The present moment, you and your ego
Part#1 How to be friend with your life
Try to answer the following question?: How often are your mind and body doing the same thing at the same time?
For example 1) while you are driving is your mind is driving? 2) while you are watching TV is your mind watching it also? What about when you are in your bed before sleeping, brushing your teeth, in the subway, cutting the grass, eating, working out, waiting for your flight or even at your desk at 2pm on Friday?
The answer: Almost never.
Our minds are almost never where our bodies are. Our minds are almost never in the same present time -NOW- but rather wandering in the past or future. Our minds are doing something very different from what our bodies are currently doing. The vast majority of our activities are routine-based automatic behavior. We are doing x, y, z but our mind is doing a, b, c totally different and usually in the future, sometimes in the past.
Being in two different space-time zones, we are suffering from a severe split personality disorder. One material space-time for your body which is NOW, doing x, y, z and one immaterial space-time for your mind in the past or future, with its fictional space, fictional you and fictional activities. As long as we are living in two different time-spaces, awakening in Buddhism and salvation in other religions are impossible to achieve simply because our true self – our genuine self - is by definition one entity living NOW and cannot be split into two different entities at once.
For example: my body is brushing its teeth at 6:30 am and my mind is thinking about the presentation to be given at the office at 3 pm the next day.
The primordial relationship in your life is your relationship with NOW and its content and activities whether they are exiting or boring. The journalists on TV are using the expression “LIVE FROM” to express the NOW for a good reason. Only NOW is alive. If your relationship with NOW is dysfunctional, your relationship with life, people and even self is also dysfunctional. I know many people in despair because they live most of the time in their nostalgic past or permanently dream about rosy futures or fear them.
Is being always in the present moment difficult?
Yes it is since this present moment is usually pretty routine stuff if not boring. Non existing routine stuff is never what our ego is looking for, ever. Our ego wants novelty, fun, excitement, pleasure, entertainment, nostalgia of the past, and dream of the future, and much more. Brushing your teeth, being stuck in the traffic or waiting in line is not very exciting. When the ego is sensing boredom or routine in NOW it will do everything to breakout from it because it wants to control you and, if you are inside the NOW it is difficult.
So, for these two reasons our ego is going to escape from NOW and carry us in the past or future at the speed of light. By doing so, it will control you 100% because the “past-you” and the “future-you” are not the real you. Past-you and future-you do not exist at all. They are not “copy and paste” of the genuine you. They are pure mind-generated illusions.
So, what should we do?
By practicing awareness of the present moment, you decide to be friend with it rather than perceiving it as a boring enemy. You are not addicted anymore to the illusionary space-times that are past and future. The present moment is inseparable from your genuine self and your real life. Being friend with now is having your mind and thoughts where your body is, with what you are doing and with your environment. No split personality, no time-space dissociation.
Is it possible to keep body and mind in the present moment all the time?
Of course not since we do need to go in the past sometimes for whatever reasons and to the future for planning. The point is simply to bring mind and body at the same place and time as often as we can. As soon as you decide to spend time with NOW that is to be aware of the present moment, life will become friendlier even during bad times and serenity can appear in the horizon. The decision to be friend with NOW is a very efficient tool to tame the ego since again our ego hates the current moment because it is the only time where the real genuine self exist. The stronger the ego is, the less real life you have and the more fictional past-life and future-life you live in and you don’t realize it.
Almost every thought and feeling popping-up such as anger, regret, guilt, fear, desire, doubt and expectation is concerned with past or future. Our sense of self depends on the past for your identity and on the future for your fulfillment. Being in the past or in the future is OK when needed. If not everyone should learn to live in the moment whatever this moment is, exciting or boring. When you brush your teeth don’t be in the office or with friends since being outside the present moment is not you anymore just a fictional you.