Have you ever given the space in-between objects a thought?
Sit and look at the space, between the objects, around you. You might feel a shift of consciousness. It is not something we do very often!!
“So become aware of the space that is all around you. Don’t think about it. Feel it, as it were. Pay attention to ‘nothing’.” Eckhart Tolle
I think this idea is similar to mindfulness.
“But technically speaking mindfulness is what arises when you pay attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally, as if your life depended on it. And what arises is nothing other than awareness itself.” Jon Kabat-Zinn
I was out running the other day and it came to my attention that I was not there. I was somewhere else mentally, yet physically out on the Cornish moors. I wasn’t enjoying the run because of this reason. So I focused on my in-breath and my out-breath. IN……OUT……IN…….OUT. Then, I began to enjoy the running. I engaged. I began to relax into just being in the moment. Just being in the SPACE that I WAS IN and NOT anywhere else.
Climbing can be a metaphor for mindfulness. Your last piece of gear is your last thought/ emotion and your next piece of gear is your future thought/ emotion. You need to stay in the space in between – the present moment without trying to make the experience different.
This is where you are mindful. This is where you are breathing. This is where you will find space. Next time you are climbing and become scared it is up to you to not get caught up in what is not real. It is up to you to bring yourself back into the moment, just being with what is actually happening. The breath indicates where your mind is NOW. There is no better tool for effective change than the breath.
“One of the most efficient and powerful ways to shift your physiology, consciousness, and quality of presence is to change how you breathe.” Tara Brach
My climbing is always at its very best when I engage with my breath in the moment. This is the zone. This is where the magic happens. All climbers feel this.
Next time you are on the rock
Mindfully focus on the here and now
Pause and be in the mindfulness space
CONSCIOUSLY focus on breathing in and breathing out
The breath is your tool
Make it smooth and even
Be in the space
Make it audible
Breathe in AND breathe out
Your breath is your anchor for being in the moment
Your breath is a tool that always there
Notice when your mind wanders and bring it back
TRUST your next moves
Before climbing notice where your mind is. Sit for a few moments. If you can bring your mind into the ‘mindful space’ (rock) in front of you without your focus constantly straying, it will make a huge difference to your energy and to how you move on the rock.
“Mindfulness practices are found to increase athletes’ ability to enhance concentration so that the attention remains on the task at hand during action if desired.” Frode Moen and colleague
“The practice of mindfulness encouraged in our intervention entailed promoting a persistent effort to maintain focus on a single aspect of experience – particularly sensations of breathing -despite the frequent interruptions of unrelated perceptions or personal concerns.” Michael D. Mrazek and colleagues
To become a better climber – or better anything – it’s essential to focus your psychic and physical energy on making the most of the moment you are in.” Eric Horst