and now. Usually most of us only become truly present during moments of breathtaking beauty that defy analysis. An amazing sunset or holding a newborn baby can leave us in awed silence as we simply absorb the experience. Our efforts here are to become aware of how often we allow ourselves to become absorbed in mental static instead of appreciating the endless opportunities to really enjoy our lives that present themselves all the time.

During this exercise, you were present if you were aware of yourself and your environment. If you did in fact notice the smell of your cat’s litter box, for example, you simply allowed yourself to be aware of it. You then experienced the unpleasant way it affected your sense of smell. Being present means that when the thought to clean it appeared, you simply acknowledged your awareness of the thought and allowed it to float by. If thoughts such as “When am I going to do it?” or “Why haven’t I done it yet?” entered your mind, you simply let them pass in and out of your awareness.

Pponder this: Using Your Time

This exercise is a simple illustration of your powerful ability to choose and to be at peace with your choices. This exercise is meant to deepen your idea of what it means to be in the moment and to get you thinking in terms of how being present can give you some objective distance from needless worry and negative thoughts.

What was the last task you “beat yourself up” for not doing? How did this thought process make you feel? What if instead of becoming lost in your mental static about it, you had just given yourself three simple choices?
1. Do the task now.
2. Do the task later.
3. Do not do the task.

Could you ever see yourself selecting one of these options and letting it go at that? Can you see how much time and energy you would free up in doing so? How many times a week do you become absorbed in needless mental static about a task?

Excerpted from PRESENT MOMENT AWARENESS Copyright © 2003 by New World Library
DailyOM © 2004-06 DailyMedia, Inc. – All Rights Reserved

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Life Ahead: On Learning and the Search for Meaning by Jiddu Krishnamurti

Life Ahead presents lessons that move far beyond the traditional forms of education taught in most schools and colleges. Drawn from transcripts of talks given to Indian students, the book covers a wide range of universal topics.

In short, accessible chapters, Krishnamurti explores the danger of competition, the value of solitude, the need to understand both the conscious and the unconscious mind, and the critical difference between concentration and attention, and between knowledge and learning. Krishnamurti exposes the roots of fear and eradicates deeply entrenched habits of tradition, limitation, and prejudice. The life he holds forth requires a complete change of thought, even a revolution, one that begins not with theory and ideation,” he writes, but with a radical transformation in the mind itself.” He explains how such transformation occurs only through an education that concentrates on the total development of the human being, an education carefully described in this simple yet powerful book.

Radical Revolution – J. Krishnamurti

We will see how very important it is to bring about, in the human mind, the radical revolution. The crisis, is a crisis of consciousness. A crisis that cannot anymore, accept the old norms, the old patterns, the ancient traditions. And, considering what the world is now, with all the misery, conflict, destructive brutality, aggression, and so on… Man is still as he was. Is still brutal, violent, aggressive, acquisitive, competitive. And, he’s built a society along these lines.

Jiddu Krishnamurti.

Deepak Chopra: Secrets of Enlightenment

Imagine being able to access your greatest creativity; imagine being able to arm yourself with infinite possibilities. Every major spiritual tradition has sought enlightenment and now its mystery is revealed. Renowned author, teacher and spiritual adviser Deepak Chopra discloses the path to enlightenment with 14 secrets.

Based on Dr. Chopra’s best-selling book, The Third Jesus, View his Video and Book Review here these secrets, taken individually or collectively, have the power to transform your world view, bringing insight and inspiration and helping you understand your unique connection with the universe.

In this intimate discussion, Dr. Chopra offers profoundly sage observations that can help you find your true identity, lose the fear of death, be comfortable with uncertainty, and feel connected to all creation. Instead of merely waking, sleeping and dreaming, you can finally discover your place in the universe as you approach a state of grace.

The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature, Updated and Expanded by David Suzuki

This special 10th anniversary edition re-examines our place in the natural world in light of the sweeping environmental changes and the recent advances in scientific knowledge.

Since its first publication, Sacred Balance has sold over 100,000 copies. In the meantime, global warming has become a major issue as glaciers and polar ice caps have begun to melt at an alarming rate, populations of polar bears have dwindled, the intensity of hurricanes and tsunamis has drastically increased, coral bleaching is occurring globally, and the earth has experienced its hottest years in over four centuries.

At the same time, scientists have made significant discoveries about the current state of the Great Lakes and other ecosystems of the world; the science behind the mother/baby interaction and the relationship between deprivation of affection in childhood and serious illness in midlife; the workings of the brain, including its ability to create a narrative, anticipate the future, and order the past; and the biological underpinnings of religion, among other findings. In this new and extensively revised and amplified edition of his best-selling book, David Suzuki reflects on these changes and examines what they mean for our place in the world.

The basic message of this seminal, best-selling work remains the same: We are creatures of the earth, and as such, we are utterly dependent on its gifts of air, water, soil, and the energy of the sun. These elements are not just external factors; we take them into our bodies, where they are incorporated into our very essence. What replenishes the air, water, and soil and captures sunlight to vitalize the biosphere is the diverse web of all beings. The recently completed human genome project has revealed that all species are our biological kin, related to us through our evolutionary history. And it appears that our need for their company is programmed into our genome.

As social animals, we have an absolute need for love; without it, we suffer dire psychological and physical consequences. The strength of that love is reflected in healthy, vibrant families and communities supported by full employment, security, and justice and free of threats of genocide, terror, or war. Finally, we have spiritual needs, which are ultimately rooted in nature, the source of our inspiration and belonging. These are the real requirements of all humanity and should form the basis of any society aspiring to a truly sustainable future.

