Focusing on the present, it is always something that we are saying to each other, all in good spirit, it seems to realize stress if one takes the words to heart. If you truly believe this in your soul something will begin to re-orchestrate with you to help you reach this goal.
First I want to look at why its so important.. Which may seem quite evident as to why its so important but we seem to keep missing it, for if we were in a constant state of being present, one, we would be liberated, and two, misery would be non existent. Being present however does not say anything about facing hardships, things will still happen that are hard, nothing really changes, except the state of being is now here/now instead of in an illusion. In this way you have become reconnected with reality. This is why its precious, because being present does not require you to be anything else but who you are in the very moment. You have never been so beautiful infact, exactly at this moment as you are, but as soon as you begin to put yourself in the past, or in the future, things begin to become ugly, the thought wanders, and thoughts are only products of the past.. and then thoughts generate from past to something that could be to the future, which is really nothing more than the past changed slightly from the mes perspective.
If you are always thinking in the past, then you can never be in the present, you will go on missing reality. It might of been fun in the past but you are not whole in a memory, you are no more than dead, or asleep, it will be like a dream that you are caught in, even if a good dream, but a dream nonetheless. You will not see people for who they really are, and will not hear people for what they are truly saying. There is always this undercurrent of not being in touch with who you are, and there is nothing wrong in it, it may seem that, that is what I might be getting at, I’m not argueing at all on this. All that is needing to be said is that, you will not be fulfilled with thoughts of the past or memories of the past, for those things do not actually exist, the only moment you have is right now.
Here is also something on the future, the future, I’ve always thought to be silly. It asserts itself as the future, but this thing that we call the future doesn’t actually exist outside of the thought that it exists itself… Have you ever looked into it deeply? Can you really say, yeah I’ve experienced the future. Maybe you have had thoughts of what could be, what you think an outcome might be, the way you are interpreting the mes own personal story, but this is not the future, the future never comes. Every moment you are, you are now, and that time will never come that you can call the future because you are always in the present, even if “tomorrow” comes, it is not that it is really tomorrow, it is that it is right now that is here and has always been here.
Being in the Present:
I will not say that I have perfected this, but it is not hard, the very thought that it is hard makes it so. It is our interpretation that it takes a lot of work is what makes it so hard. The method is not hard, it is simple. But because the mind has been conditioned for so long to live in this past or future that is will seem immensley hard. Slowly slowly though, you will slip less and less though, and soon you will be completely present.
Here is what I suggest you do. First off, do not judge yourself or condemn yourself while doing this, there is nothing wrong with slipping in this. When I say slipping, I mean when you slip out of being present. Ask yourself how condemnation would help you grow in anyway and you will sound find that its meaningless to condemn. Just seeing that you have become un-present, will allow you to become present again so if anything you should be grateful to the state of unawareness that has taught you to come back to being present again. No matter how many times you slip, you will always come back from it and thus, thankful that you have been able to see the unawareness there. It is such an accomplishment! So again, there is no need to condemn, if that feeling comes up, you can observe it happen, but there is no need to justify why you were unaware, it’s alright.
When you are doing something, for example, going for a walk, focus on your walk as much as possible, not only will you be present of the walk but then it becomes meditation for you. It will be very calming to not have to worry about what others think about you, instead your attention is focused on the walking, so much so that you are not walking, but walking is happening, the sense of me drops away because what use is there for the me when the walking is taking place. You give your buddy me the chance to rest, although most people would say the me is a bad thing, maybe he is not so bad, he/she has gotten you out of situations that you wouldn’t believe, and believe it or not, the me wants what you want too. Hes not a bad guy after all so giving him a break is a pleasant thing to do. Now if thought comes up, you can see thought happening, it doesn’t mean you have to engage it, rather turn your awareness (or attention in the beginning) back over to the walking taking place. If you are eating, focus on the eating; the chewing, the taste, the texture, the experiences that flow through the body, the thought that spurs from the experience, and just pay attention, no need for a reaction.
This is what the masters are talking about when they say, “Have you really seen this flower?” while holding up a flower to a group of disciples. Dropping all filters, filters come from conditioning from the past, or the future, when you are present, thought cannot exist here. All thought exists from memory, however nothing says you can’t use the thought as a tool from past experience. When you get better at being in the present moment though, you will more than likely start functioning more on intelligence or intuition… Right View may happen, you will become more dynamic. With Right View in place, all other Rights will follow.
There will obviously be times where you just cannot be present however, and that is just fine too. Even if in the background you know you are unaware, will allow you to sort of see things for what they are even as you are dealing in the world. When you can become present again you will pick up where you left off. Again I will say, there is no need to change or judge yourself for these boughts of being un-present but to gently shift you back to you. The more you are present, the more you will begin to see yourself clearly, who you really are and how beautiful you actually are. You will also have the joy of seeing what you are not, those things that just love clinging to you because they love you so much! All those thoughts, beliefs, and concepts may still be there, and are actually alot of fun to watch. Maybe I’m just a spiritual geek haha. 🙂
If there is any experience you would like to share or anything that I may be missing, please let me know and maybe I can touch on it, if the insight presents itself.