Contemplation

melting into presence

Don’t follow past thoughts, don’t anticipate the future, and don’t follow illusory thoughts that arise in the present; but turning within, observe your own true nature and maintain awareness of your natural mind, just as it is, beyond the conceptual limitations of past, present, and future.

— Garab Dorje, the earliest Dzogchen master.

(Photo by AlicePopkorn)

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Past, present, and future

Droste Experiment

People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.

— Albert Einstein

Why? Because now is all that is. The past, the present, and the future, all is contained in this moment, now.

How? What you think as past is nothing but your recollection, from your memories, of what you suppose to have happened. It’s not real, it doesn’t exist now, it’s only your memories. And what you think as future is your imagination. Right now it exists only in your mind, otherwise it is not real. The present is the only time that comes close to real, present is what you perceive to be happening right now, and even all recollection (of the past) and all imagination (of the future) can happen in your mind only in the present moment.

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(Photo by Thorsten)

The illusion of reality

Entering Hyperspace

What in fact is the past? The past is not a reality; it’s just a concept. The future corresponds to projections, anticipations that do not have any reality either. The past has already occurred; the future does not yet exist. These notions affect us as realities, although they have no substance. The present is the truth that we are experiencing here and now, but it is an elusive reality that does not last. We find ourselves in a paradoxical situation in which the present constitutes a border, a limit between a past and a future without any concrete reality. The present is that elusive moment between what no longer exists and what has not yet happened.

These notions that we take as “reality” are pure intellectual fabrications that do not involve an independent reality, existent in itself. According to the Buddha, perceived phenomena exist only from the standpoint of their designation—that is, the names and concepts we attach to them. The functioning of phenomena does not reveal a palpable entity that is uniquely theirs. You could compare phenomena to a mirage: the closer you get to it, the farther away it gets, until it disappears. Similarly faced with the mind that analyzes them, phenomena vanish.

— Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

(Photo by Éole Wind)

Be a child, be happy

Blanka Almendra

“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

— Jesus

“One cannot be spiritual as long as one has shame, hatred, or fear. … Great men have the nature of a child. They are always a child before God; so they are free from pride. All their strength is of God and not their own. It belongs to Him and comes from Him.”

— Ramakrishna

Be a child, free yourself from pride, free yourself from guilt. Free yourself from concepts and opinions you have about yourself. All past, even upto the last second, is gone, good or bad, it’s never going to come back. All those things people said or thought about you, opinions people had about you, good or bad, all is gone. The present moment is the only real time, the universe renews itself every moment. When you free your mind from the past, you give birth to yourself each moment, you join the flow of life, you are alive!

Be a child, be happy 🙂

Photo by ValetheKid

Live in the Moment

Laura Griffiths02

“I have noticed that when one enters into an activity that necessitates great physical endurance, what tires one most is anticipating beforehand all the difficulties to which one will be exposed. It is much wiser to see at every moment only the difficulty of the present instant; in this way the effort becomes much easier for it is always proportionate to the amount of strength, the resistance at one’s disposal.”

— The Mother (Mirra Alfassa)

Photo courtesy: Susanica

Redeem the past and change the future

“Past and future exist only in our memory. The present moment, though, is outside of time, it’s Eternity. In India, they use the word ‘karma,’ for lack of any better term. But it’s a concept that’s rarely given a proper explanation. It isn’t what you did in the past that will affect the present. It’s what you do in the present that will redeem the past and thereby change the future.

(From Aleph by Paulo Coelho)

There are two ways to live your life.

1. Live like a zombie and allow the karma (momentum generated by your past actions) run (or ruin) your life, or…

2. Live consciously, take total control of your life in the present and shape your future just like a sculptor shapes a sculpture.

The key is the present moment. The present moment is where all action happens. Conscious action in the present moment is what unlinks the future from the influence of the past, redeems the past and changes your future.

Yoga Vasishta categorically states…

There is no power greater than right action in the present. …

What is called fate or divine will is nothing other than the action or self-effort of the past. The present is infinitely more potent than the past. They are indeed fools who are satisfied with the fruits of their past effort (which they regard as divine will) and do not engage themselves in self-effort now.

So, how would you live your life? Would you be satisfied with the fruits of your past effort, let the momentum from your past take control of your life and your future? Or will you decide to live consciously, use the present moment to redeem the past and shape your future?

Decide, now.

Planning for tomorrow Vs. Being in the present moment

“The rich man plans for tomorrow, the poor man for today.”

— Chinese Proverb

We discuss a lot about the importance of being in the present moment, so how do we reconcile being in the present moment with planning for tomorrow? The answer, simply put, is that it’s all about being fully aware in the present moment planning for tomorrow!

Now to the details… 🙂

We must remember that planning for tomorrow is not the same thing as getting anxious about tomorrow. Getting anxious about tomorrow and speculating uncertainties, we won’t be able to take any clear course of action in the present moment. Anxiety and worry is unnecessary waste of time and energy.

Considering the possibilities of tomorrow, intending how we want tomorrow to be, focusing on doing the things we have to do now that will take us there, and be totally aware and enjoy the things that we do now — this is what we mean by being in the present moment.

When you plan for tomorrow’s travel today and take the necessary actions like reserving tickets, booking accommodation, etc., you will have a ‘rich’ travel tomorrow in the sense that you will have a hassle free travel. But planning in the last moment introduces more possibilities of hassle, and hence the travel might turn out to be ‘poor’.

Planning for tomorrow (or the future) is similar to working in a team. A number of people bound together by a purpose and working together in harmony will achieve more than what all those people will achieve when they all work separately each with their own purpose. If working in a group can be considered horizontal integration, then working with a plan is vertical integration. Consider yourself to composed of many different personalities, a different person each day. When all those personalities in you work together harmoniously with a specific vision and purpose, you will have a ‘rich’ life in terms of achievement and meaningful experiences. But when each of those personalities in you have their own agenda, act on impulse and work against each other, your life will be messed up.

Planning for tomorrow, integrating different aspects of your personality and working with a clearly defined purpose is certainly not contradictory to being in the present moment. In fact, having a specific plan and clear purpose helps you avoid unnecessary speculations and helps you stay focused in the present moment. Your mind is clear of anxieties and you enjoy whatever you are doing now, that is all that matters.