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    Indeed, my own New Year’s resolution has been to stop measuring my days by degree of productivity and start experiencing them by degree of presence. But what, exactly, makes that possible?
-That is a worthwhile thing to resolve to do. Unfortunately, it really is easier said than done given the amount of distractions we have in our daily lives. How is one to be present while driving in rush hour traffic or while brushing your teeth?

I think the answer is to be "intent." If you are driving, be in the moment and hear your surroundings, feel the steering wheel in your hands. While writing this I paused to be aware of my surroundings and for a brief moment, I was "present." I heard the soft hiss of the heat ducts, I looked up and saw the light variation from the fixture above and heard my hair crunch against the head rest of my office chair. Breathe. Breathing is good.

It's possible for me to say to myself, "be present," then attempt to turn off my internal dialog and just exist, "watching the thinker" as they say. But this is VERY difficult for me to do for any sustained amount of time. Within mere moments my internal dialog resumes. It's insane. But I need to practice.

As for Alan Watts, have a listen to him discussing nothingness. Is that not wonderful? What a voice and what a message.

Back to the Brain Pickings post:

    The “primary consciousness,” the basic mind which knows reality rather than ideas about it, does not know the future. It lives completely in the present, and perceives nothing more than what is at this moment. The ingenious brain, however, looks at that part of present experience called memory, and by studying it is able to make predictions. These predictions are, relatively, so accurate and reliable (e.g., “everyone will die”) that the future assumes a high degree of reality — so high that the present loses its value.
-This is the obstacle, getting the "ingenious brain" out of the way of the "basic mind."

The "ingenious brain" is a tool. Like all tools it has a time and place to be used. Granted this tool is used many times throughout our days, but it doesn't always need to be turned on. If you are like me, you probably have a constant narrative going in your mind. Thinking about a task at hand, a song or melody or a scene you've constructed of what a future event might look like? The movie of the mind is constantly projecting. Why? Turn it off now and then and use it when you need it. The mind is your tool, you are not the minds tool. Sometimes it's good to show it who is boss!...turn it off, float down stream :).