What does “this moment” mean to you, as you read the words hundreds of thoughts and ideas afflicted through your head. At least half of you will be looking outside of this moment for your happiness.
Some of you will be remembering a tender kiss this morning. Others will be looking forward to a tender kiss this evening.
Some of you will actually be thinking about things that will happen later today that will make you happy. Unfortunately when you’re not living now, in the present moment, this moment, you are by definition somewhere else. That is you looking somewhere else, somewhere outside of you, for your happiness.
Years ago, when I was 50 I started studying for a psychology degree. Although I learned a lot of things one of the things that were reinforced in my mind was the power of stories.
Every culture uses stories to reinforce morality, to teach about local mores. The reason humans use stories is that they can be understood on so many levels by everyone. Nobody misses the point they are driving home!
Although we don’t realize it, when we are looking outside of ourselves to external things happiness we are telling stories to ourselves.
Sometimes, albeit rarely these stories come true. We imagine that we will go home this evening and that domestic life will be perfect. Sometimes, it is. Most of the time it isn’t!
Reinforcing Our Stories
This is what is known as an intermittent reward and this is a powerful reinforcer. It is the one story that we will remember in a thousand stories. The 999 stories we tell ourselves that don’t come true we will forget.
Living for this moment means we can dispense with stories. We do not need to work out whether it’s going to be true or not, whether it will happen or not. This moment is here, and it is here now. It is the only moment we can enjoy.
If you think about this in the broader context, it means that the only real thing we can rely on is this present moment. Every experience we are having now is a truly authentic experience. It may not be pleasant we may be outside in a howling wind or pouring rain!
One of the reasons we failed to concentrate on what’s happening in the now moment is the fact we mistakenly think it can only be judged by what is happening.
In truth, we are not made happy by this moment until we are aware of what happens. Unfortunately, by concentrating on what could be happening rather than what is happening then went back into La La story land.
Yet, if we think about this and we can make our thoughts create our reality why are we not concentrating on this?
All the love and peace and joy and happiness you have ever felt in your life doesn’t come from the now at this moment. It comes from the awareness of what you are feeling in this moment.
A tale of two moments
In every moment there are two possibilities. We can concentrate all our passion and curiosity into that moment. Or, as so often happens we can waste a moment by thinking how much better with this moment be ….. if ……..
If your husband was here to see it with you.
You would be happier if you were thinking this but sitting on top of the Eiffel Tower.
You get the point, what are you giving your attention to?
If we are thinking the present moment would be so much better if, as you own external thought here, then you are always doing battle with yourself.
This moment becomes so much more dense and narrow and full of struggle. We are quite literally squandering him him this moment because we are wondering how we can make it better.
Your life would be so much more straightforward if you let go of the struggle and the judgment.
Getting rid of the Ego
To do this, we have to get rid of the idea of me! This moment is not my experience it is merely an experience. We don’t have to struggle to retain our identity at this moment.
This does mean that we have to try to change our belief about the person we are all fix-it. If we are focusing on getting rid of what we are aware of them we are still focusing on something that is not. By the thinking and being aware of a lack we are still creating and maintaining a struggle.
The judgment rather than the struggle is the essential thought here. It is possible for us to realize that we tend to identify with the sense of me without making any effort to change it.
It means you just roll with it! You just let it be. We are dropping the idea that something needs to be fixed or changed. We just need to observe it.
Having the same thoughts without judgment is much less dense. Our experience is at a broader level.
It took me a lot of practice to even begin to get my head around this whole experience. Just being, rather than doing, or thinking. I’m not saying I do this all of the time, like everything else in this blog, it is a work in progress.
I also realize that if you are not a meditator than the idea of just being may even sound indulgent to you. You may judge the idea to be passive.
If you can turn this idea on its head because a lot of the things that our society judges to be productive is often what the Buddhists call monkey noise. It’s a distraction.
It takes a reasonable amount of awareness of your own mind and also training to be able to be rather than doing something. I know when I first heard the expression “just be.” I had absolutely no idea what that concept even meant.
It takes practice and a lot of work, you need to be committed to changing yourself. If you don’t have this commitment to be the best you can be the system really going to make any difference!