‘Do not dwell in the past, Do not dream of the future, Concentrate the mind on the present moment’. These were the words spoken by Buddha himself about the present moment. If you understand what Buddha here is talking about, you will realize deeply that present moment is all you will ever have in your life. Rest everything is merely an illusion, not a reality. We think that there is a past and there will be a future, but at the core of the existence, there is only and only present moment. The past and the future only exist in our minds. They don’t have any relevance, as far as the reality is concerned. The illusion of past and future may help you survive in the society well, but these are not the tools for realizing the ultimate nature of your life.
Understanding what present moment really means?: When we are talking about the present moment we are not talking about this minute or this second, we are talking about the millionth of a second or even smaller i.e the freshest present moment which is existing right now. The only and only thing which you need to do is to be ‘Aware’ or ‘Conscious’ of this present moment every moment of your life.
Now there would be many people who relate ‘Awareness’ to the ‘Alertness’. No these are two different things. When we say awareness or consciousness, we are not talking about alertness. When you say alertness, this means this is a thought which is coming from your mind. So alertness always comes from your mind. Now tell me one thing, only because you are aware, you can be alert. Only because you are conscious, you experience your body, mind, emotions, and energies. Let’s say you are unconscious right now, Can you experience anything? The answer is No. So what we imply to say is that Awareness or consciousness is the ground or source of all experiences in your life including alertness. Hence Awareness is the root and you can say alertness is the consequence of that root. To make a layman understand about awareness it can be defined as: ‘Active Dynamic Acceptance of what is there right now’ is awareness.
In today’s world, 90 percent of the problems arise only because we don’t live in the present moment. What is happening with the whole lot of population is that either they are thinking about their past or they are planning about their future. In the previous article, we have already discussed this thing that past accumulates in the form of memory. Hence past exists only because you have memories. Suppose you lose your memory, then there will be no past for you. Thinking about the past is not an issue, While people are thinking about their past, they start living in the past, this is the biggest problem. Tell me one thing frankly, What happened many years back, Is it not still hurting you?; The answer is Yes. To put it bluntly, this is the hard reality. Now what happened many years back is still hurting you because you can not get out of the circus of your mind. That moment is already gone, but in your mind, you are still stuck at that moment. This is the biggest problem of people. Once you are stuck in your mind, there is no looking back, you slowly tend to lose the connection with your life and you become a victim of the whirlpool of your own psychological drama. This is the reason for the stress and anxiety in most of the people.
Similarly, people can not stop themselves thinking about the future. Now, here again, you are thinking of something which has not yet happened, but your mind says ‘It will happen”. When your mind says it will happen, suddenly you start believing it. Once you start believing that this will happen, again you get stuck in your silly mind.
So if we look deeply, the present is never the cause of the suffering. It’s always the past and the future. Now if you really think you have a mind, simply ask one question within you: Does past really exist? If you pay deeper attention, you will see that past doesn’t exist, You are thinking that the past exists, but past is gone, what is gone cannot exist. The reality is you are thinking about the past but you are living in the present moment if you look carefully. Similarly frankly ask yourself: Does the future really exist? This time the clear answer is a NO. Because something which is yet to happen can never exist in the present. So using this knowledge, we can clearly say that the only and the only thing which is real is the present moment. Even the next moment is not real because it is still not there and we don’t know whether it would be there or not. But this much is for sure that the present moment exists.
So we saw clearly that the past and future doesn’t exist. and 99 percent people’s cause of suffering is past and future. Which means people are suffering that which doesn’t exist. You tell me if you really know that past and future doesn’t exist and you still are becoming a victim of it, Are you not Insane? Clinically you are qualified to be called as a psychological case. Genuinely ask this question to yourself and see what answer you will get. I am no one to make a comment, you already know the answer.
This is the reason, all the Enlightened beings, Yogis, Mystics, Scientists, Philosophers have always talked about living in the present because they experientially know that this is only the present moment which is real. When you start living in the present moment, this is the end of your suffering, because the present moment is the access to eternity. The present moment is the only moment which never ends. If you have a habit of cherishing every moment, you will find and realize that you can be peaceful and happy within yourself even in the worst of your situations. The only reason why one person is able to handle the same situation well and the other person suffers the same situation is because the second person is still stuck in the drama of his mind. Once you are stuck in your mind, you become a slave to it and you become hallucinatory. Once you become hallucinatory, you again are stuck in the illusions of past and future.
Now you have a clear choice in front of you. Ask a very simple question to yourself: Do I want to be pleasant or unpleasant? Do I want to be happy or miserable? If you get a reply as pleasantness or happiness, Its obvious that you will choose to live in the present moment, because that all there is. There is no other thing which is real other than the present moment. The choice is yours whether you want to live in the reality or you want to live in the circus of your mind.
Importance of the present moment: The present moment is important because this is the only moment which is real in the whole cosmos. Please answer this very simple question to realize it. Where are you reading this article, the answer is ‘In the present moment’. Where are you living right now- In the present moment. Where is everything happening right now- In the lap of the present moment. What is the force which is binding & holding this whole universe right now–The clear answer is the present moment. So now tell me, Since the present moment holds the whole cosmos, Is this present moment inevitable or not? Think again deeply and respond, Is this moment inevitable? Now if your answer is Yes, then ask yourself again, If this moment is inevitable and important, Would you accept this moment or would you reject this moment? The obvious answer is a clear Yes. Which means if you are accepting the present moment and whatever is there right now in the present moment, That means “Happiness” is the only way you can be. There is no other way to exist.
Hence whatever is there in the present moment cannot be other than the way it should be, so the only choice you have is to accept it. Anything which is inevitable is always acceptable. Once you understand and accept this fact, then happiness, joyfulness, peace is the only way you would live. Once you live this way, you suddenly will unlock the door of eternal bliss and ecstasy. That’s the reason everywhere this is said: Past is a memory, future is an imagination, So the only gift you have right now is the ‘Present Moment’. Contrary to this, If you are not accepting whatever is there right now, then you will suffer your life in a big way. You may find few moments of joy and happiness, but you will never sustain it. The only and only way to sustain happiness and joy is to constantly accept the present moment and live totally in it.
I hope that you will not just read this article but you will also implement this to every present moment in which you are living. If you still have any doubts related to the topic, please raise your questions in the comment sections, I will answer all of those as best as I can………!
Be in the Present Moment because that all there is & that’s all you will ever have.
Happy Reading 🙂