Dear Integral Meditators,
I’d like to wish you a very happy new lunar new year of the snake, whatever winding and twisting roads that it may take us on!
This weeks article reflects on the fact that one of the main goal of mindfulness and meditation; that of living in the present is in fact somewhere that we already are, but simply don’t recognize. A somewhat curious contradiction!
The Inevitability of the Present Moment
One of the best ways in which to connect to a deeper awareness of the present moment is simply to recognize that there is no way that you can actually avoid it.
- Whenever you become preoccupied with thoughts about the past and things that have happened, you are doing so only within the present moment. The idea that you are somehow in the past by thinking of the past is an illusion; in reality you are thinking of the past whilst actually being IN the present moment.
- Whenever you neglect mindfulness of the present due to being pre-occupied with a future goal, the experience of being lost in the future is an illusion. In reality you are actually IN the present moment, thinking of the future.
Continuing this train of thought, the very idea that you can be anywhere but the present moment is an illusion, the reality is that you cannot be anywhere else, no matter how hard you try.
One minute mindlessness: Try and escape from the present moment.
In this exercise, for one minute try as hard as you can to escape from the present moment.
- If you are thinking fast, try and think faster
- Try and re-create the past so hard that you totally lose awareness of the present moment
- Give yourself a free rein to obsess about the future so much that your awareness of the present is as absent as possible.
At the end of the one minute, simply reflect on the fact that however hard you have tried to escape, for every single moment of that past minute you have been inevitably living and existing in the present moment, you can’t escape from it, it is inevitable. Rest in this recognition for a while.
Rather than trying harder to be more present in our life, sometimes it can be more beneficial to recognize that there is nowhere else that we can possibly be.
© Toby Ouvry 2013, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com