from A Way to God for Today by Anthony De Mello

There is no formula for instant peace. You have to find the time for it. If you tell me you don’t have the time, I’ll compromise with you.  I recommend that you do something during the day. Let’s suppose you’re driving your car, get the feel of the steering wheel, get the feel of the seat of the car, get the feel of your feet touching your shoes, like get in touch with your body. Keep your eyes open of course, but for the rest get the feel of the movement of your body when you’re walking. That’ll quiet you down and hopefully, you will get some taste of what this exercise can give you, that you will be sufficiently motivated to try the real thing. To really sit down and get in touch with the sensations in your body. 

You know the way it is practiced in the East is this. You start from the crown of your head, and you attempt to get all the sensations you can.  Face, neck, chest, etc., right down to the tips of your toes, then you begin again in the crown of your head, and go downwards. That’s how it’s practiced. 

Let me tell you some of the effects of this exercise, though ordinarily this isn’t done you know. Ordinarily in the East people are told, “Do it, and you will see”. 

All right. What’s likely to happen to you if you do this exercise? 

The first thing is, you’re going to become present. You’re going to get into the present and that is an extraordinary thing you know, to really come to the present. 

Are you one of those people, who cannot remember where they’ve placed things? Are you one of those people who’s always tense and strained and hurried? Are you one of those people who cannot concentrate, who cannot remember? Well, you need practice in locating the present. You know, there was a great guru who was talking to a group of business executives and he said to them, “Just as the fish suffocates and perishes on dry land, so you will perish if you get entangled in worldly affairs. The fish must get back to the water if it wishes to live; you must get back to your heart.” 

So these poor business executives said, “You mean we’ve got to give up our business and get back to the monastery? He said, “Oh no, no. I didn’t say get back to the monastery, hold on to your business, and get back to your heart.”

You see? Getting back to the heart does not mean getting into some kind of mystical mysterious faculty no, no, no. It means come home to yourself, it means get into the present, and you will live. 

There’s another thing that this exercise will give you and that is it will help you, to slow down. You know speed is a very wonderful thing, I have nothing against it at all. It’s a great thing. Speed, but when speed becomes hurry, that’s a poison.