Oakville Zen Meditation

#174 Experiencing the wonders of the present moment May 16th 17

                                             Experiencing the wonders of the present moment

" Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift. This is why we call it "present"

This present moment is the only existing, real and concrete space -time in which we are alive and the only moment we can connect and experience the authentic reality of life using our consciousness.

The “past you” does not exist because the past is dead. The “future you” does not exist either because the future is not born yet. Both are inner movies and fictional dream world inside our mind.

The fictional past made of nostalgia and regrets needs the present moment because we are thinking about the past only now. The imaginary future made of dreams, ideas and expectations needs the present moment because we are thinking about the future it only now.

When we are facing difficult times - and we always do - we probably don’t want to experience the present moment in positive way. If fact, you hate these negative moments and try to avoid them. This is a normal reaction.

But remember this: escaping the bad moments by returning in the past or travelling in the future will never fix your current issues and struggles. Past and future are just temporary gateways like putting our head in the sand.

Beside, always keep in mind that good and bad moments are always transient and the bad ones may teach us something.

How to live in the present moment?

Past and future are necessary when we want to learn from the past and plan for the future but these

“past/future you” are just “mind-made you” and not the “real , genuine you” . Living in the moment is the only way to be alive and be fully awake of our surrounding reality since being in the past and future are pure mind dream fiction. However, if living in the present moment is easy when that moment is fun and joy, it is more challengingwhen we are facing struggles and problems. Just accept them and be mindful of their transient duration,

How to be in the moment?

The best and most effective way is to feel and practice your 5 senses since the brain/mind is very sensitive to them. Our 5 senses are both the only connections that we have with reality and tools to use to anchor our mind with this reality. Using our senses is connecting our body-mind with reality. No other way.

Here are few examples in connecting with reality using one of your 5 senses:

Sight: by being mindful to various colors in front of you.

Hearing: by being mindful to the noises and sounds around you even when you meditate.

Touch: being mindful to the consistence of what you touch with your hands and your feet while walking.

Smell: being mindful to the various odours around us.

Taste: being mindful to the taste of the food you are eating.

There are other ways to practice and be mindful to the “NOW”:

Pay attention to our:

1) Body: 1) what you are doing, or 2) by practicing body scanning from bottom up.

2) Mind by asking the following: “ Where is my mind now”? “ What my mind is doing”?

3) Surroundings using one of our 5 senses as described before.

Why trying to stay in the moment as often as possible is important?

For 2 main reasons:

1) By focusing on the current moment, our mind is forced to follow us rather than us following him, which is always the case. By being mindful to the Now we are not trapped anymore in our thoughts and feelings but free from. Because we are focusing on something, the incessant stream of thoughts / feelings has to stop, at least for a short period of time. You are achieving sort of thoughtless state in which we are connected only to our authentic surrounding reality.

2) Being awake to the present moment is experiencing the “real, authentic and conscious you” and not the

“ the fictional hinking you” which is only your immaterial mind and not your true Self. The former - real- is the complete you, the later- thinking-  is the partial you.

When we are awake to the present there are no dream, no emotion, no illusion, no delusion, no fiction, no past and no future.

Being in the moment is often wrongly perceived as too dull, too boring, useless and non-productive. As we say It is also more challenging during bad times. Just accept and focus. Everything is transient.

Negative perception of the moment is just a delusion created by the mind. Remember that focusing on the present is something the mind hates to do because it is not anymore in control and refuses to be told what to do.

Being in the NOW will bring instant release, calm if not serenity.