Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment- Buddha
The present moment; it’s where everything right now is happening. It’s the reality point and the place that should require our focus, but often doesn’t. The quote above is a good reminder, yet it’s a hard task to achieve. Even if you realise that the main focus should be the present time and do your best to keep centered in this thought, distractions creep through the cracks of time and the ego nudges once more. It’s safer to not go into detail on the ego and it’s mission, but I will say I personally agree that the ego cannot exist in current time. If you haven’t already done so, I recommend reading about the ego as it’s an interesting topic, I just think it best I don’t start a debate with the doubtful.
Anyway back to the now, pun intended. The present time is calming, quiet and allows you to truly focus on reality. This reality gives you a sense of purpose as you’re not concerned with things that haven’t been done or yet to be done. It’s a way of gaining back control and centering your thoughts. It’s difficult, if not near impossible to constantly stay in the present time but it’s something that I think people need to pay attention to in order to feel gratuitous and focused. Staying in the now is the key to being less stressed, only people are generally too ‘stressed’ to focus on the now, which is ironic and frustrating for them.
What about this, that and blah blah? Those can wait, it’s important to prepare for the future but this is different to living for the future. Don’t fall into the ‘when I get here’ trap because by then it will be some other obstacle affecting your time and happiness. Try instead being present which is where true happiness lies. Focus all your attention on your task at hand and every sense should be involved in the process. Asking yourself some questions may help; What am I feeling? What am I looking at? What am I smelling? What am I seeing? etc. By doing this you remain focused in the moment, worry and stress seem to dissipate. It’s difficult to maintain this, though, like all good things it takes patience and practice. I’d like to say I’m perfect at it, don’t have a care in the world and never focus my attention on the past or future, but I never have been a good liar.
The past is probably a more sinister focal point, in that it’s not a wise idea to relive or concentrate your energy on past events or people. What about pleasant and happy events? These are just memories and thinking about them should not cause you to feel the need to change things. Your past experiences are only valuable as learning lessons so do this and move on. Once the past has concluded it’s a mere memory and not a dwell point.
The past and future are needy and require either a reaction or emotion from you whilst the present only requires your attention. The present time is where the magic of life happens and time ceases to exist without it. What are you concentrating your time and energy on? Now is but a fleeting moment so try to appreciate this in all it’s wholeness and beauty. Things are less complicated when you live in the now and thus a happier place to be. It’s a process to stay present and still in the moment, but it can be done and I recommend trying to dedicate times during today to really focus on what you’re doing.
Concentrate on the present time so you can lift the weight of the past and live lighter for the future. You never know what tomorrow will bring. What are you doing right now?