Here is a simple way, but not the only one, to seek some serenity, comfort and security in our hectic and stressful life.
Our body is living now but our mind is usually either in the past or future. They are not synchronized. This lack of being together is a main source of stress and unhappiness.
Whatever you are doing, don’t let the past and the future move, disturb and control your mind. Instead try to synchronize your mind and body to be both at the same time. It will bring instant serenity.
The past is no more, and the future is not yet. To live in your memories and to live in your expectations and dreams is to live in a non-existential virtual reality, like watching a movie in a theater. Past and future are virtual reality and are used as a powerful tools by our deceptive mind to control us.
When we think of the past we always go back to the good and bad times and never the routine day-to-day time. This is how our mind is tricking us in order to create attachments. When we think about the future we have the tendency to see it far more "rosy" than it will be. This is also how the mind is fooling us. To be attached to the good/bad of the past and to the expectations/dreams of the future can be an ongoing source of frustration, sadness, resentment, unhappiness and false hope.
When you are living in this fictional past and future world you are missing your true life. You will become nostalgic, anxious, worried or too wishful, because you will miss what you can enjoy now.
Having said this it is obvious that proper planning cannot be ignored and should be done.
What can we do or use to stay away from these virtual worlds (past and future) as much as possible?
Practicing mindfulness meditation is a very effective exercise to live "now" since our focusing point (breathing) and/or incoming thoughts are by definition in the moment during our meditation time and not yesterday or tomorrow.
However this "now" during meditation lasts only during the time of meditation. Learning to extend this "now" during the all day is our goal but how to do it? Simply by being mindful to the current moment. To be mindful to the "now" will become your magnet to stick with real time and not the virtual ones. Now is in fact the only time when you really exist in 3D and not in virtual "thought form".
I am asking you can try the following wonderful exercise.
Several times during the day challenge your mind and ask yourself "Where am I?" If your mind is in the past or the future reset it to the present time!. It is fun . At the end of the day you will see that being mindful to now is a very difficult skill to master.
We are traveling on an express line from the past to future and back to the past all the time without stopping at the "NOW STATION". "Being in now" will give you a wonderful feeling of security,comfort and security: no illusion, no expectations, no delusions, just the reality: This is a Zen mind.
Good luck all.
Ven. Ji Gong Sunim.