Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future. John F. Kennedy
We view time as a cycle of happenings. Future soon becomes past, transformed through the lens of the present moment. The present is eternal, though; like a never-ending sequence of one moment with an infinity of faces.
There are many theories of time, and far from us to debate them for this article’s purpose. One theory states that past, present and future coexist in our universe. In a certain way, when we meditate we may understand that time is tenseless, in the way that the present moment becomes the most real and tangible moment.
In general, an untrained mind, tends to fly either towards the past or the future. We spend in average, 45% recalling the past and 45%, projecting ourselves into the future. Which leaves us with 10% to live in the present. The importance of the present moment becomes clear once meditation becomes a style of life. The mind anchors itself into what is essential in the present moment. The present expands to most of the moments we spend with awareness. A mind that creates the habit of always coming to the present moment is a mind that is sharp and focused on designing life one moment at a time.
Photo credit: Peace Revolution
How is it that we can stay in the present? By always coming back to the now. There are two mindful exercises that could support you in living in the present.
Firstly, try to always speak using the present tense. At the beginning it is a little bit unfamiliar and might be challenging. Little by little, you start realising that speaking about the present means focusing on what matters and is enriching the conversation at that very moment.
Secondly, you can build the habit of stating the “now”. When you are walking, say inside your mind “now”. Create the opening for you to feel, think, see, enjoy what is there to be acknowledged in that very moment.
The past and future are not to be disregarded. We build ourselves on our past experiences and learnings. The past is a wise and valuable teacher for the present self. The future gives us something to aspire to, without losing focus of the fact that it is only through the action in the present, that can we achieve the future that we choose for ourselves.
Remember: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present,” Master Oogway tells Kung Fu Panda.