THE NEW FAD: Being in the Present

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If you’re a subscriber to new age way of thinking or get bombarded with positive feel good quotes on social media, then you most likely have heard the term “stay in the present”. This expression is widely used and encourages people to focus on the now. The reason being, when we leave the present and focus on the future or the past, we are essentially losing the only thing that is real…the now. That being said, why do we, as humans, constantly find ourselves thinking about the past or the future; why did this or that happen, “I’ll be happy when I get to here”, “if only I would have done _____”, and my all-time favorite “I’ll do it tomorrow”. Almost everybody finds himself or herself dipping in and out of memories and future ambitions; as there doesn’t seem to be any segregation towards participants. Rich, poor, educated, the not so bright, all find themselves thinking of days gone by, and what is to come. So if we all seem to naturally gravitate toward the past and future, why the big push toward being in the present? Despite how diluted the messages of The Buddha has become, while being showcased on flatware and bookshelf ornaments at Pier One, being in the present is the only way to live a fruitful life. Regardless of how much we enjoy our memories and future predictions, in order to keep the past, present future cycle going, we need to be aware of the moment and make the most of it. One way to look at it, is the present moment is all three in one. Past, present and future simultaneously happening all at once, allowing you to create a memory, and even create your future. What you do now has a huge effect on the future and past you. Whoa, that is a lot to take in! However think about the now in terms of time. You may have heard the expression “time is precious”, but is it really? What is so precious about time? It either has happened or it hasn’t. What is truly precious is the now, and what we are doing with the present moment. Every second that passes is either a second we are aware, or a second we were not. A famous Zen story explains this present moment awareness. The student asks the master “what is enlightenment?” the master responds, “wash up your dish”. We take this simple exercise of washing the dishes for granted. Most of us are on autopilot and just going through the motions, doing things mechanically. Yet this simple exercise shows us that so many of the things we do in life end up on autopilot. Our entire existence can become mechanical if we let it. We just cruise through life with our head in the clouds. We have to re-engage with life and experience life and all it has to offer by being in the moment and enjoying the process. We can find happiness and joy in doing almost anything, even in something that seems mundane. The pleasure can be found in the awareness of doing and witnessing each moment for what it is, at its most basic level. So when your mind reverts to past mistakes, just remember this too shall pass and become a memory. When your mind goes off to the future with goals to accomplish, you should acknowledge that what you do right now is your future. The past only exists right now in your mind; the future only exists right now in your mind. So take a look at your surrounding and jump on the present bandwagon. Now is the time…oh wait now is the time. You get the point…this is life baby. Namaste. You can come see David teach his Power Vinayasa Flow class at the “United States of Fitness” on Pineapple grove Wednesdays at 7:30-8:45p and Sundays 12:00-1:30pm Davidramoy@gmail.com