Catherine and I are always teaching the importance of spending time in the "present moment," but what does that really mean? Present moment thinking has been the concentration of eastern religions for thousands of years.
Religion And Philosophy
Some people are tempted to turn away immediately when Eastern philosophy is brought up just because they think it might threaten their core religious beliefs. There are no religious impositions though; the present moment is available to everyone in every moment no matter who you are. In fact, most religions, in one way or another, agree with the belief of living in the moment, not in the past or future.
Eastern Religions And The Present Moment
There are many different divisions of religion in the East, just like the West. Many of them differ with certain beliefs and philosophies, but many agree on the importance of the present moment.
In recent decades, the West has been picking up on these ancient philosophies and many people use these lessons to help cope with modern problems. It works and it proves that the human condition has always been the same.
The Present Moment Defined
The present moment can be defined as your attention being solely on what you're doing right now. It's when you're not thinking of "other things." If you're washing the dishes, your mind is fully aware when you start the faucet, grip the sponge, and wipe the plates clean. There are no other thoughts in your mind other than what it is you're doing in the moment.
While staying in the present moment may seem boring at times, you've probably already felt its true power without really knowing it.
Have you ever been outside enjoying nature and a feeling of peace flooded over you? Have you ever stared up at the sky and stars and contemplated the meaning behind them? The past and future wash away, and the only thing that's important in that moment is the "now."
Staying in the Present Moment
The process of staying in the present moment may take some practice. If you try for any length of time to stay fully present, your mind will likely try to bring you out of it. This is because thoughts about the past and future are constantly creeping up.
This can be a source of frustration, but you must fight the urge to judge yourself since that negative emotion would defeat the purpose.
Be aware that your mind will reach for the past and future; yet be ready to let go of those thoughts when they come up. The more you practice remaining present, the easier it'll become.
Meditation is an art that's not only reserved for Eastern religions. It's a method of bringing yourself into the present that's available to you at all times.
Here are some tips to follow when beginning meditation:
• Choose a time of day when you can relax and be alone.
• Sit in a position that gives you good posture.
• Concentrate on your breathing.
• Take deep breaths in and out and focus only on your breath.
• Try to meditate for at least 30 minutes each day.
• Fight the urge to fall asleep.
You'll find that you get better at meditation with practice. Don't give up on yourself! Every session may not feel as good as the last, but it's important to stick with it.
Meditation will enable you to get to know your mind and body better. You'll maintain awareness for when your mind is in an agitated state, and you'll be able to place better focus on fixing your problems and moving toward your goals.
All in all, developing a present moment mindset can bring you more peace and fulfillment in your life. Isn't that worth a little practice?