“Present-moment living, getting in touch with your now, is at the heart of effective living. When you think about it, there really is no other moment you can live. Now is all there is, and the future is just another present moment to live when it arrives.” Wayne Dyer
The concept that the present moment has all that we need has been confusing to me. I am now, however, at peace with it.Thich Nhat Hanh‘s quote resonates with me. “Find joy and peace in this very moment.”
If I didn’t have all that I need in this very moment, I would not be breathing. I would not be thinking. I would not be analyzing. I would not be here writing.
I find great peace when I can be here.
I’m not worried about my loss yesterday. I’m not worried about what I need tomorrow.
Many years of practice have not perfected my ability to stay present. I don’t often look back, but I can easily leap into the future. I can plan. I can calculate. I can anticipate.
Nothing is better than this moment.
A friend expressed her confusion about how to be happy. I told her that I don’t pursue happiness. Contentment? Peace? Acceptance? Yes. Throw in joy when available and I am happy.
So then I am wondering…do I pursue any of these? I don’t think so. And still, perhaps, I call it by different names.
Well, I don’t think I can chase joy. It comes to me unbidden. I cant only open myself to the moments as they open themselves to me. I am grateful for it and revel in joy when it comes.
And meaning in life is very important to me. Is my sorting anc culling of what is important in a day a pursuit of meaning? Or does my great pleasure in learning indicate that I am pursuing knowledge in search of some answer? When I corral my errant mind to the present moment and practic mindfulness, am I chasing after peace?
Is all of this the pursuit of happiness?
It’s easy to have faith when all is going well, isn’t it?
The sun is shining. My day moves smoothly from coffee with a friend to reading or weeding in my yard…either is as good as the other… and then the trials come (this year it is health issues). Worry and concern move into gear.
What should I be doing? What if the doctor is wrong? Why am I not getting better? What should I be doing?
Around and around.
It isn’t so much concern over the prognosis. And it isn’t just the question of what path to follow toward wholeness, I get totally involved in micromanaging medical issues which are far beyond knowledge and expertise – no matter how much I listen to advice and read. It all raises an additional question of where to place my faith.
My meditation becomes rife with mind chatter. In some cases I can’t even get to the garden variety menu planning as I sit, visibly calm, invisibly on the high wire. I perserverate on what I will say, what I will do, what I should remember, and what is the worst-case scenario.
It’s always “worst case” in the middle of the night.
That’s why I loved a recent Super Soul Sunday interview between Oprah and Jon Kabat-Zinn*. It brought me back to mindfulness of what I have right now. I don’t know why I always need the reminder that this moment is all that I ever have, but I’m grateful each time I get the nudge.
His additional message was to trust those who I have engaged to take care of my health. Then I can use my energy to stay calm and do the best for myself without worrying about their process. I needed that!
I can have faith in the process of life and living each moment of it.
*A pioneer in the field of mindfulness for stress reduction and health benefits.