Freedom Blog

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Are You Living In The Moment?

No Limits | The Freedom Blog

Are You Living In The Moment?

Written by Steven Griggs |

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”                                                                                                      Buddha

“I know that the purpose of life is to understand and be in the present moment with the people you love. It's just that simple.”                                                         Jane Seymour
We’ve all been advised by well meaning friends who tell us: “You must learn to be present “, “You have to live in the present moment”.

This is absolutely correct and being reminded is a good thing but usually the person “advising” us, while meaning well, probably has no real concept of what it actually means.

It sounds good and I’m sure they mean well but if you are telling other people what to do or how they should conduct their lives you are probably not really “living in the moment” yourself. You are coming from a place that may be a bit tinged by ego.

Living in the present is not easy, it is extremely difficult.

Our culture actually leads us in the opposite direction. We find ourselves either day dreaming of the future or reminiscing about the past.

When I say reminiscing I am being generous because usually when we look back it is not generally with a warm, fuzzy feeling, it is more often than not tinged with a little regret or remorse. We are mostly rehashing the past, not looking back with satisfaction and acceptance.

And daydreaming about the future is a handy way for our ego mind to assuage itself and vicariously taste the future without actually having to make the effort or take the action needed to make it happen.

Some may say they are not daydreaming or reminiscing but that is not necessarily living in the present. You may find that you are just cruising along on autopilot. Looking out at the world from the safe, familiar rhythm of day-to-day routines.

Living in the present is not automatic. It takes practice.

It is the conscious, and that is the key word, the conscious act of being in touch with what is happening right now, at this very moment, and keeping that feeling as long as you can.

It is paying attention.

Being here.

Right now.

It is the focused attention you put on your friend’s face as they are telling you about something that happened to them or some important issue that they are dealing with. It is listening with all your senses. It means turning your phone off and putting it away.

It means really hearing the words they are saying and diving deeper into the emotions that lie underneath the words. It is not waiting for them to stop so you can talk about yourself.

It is keeping your mind from wandering off into parallel thoughts that rise up as you listen. It is the ability to push those thoughts to the side and stay focused on your friend.

It is paying attention when you are walking down the street or hiking on a mountain path.

It is feeling the wind on your face, seeing the branches moving in the trees. It is noticing the animal tracks in the dust, the ants moving through the pebbles on the trail or in the cracks in the sidewalk.

It is hearing the sounds of the birds in the trees or their calls in the distance.

It is feeling your heart beating, feeling each breath enter and leave your lungs.

It is smelling the scents on the wind, the smoke in the air, even the exhaust from a car.

It is all this.

It is the feeling, hearing, seeing and smelling of life around you.

It is simply being aware.