If you are new to buddhism or a sage of experience then you have undoubtedly heard and know of the “mantra” to live in the present moment. It is beautiful advice and I write about it often, but the present moment is so quick it literally registers as a zero.
So technically we can’t “live” in the present moment. Thus why I like and prefer the concept of mindfulness, simply being present. The present moment is beautiful concept but reality is not a concept. When we realize this, we can embrace a simple presence.
What we really want, is to find balance.
So consider this. . . .
Forget the “quiet” mind – The hardest thing to do when living in the moment is, or trying to simply witness life, is to not be obsessed with trying to quiet your mind. Constantly trying to quiet the mind, is just a disturbance. Instead, simply witness your thoughts like music, be there, check the notes, the tones. How is this internal song making you feel? Don’t try to judge your thoughts, there are no good thoughts or bad thoughts. Simply witness them as if they were music. It makes you both present and mindful without a mention of being quiet!
You are not your thoughts – We all tend to identify ourselves with our thoughts, we often actually believe we are the conversation inside our mind. This is another limiting mindset because we are much more than just our thoughts, we are the force that moves through our mind, our energy and body. Knowing this helps us overcome our fear of quietness and silence, we can have peace knowing that when our minds are chattering away on life moments, we are not losing touch with what we are and what we are not.
Breathe, you’re alive – For a moment I’d like you to stop reading and simply pay attention to your breath. I’ll wait…
As you focus your attention on your breath, you’ll notice that your breath is neither voluntary or involuntary. It is something that you do, but at the same time something that “does you”. When you focus your attention on your breath, you come back into relationship with reality, because like breath, reality is both something you do and something that “does you”. It is co-creative. Practice daily.
So certainly embrace the present moment, but use your mind to live it, to bring power and presence to it
Whether we are washing dishes or tying our shoes, our mind is focused on whatever we are doing. We are not thinking about the bills that we have to pay, or the phone call we need to make when we get to the office.
And on some level we can call it simply living in the moment. 🙂
Peace and Love, Jim