We thought we’d give you a bit more insight into the inner workings of Live in the Present over the next few weeks. With that in mind, the three minds behind the organisation will be writing about how they ‘find their present’. Next up, it’s the man himself, our very own Mr Live in the Present, Sean Orford.
Ed suggested to Rie and I that we need to follow his eight ways that he lives in the present with our own, realising that in the busyness of life it’s easy to do things automatically without being mindful of living in the present. So, thanks Ed for the suggestion – it is good to review life.
1: Rie and I
My life is busy. By that I mean often starting work at 7am and finishing at 10pm and that can mean that Rie and I don’t get the time together that we need for us. I love Saturday and Sunday mornings when we have more time to talk, have breakfast together and simply be. The most wonderful time is when we take a break and go away together, magic moments in wonderful places living in the present.
Everyday I have my own mind/brain space. Sometimes for an hour and sometimes for just a few minutes. In that space all that was and all that will be ceases to exist and all that there is, is the current breath. There are so many people that I have helped me to create this space. Vipassana, a wonderful organisation, Head Space with Andy P, Meditation Oasis with Mary and Richard Maddox and One Moment Meditation with Marty Boroson.
3: My Work
I hadn’t really considered this until now that my work as a psychotherapist requires that I remain present and attentive to the person that I am working with. That sense of being in the moment with another person is both a privilege and a joy.
Holding a guitar and allowing whatever needs to, to flow out of my fingers into the strings creates a meditative stillness. The concentration of the moment, the perfection of the sound, the repetition to get the sound right focused in the now so that time passes unseen, magical.
I write books, blogs, posts, articles and songs. When I am writing I like to stand up. The best stuff comes in the flow of movement. To walk away from the keyboard and come back with a phrase or paragraph is being creative in the moment. I try to write as though I am talking to the reader, as though we are having a conversation just the two of us. So, while I am writing I say it out loud and play with it until it sounds right.
6: Making Bread
I cook. I like to cook. I love to cook for others. People that visit our house get fed. Some say I am a ‘feeder’. I believe that the sharing of food in the sharing of love. The process of cooking happens in the moment. To take a sauce and add ingredients tasting at each stage as the flavours develop and change is amazing. And bread? The simple mixing of flour water and yeast and then there is bread. I also like the idea of eating with my eyes before the food hits my mouth so that I have gratitude for my food and also the people who did what ever they did to get it onto my plate from farmer to chef.
This has to follow food. We all, and me especially, sit down too much everyday. It is really a hazard of being a psychotherapist. Rie has just played a TED recording about how sitting down is becoming our biggest killer through cancer and bowel problems. Time to get off my butt more often I think. I manage a twenty minute walk most lunch times. When I am in the hospital it is in the woods of the park next to the car park. I have a call to action here. I need more exercise. When I walk I love the smells and sounds and the different scenes at different times of the year.
I am endlessly fascinated by people and how they tick, I mean everyone. If I am in a queue for any length of time I get to know the people around me. I smile at people in the street and engage with anyone at any time on any topic. I go out of my way to thank people for what they have done for me and will do anything that I can to help them. I have always had this mad idea that if we all live in the now and look after each other we can have heaven on earth.
Thanks Ed for the suggestion, it is good to have done the review. It left me feeling that most of the time I am in different ways in my present and that feels good.