HOW TO LIVE IN THE "NOW"
“Why does the mind habitually deny or resist the Now? Because it cannot function and remain in control without time, which is past and future, so it perceives the timeless Now as threatening. Time and mind are in fact inseparable.” – The Power of Now
How can we live fully in the present moment?
How many times throughout the day do we check to see what time it is? Whether we’re waking up, going to work, heading to the gym, or running errands. Whatever we do we follow the clock. We’re always aware of the time because it determines our daily life and without it society couldn’t function. We need to know the time so that we can complete our daily tasks and be a productive member of society.
Yet as much as we’re aware of the time, we tend to ignore the actual moment. We become consumed by everything that’s already occurred in our day and everything we still have to accomplish. Our mind is compelled to ruminate on the past and fixate on the future. So where does that leave the “Now”?
What is time? It’s something we can’t touch, see, or feel, yet it’s always occurring. In a specific sense, time can be measured from point A to point B -morning to night or fall to winter. But in a general sense, time is endless and can only be experienced through a state of change.
We created the concept of seconds, minutes, hours, and days in order to make sense of the boundlessness of time. It started by learning to map the stars and follow the sun’s pattern. Now it’s developed into the world we live in today where we depend and rely on time. What kind of world would it be if we didn’t know when to arrive at work, when an appointment was, or when our plane lands? Thus the only way we can successfully live in society is by following the concept of time.
Yet this concept of time is specific to our societal world and so we’ve neglected our personal sense of time. Our own time exists when we’re walking through the grocery store, driving our car, going for a run, or playing with our kids. It’s the moments when we have the choice to be fully engaged with whatever it is we’re doing. But for most of us it’s the time when our mind succumbs to the past and drifts to the future.
Our mind has trouble staying silent, so it dwells on past mistakes and creates alternate future scenarios. Thus it completely ignores the present moment -the “Now”. It’s not an easy task to quiet our minds. But, if we can stay focused on what we’re doing and give it our full attention, we’ll be closer to living in the “Now”.
Why should we try to focus on the “Now”? The real question is, why shouldn’t we? Anytime we’re focused on anything other than what we’re doing in the current moment we aren’t truly present. When we’re fully in the “Now” we’re completely committed to the task at hand, the person we’re talking to, or even the food we’re eating. If our thoughts, thus our awareness, is in the past or future then we’ll be distracted from anything we’re doing.
By living in the moment we dedicate every piece of ourselves to it. We listen to others without already thinking of a response, we notice the nature around us on walks instead of focusing on our to-do list, and we don’t dwell on the angry driver who cut us off on the way to work. When we live in the “Now” we aren’t ignoring society or disregarding our daily duties and responsibilities. We are simply choosing to give 100% of our attention to everything we do. By doing so, we become open to the present moment and can process whatever happens. We know it will only last for now.
Practices & Motivations