Exercises of presence

call it mindfulness, if you want

July 6th, 2023

Exercises of presence: a beginning

Measuring time by springtimes. It is a common expression, always having an intimate meaning, with deep motivation. A Cystus plant with its fruits, now, at the beginning of summer; then a springtime one, with its flowers: every season has its beauties, but spring is an explosion of beauty.

Measuring time by springtimes. It is also a way to thing how many of them have passed by our eyes; how many we did not notice, being engaged with “important” things to do; or, how many springtimes we could still see.

A departure

Today, as it often happens, I could not choose what to do. Then I decided to take care of myself, without any specific goals. So, I started, with that feeling that sometimes I now have, not to be as I used to be, anymore. With my diaphragm pushing upwards, making my breathing heavy, and causing some arrhythmia. It already happened in the past, always spontaneously disappearing.  

But I started, anyway, listening to messages from my body. First arrhythmias came; I stayed a bit with them, then they went away. Breathing was regulated by my body. Along all the first steep ascent, nothing else was around; a pure embodiment of the ascent and sensations; no watch to follow. But, once of top of the ridge, they were 12 minute for 170 metre gradient; not bad, after all, the body was true; I still can manage.

But how couldn’t I take a picture, even if already taken tens of time; and the tourist and ferry train, so far below; but presence was not lost. then up again, along a stretch without problems; then another steep ascent, to the 700 metres of the ridge. Again, with pace regulated by what body was telling; total presence; several well known points and landmarks not even noticed. On top, no feeling of being tired.

Then the walk along the ridge, to mount Le Croci, one of my favourite places; along the way, encounters with beings, noticed or not; staying for a while with some of them, catching some images, as memories; but again, succeeding in not losing presence: a day of grace.

The way back

At the arrival on top, Manarola was there far down below, the place where to go next. The first stretch: an absolute descent; and again embodiment, also of the descent; it was different  from ascending, but intense, anyway; with dry soil and leaves, and soles of my hiking sandals, not really well sculptured, signaling when I was about to lose presence.

Finally, down again, but without problems; allowing thoughts to come back, together with music and songs; Liguria inspires me De Andrè’s music, but not only: also many other places where I’ve been, and music reminding them; just until home.  Beautiful, to be done more frequently, with a couple of hours available, and some motivation.


I do not know yet if the origin of my arrhythmias is mental only, or organic, as well. But, as a matter of facts, receiving them without opposing resistance, and following the body, make them go, on their way out.

Presence does not allow distraction: when needed, it is really necessary to afford things one by one.

Embodying an experience, for as common it can be, really makes not to discriminate anymore the inside from the outside.