We spend our lives thinking about the past and future. 90% of our thinking is about something that has already happened or something that we think is going to happen in the future. Many of us reflect on the past with regret or sadness and fill our mind with expectiation and worry about the future. This is the cause of great unhappiness, it unsettles our mind and detaches us from our present moment experience. In reality the only thing that exists is this present moment, the past has already gone and the future hasnt even happened yet. When we stop getting lost in the past and future and return our attention to the present moment we find that our experience of life changes, we become happy, peaceful and content.
To spend our lives absorbed in the past and future is to live a dream. Of course sometimes we need to think about the future or relfect on something that has already happened but we dont need to spend our lives constantly thinking about what has been or what will be.
So how can we be more present?
Firstly we need to become aware of the problem. Become aware of the amount of time that your mind is in the future or in the past. How much of your day are you the present moment?
The next step is to be present. Actively bring your attention back to the present moment. We do this by being aware of whats happening here and now. If you are eating lunch then bring your awareness to the taste and the texture of the food you are eating. If you are taking a walk bring your awareness to the sounds you are hearing and the sights you are seeing as you walk. Be present.
A great way of being present in any situation is to become aware of your breath. Become aware of the rise and fall of your chest as you breath in, the sensation of the breath as it moves through your body, the feeling of the breath as you breath in and out.
We become present by bringing our awareness to whatever we are doing in that moment. This reduces the amount of time we spend lost in the past and spend worrying about the future. The result is a mind that is peaceful, calm and happy.
Cornelius is a mind and meditation expert he has clinics and classes across London and Berkshire. He is also the cofounder of Bodhimaya and holds transformative and educational detoxification retreats in the UK and around the world. For more information please visit www.bodhimaya.com
image credit: myrkothum