by Gina Lake –
Whatever you are doing, enjoy it! You have another option of course, which is to not enjoy it. Notice what keeps you from enjoying whatever you are doing. It’s thoughts, isn’t it? Even if you’re experiencing pain, for instance or something unpleasant, like going to the dentist, if you don’t listen to any negative thoughts, fears, complaints and desires related to that, you won’t suffer. You’ll just have the experience.
Your thoughts about whatever you’re doing interfere with enjoying it, in part because they are often negative, judgmental or resistant to the experience but also because thoughts—whether positive or negative—remove you from the experience, to a greater or lesser degree.
Some thoughts don’t interfere a great deal with being present and enjoying what you’re doing. They are just floating in and out of your mind, without you paying much attention to them. Others, however, grab you and pull you into the mental world, where you lose touch with what you’re doing and with the experience you’re having. When that happens, it feels like you are just “going through the motions” or doing something just to get it done.
You can go through life this way but you miss out on the potential joy and pleasure in an experience when you’re not fully in contact with it.
Any experience can be interesting, since you’ve never had it before, and it can be enjoyed because when you immerse yourself in an experience, you lose the false self (the sense of “I” or “me”) and discover the true Self, which is always enjoying life. Essence is always in-joy. And from its standpoint, every moment is an opportunity to serve life and to love, which is another source of joy. What if you approached each moment as an opportunity to experience, serve, or love?
The secret to enjoying what you are doing is to get lost in it—to get involved in it.
That means to get all your senses involved in it, or more accurately, to notice how all your senses are involved in it. This noticing of sensate experience will take you out of your egoic mind (your functional mind is still available) and into the experience you are having. When you are present to the experience you’re having, you are in the moment, and that’s when you experience Presence, or essence.
The experience of essence is highly pleasurable so no matter what you are doing, if you’re present to it, it will be enjoyable.
What’s so hard about that? It takes some practice to be in your body and aware of your sensate experience because the habit of paying attention to thought is so deeply ingrained. You have to practice being present again and again to neutralize the old habit of identifying with the egoic mind. This takes a certain amount of dedication and commitment.
Meditation is another way of practicing this, and it will really help you be more present in your life. Meditation teaches you to detach from the egoic mind, to watch it, and see it for what it is. This objectivity towards the mind is essential in breaking the programming that causes you to identify with it.
You can even learn to enjoy meditation if you don’t listen to the mind’s resistance to meditate!