How often you are fully in the present moment? Present moment awareness brings calm, peace and sanity to your life. It exposes your ego and puts you in touch with your true self.
The Key To Simple Happiness
The present moment is all there ever is. Still, most people ignore it, imagining the future or the past, stuck in their thinking minds.
The present moment is always so simple. Its simplicity is masked by the egoic mind - wanting to get to some imaginary point in the future (as if the future will bring more happiness than anything could now) , or reliving the past (as if this is more important than now).
Present moment awareness is the end of the ego and end of illusion. Be aware that it knows this, and will resist you staying present.
So many of our problems, traumas, anxieties, fears etc. are all based in our minds, in time - dwelling in the past, or conditioned by the past and then negatively anticipating "the future".
Time exists only in the mind. It keeps you from the conscious presence that is who you already are, only available within the present moment.
Just for now, increase your present moment awareness. Be fully in this moment. Notice what you can be aware of - but do not label or judge anything.
- be aware of what you can see, hear, smell, feel.
- be aware of your breath flowing gently in and out of your body.
- feel your body from within - for example can you be aware of your legs - as if you are feeling the inside of them?
- can you hear the silence beneath any noise that may be there?
- can you be aware of space around all things you can see rather than just the things (the forms)?
- can you feel yourself as the awareness behind the thoughts that arise?
- what is perceiving all of these things?
- all of this puts you within the present moment and somewhat out of your mind. Of course the mind may well pull you back in again with some thought, or emotional resistance may arise….
….when this happens you do the same thing - be aware of what is happening now, but do not judge it or mentally label it. Just for this moment, allow the present moment to be as it is completely, and see what happens. You do not have to do anything (no matter what your mind may say!).
This is the beginning of conscious living, of living at one with the present rather than controlled by your ego and trapped in time. Present moment awareness brings you towards realising your oneness with life.
You may notice as you do this, a sense of peace, aliveness, awareness, however subtle or strong is arising in the background. You do not have to do everything that has been listed above - just one method will do. For example, just feeling the flow of your breath. This puts you in a state of awareness - which is what you are.
Stay for now in this state of present moment awareness (presence), not judging what arises. Any mental-emotional activity or feeling of restlessness, resistance or unsatisfactoriness begins to weaken. By letting everything be, you take away its power over you.
You may see that at this moment…it is very simple. Things are as they are. This is the "isness" of the present moment that the buddha spoke about. In fact this moment is all there ever is - everything else is just an illusion of the mind, a bundle of thoughts and emotions.
You may notice that as you stay in the present, you become more aware of deeper negative feelings, thoughts and emotions that you were not aware of before. This is fine, and they are as they are….
….allow them to be as well, do not name any emotion or thought as "bad" or "uncomfortable" - let them be, be the space for them, and see what happens….
….it is as if they are actually just asking for permission to be - then suddenly you are free - they are not you anymore, and as you realise this they weaken and disappear all by themselves - without you even wanting them or needing them to leave.
This is the beauty of present moment awareness, the ultimate reality of life. The present moment is your doorway into freedom, and the mind/ego will not like it. So of course, you let this be as well.
Accepting What Is
The present moment already is as it is. It is inevitable. Resistance to it makes you suffer, and has the main purpose of strengthening a false sense of self, the egoic identity.
Letting the present moment be is another term for acceptance of what is, nonresistance or surrender to what is.
The ego calls this weak, but it is actually the only sane way to live. If you resist the present moment, you suffer. If you surrender and accept it as it is, you realise that your demands for the situation to make you happy were unreasonable, and you are taken deeper within the peace of your own consciousness. Then any action that ever needs to be taken will arise from a deeper place of peace within you, not a reactive egoic reflex.
This is another trick of the mind - to say that accepting the present moment means that no undesirable situation would ever be resolved. This is not the case.
- First of all, you may see that no action is required and the only thing "wrong" is the strength and reactivity of the ego. You become less affected by externals and less dependent on form, more free.
- Secondly, required action occurs naturally, easily and effortlessly.
Resistance to the present moment actually strengthens the undesirable reality, it keeps it in place. This in turn keeps the ego in place, and it becomes a continuous loop. This is what many people experience life as, without knowing anything of the ego or its ways to keep itself strong and in place. It lives on resistance to the present moment.
So experiment for yourself - what happens when you become aware of yourself within the present moment as the silent observer of thought, and then allow the moment to be as it is?
Notice how your reactions and thoughts about events and circumstances are the things that do you harm.
This practice of present moment awareness and acceptance puts you in touch with what you really are, and sets you free from all the negativity you may be carrying in your mind. There is only this moment, and it is as it is.