“Now, we’re all going to do headstands.”
The faces of my bleary-eyed seminary students were priceless. WHAT?
After watching my seminary students for the past two months, I concluded that most struggled with stillness and being present. I struggle that way, too, sometimes, as most of my teachers over the past 47 years can attest.
I’d asked Tasha to come to seminary to share ideas about mindfulness and pondering. She owns Yoga4Ewa, a yoga studio in our community, and mindfulness is one of her spiritual gifts. She’s also the mom of one of my students.
I explained to the youth why I invited her to class. She said a simple sentence or two about how mindfulness involves being present in each moment and then said, “Now, we’re all going to do headstands.”
I laughed out loud. This was better than I’d even imagined!! Oh, wait! Did that mean me? But I was wearing a dress!!
I’d been in several of Tasha’s yoga classes and haven’t mastered the headstand yet—not because she didn’t believe I could, but because I didn’t believe I could.
Tasha watched the room’s faces.
“Tell me what came to your mind when I said we were going to do headstands.”
Each student shared his or her reaction, which ranged from “OK” (varying attitudinal tonal responses) to “I don’t want to” to “no way” to “I can’t.” No one joyfully proceded with confidence.
Tasha then shared the most profound insight. Students responded to “we’re going to do headstands” based on their perception of the future, on what they imagined that moment to look like. Fear, doubt, and anxiety live in the future, not in the present. When we dwell in the present, we are unafraid and capable.
Whether the student based their comment on fear and doubt or indifferent acceptance, their response actually revealed their view of the future.
My thoughts wandered (haha) to scriptures describing God’s eternal NOW. If Tasha’s principle applies eternally, then God lives confidently in His creating, judging, and gracing roles not only because of experience but because He is eternally present.
Alma taught his son “…all is as one day with God, and time only is measured unto men.”
In John’s Revelation, he saw
[T]he angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,
And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer…
But they reside in the presence of God, on a globe like a sea of glass and fire, where all things for their glory are manifest, past, present, and future, and are continually before the Lord.
These and many more scriptures indicate that God is time indifferent. Time is a constraint for our growth.
Before Tasha arrived, I’d just finished discussing how the Atonement of Jesus Christ spanned eternity. Everyone knew it lasted forever—meaning the forever after Gethsemane, after today. But, based on an ad hoc Atonement quiz, none of the students realized that the Atonement of Jesus Christ lasted forever—meaning the forever before today, from the foundation of the world, that the Savior’s Atonement took effect in the preexistence.
And behold, Enoch saw the day of the coming of the Son of Man, even in the flesh; and his soul rejoiced, saying: The Righteous is lifted up, and the Lamb is slain from the foundation of the world...
Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice exists in every present.
A Mindful Present
Do you practice a mindful present in your quest to acquire available attributes of Christ?
If you heard Tasha say “Now, we’re all going to do headstands,” how would you respond?