These truths remain. But the cataclysmic events of the last decade require that we rethink our behaviour and find a new way to live in balance with our surroundings. This book offers just such a new direction for us all.

David Suzuki donates his royalties from sales of The Sacred Balance to the David Suzuki Foundation.

David Suzuki is an acclaimed geneticist and environmentalist, the host of The Nature of Things, and the founder and chair of the David Suzuki Foundation. He is the author of more than forty books, including Good News for a Change, From Naked Ape to Superspecies (both co-authored with Holly Dressel), The Sacred Balance (co-authored with Amanda McConnell), and David Suzuki: The Autobiography. He is the recipient of the Unesco Kalinga Prize for Science, the United Nations Environmental Medal, the UNEP’s Global 500 award, and has been named a Companion of the Order of Canada. In addition, he holds eighteen honorary degrees and he has been adopted into three First Nations clans. He was selected as the 35th most important green campaigner of all time by the British newspaper, The Guardian. Suzuki lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Amanda McConnell has written more than one hundred documentary films, many of them for The Nature of Things. She has a Ph.D. in English Literature, and she writes and gardens in Toronto, Ontario.

Adrienne Mason is the author of numerous books for adults and children, including The Nature of Spiders, The Green Classroom, Living Things, and Oceans. She is managing editor of the science magazine KNOW: The Science Magazine for Curious Kids and has been nominated four times for a Science in Society book award. She holds a B.Sc. degree in Biology from the University of Victoria, and she lives in Tofino, British Columbia, with her husband and two daughters.

Biography

David T. Suzuki, PhD, is an internationally renowned scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster who has spent over 40 years educating people about science and environmental issues in the classroom and over the airwaves.

Dr. Suzuki is acclaimed for his ability to explain the complexities of science in a compelling and easy-to-understand way. His face is familiar to millions around the world from the popular science TV show The Nature of Things, which he has hosted since 1979.
David Suzuki: School Years

A third-generation Japanese-Canadian, David Suzuki was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1936. During World War II, six-year-old David and his family were sent to an internment camp in the Slocan Valley in the B.C. Interior—a wartime measure prescribed by the federal government.

After the war, the Suzuki family moved east to Ontario: first to Islington, then to Leamington, and finally to London, where David attended high school. He continued his education by winning a scholarship to Amherst College in Massachusetts, graduating with an Honours B.A. in Biology in 1958; which he followed with a PhD in zoology from the University of Chicago in 1961.

A respected geneticist and a gifted lecturer, Dr. Suzuki was a professor in the University of British Columbia’s zoology department for 30 years (1963–93). For the eight years leading up to his retirement in 2001, he taught as a professor at the university’s Sustainable Development Research Institute, where he is now a professor emeritus.
David Suzuki: Television and Radio

After dabbling in the medium since 1962, David Suzuki’s television broadcasting career began formally in 1969 when he appeared on screens across Canada as the host of Suzuki on Science. The show played only two seasons but led to Dr. Suzuki hosting another Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) series called Science Magazine for five years, from 1974-79.

David Suzuki shifted to CBC radio in 1975 to host Quirks and Quarks, a weekly science show. He hosted for four years.

In 1979, David Suzuki left both Science Magazine and Quirks and Quarks to become host of CBC television’s The Nature of Things. Seen today in over 50 countries around the world, The Nature of Things has helped make David Suzuki a household name.

In addition to hosting The Nature of Things weekly, David Suzuki has produced numerous other television series and specials, including:

A Planet for the Taking (1985), which won an award from the United Nations,
The Sacred Balance (2002), which was later turned into a book,
A PBS series on DNA, The Secret of Life (1993), which was praised internationally,
A five-part series for the Discovery Channel, The Brain: The Universe Within (1994).

For CBC Radio, David Suzuki created two influential documentary series on the environment: It’s a Matter of Survival (1984) and From Naked Ape to Superspecies (1999).
David Suzuki: Author and Books

In addition being a broadcaster, David Suzuki has authored more than 40 books for adults and children. His most recent is the second volume of his life story, David Suzuki: The Autobiography, published by Greystone Books in hardcover (April 2006) and paperback (April 2007) editions.
David Suzuki: Awards and Accolades

Over the years, David Suzuki has received numerous Canadian and international awards for his work. Some notable awards include:

UNESCO prize for science
United Nations Environment Programme medal
Companion of the Order of Canada
19 honorary university doctorates from schools in Canada, the United States, and Australia.

In addition, David Suzuki has received many tributes from Canada’s First Nations people, along with five names (Big Mountain; Man Who Knows Much; My Own; Sacred Mountain; Mountain Man; Eagle Child) and “adoption” by both Haida and Heiltsuk families.

In 2004, CBC television viewers nominated him as one of ten “Greatest Canadians” of all time.
David Suzuki Foundation

David Suzuki is recognized as a world leader in sustainable ecology. He has devoted himself wholeheartedly to educating the public about the importance of the natural world and the need to protect it.

In 1990, David and his wife, Dr. Tara Cullis, co-founded the David Suzuki Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to find ways for people to live sustainably in balance with the natural world and which uses science and education to promote solutions that help conserve nature. David Suzuki currently serves as chair of the Foundation.

David Suzuki lives with his wife in Vancouver, British Columbia. In his little free time, David says he enjoys fishing, camping, and exploring the world of insects and tidal pools.
David Suzuki Interviewed at Occupy Montreal

Why? Simply Because and Jobbook scores an impromptu interview with known social activist David Suzuki on the first day of the Occupy Montreal movement. This protest was a satellite protest to Occupy Wall Street. Follow the movement at #occupywallstreet –

Thanks to Antoine de Brabant from Jobbook for the great help on the interview!

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