Oakville Zen Meditation

#183 Present moment: why it is important?

    Present moment: why it is important?


2500 years old Zen Buddhism and now modern medical research are stressing the beneficial impacts of living in the present moment and be mindful to its various components.

What is the present moment?

It is just now, not 3 min. before, not five min. after.

Based on necessity, we invited time 5000 years ago. Using the moon phases, the Egyptians created a calendar of 12 months and 350 days. Then weeks, hours and seconds were defined to achieve what we have now. A very useful mathematical invention. Without it , planning will be impossible.

We are convinced that past, present and future do exist. If the present obviously exists because we are experiencing it now, past and future exist only in our mind. They are not real per se because

1) We cannot experience or observe them concretely and 2) We cannot be at 2 space-times simultaneously for example being now and 10 years ago or now and in 15 years.” Past you & future” you are abstracts.

Letters, pictures, audio and videos of the past are just that and the future is only in our calendars.

The real and concrete time is the present moment where your body is and doing, and what your mind is thinking . This time is the present one. In fact, on can say that time is only made of an infinite of transient

short NOW. Past is a “dead now” and future an “unborn now.” Beside, past and future exist only now.

Why being in the present moment is important?

By forcing our mind to focus on the present moment, mind and body are together and our mind has to obey rather than wandering as usual. We are not, anymore, under its control but the opposite.

We are not trapped anymore in a relentless day dreaming state made of thoughts, feelings, past and future. When you pay attention to the current reality, your “real and authentic you” appears rather than the “thinking you ”. This “authentic you” exists only in the present moment.

Being mindful to the present and its concrete reality opens the door to awakening that we talk about last week. Being awake is experiencing the difference between reality and mind-made dream world.

How to be in the moment?

We are rarely in the moment unless when your task requires maximal concentration for a specific goal..

Usually most of our activities are perceived as routine, automatic, if not dull, boring and without challenge.

This is during these times that the mind takes off and wanders here and there.

Your body is doing A in a routine way whereas your mind is thinking about B.

When you are brushing your teeth, is your mind in the bathroom?.. Never.

Being in the moment is often perceived wrongly as too dull, too boring or feeling to be useless and non productive. There are mind tricks because the mind does not like to be told what to do.

Here are 3 main ways to be in the present moment:

1)The best and most effective way is to feel and practice your 5 senses since the brain/mind is very

receptive to them and will follow. Here are few examples in connecting & experiencing our current surrounding real 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.

Beside our 5 senses, there are 2 other ways to be mindful and experience the reality of the “NOW”:

2) Paying attention to our body: what you are doing, or by practicing body scanning from bottom up.

3) Paying attention to our mind such as for example:

“ Where are you, mind”? “ What are you thinking about”? “ Does it make sense”? Etc...


We exist only in the present moment –good or bad---and this is only during this present moment that we are experiencing concrete reality. Only the real, genuine you can experience concrete reality and not your“thinking you” who experience only immaterial reality. At this state of genuine you, you are experiencing awakening.

Very best to all