I have a set morning routine – if I am to be honest it is about as “set” as fresh concrete, but I try.
Part of this is to listen to a podcast from the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City California for ten minutes each morning. It consists of recordings of talks from Gil Fronsdal, a former Buddhist monk from Norway.
He talks on many excellent subjects, all related to Buddhism and has great insight and wisdom.
One of these talks Gil was speaking about meditation and how people may become frustrated when they find that they have lost concentration or that their thoughts are wandering. Instead of becoming frustrated, he explained that it was actually a good thing that you returned to the present. Rather than seeing that you lost concentration or that your mind wandered, see that you have come back to the present and become mindful.
I meditate every morning for twenty minutes. When I find that my mind has wandered I name it. I say “thinking,” to identify the fact that I have drifted and I come back to the present.
After hearing Gils talk, it made me adjust this slightly. Now, instead of highlighting the fact that my mind has wandered, I identify the fact that I have come back to the present and I name it by silently saying “present”.
People say that “there is no time like the present.” This is so true. The present is the time when everything happens. Does anything actually happen in the future? I don’t think so. The future is just a label. Events will take place in the future, yes, if we apply that label, but everything, in reality, happens in the present. The present is the only thing that exists.
Future and past alike are labels used to identify events that are over and done with or they are to allow us to used to plan ahead. The ability to plan far into the future, as far as we know, is a uniquely human ability and it is one of the main advantages we have over other animals. In order to do this we need to use these labels (past and future), in language, but the present is all that matters.
I understand that the future, the past and the movement of time have a place in physics and that they are important parts of everyday life, but in my opinion the present is THE most important part of everyday life. It is the most real part of our lives and it is here right now. There is no getting away from the present. We should celebrate it and sit with it and truly experience it.
So the next time you catch yourself distracted or not committing to what is happening right now, thank yourself for coming back to the present moment. Be grateful that your mind has returned to the present and feel it.
No matter how good or how bad it is, it is real.
Stay connected to reality and be happy every time you come back to the moment.
Go raibh maith agat,