Who Are You, and What Are You?

What Is Your Real Purpose in Life?

Be Here–Right Now!

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What percentage of your day-to-day life do you spend in the here and now? That is, how much are you actually present to the moment in your life? If you’re like most people, not very much.

You’re either thinking about the Past, what you did or what you should have done. Or you’re thinking about the Future, what you want to do or what you’d like to do if you could. But the Past is gone, and the Future hasn’t gotten here yet. So what you’re doing most of the time is imagining life—not living it. Your Conscious Mind is projecting an imaginary picture show inside your head that distracts you from the here and now.

A Zen meditative practice teaches you how to take control of the movie projector.

When you have the ability to switch off the imagination movie, you are able to bring your full attention to the present moment in your life. You can begin experiencing life instead of daydreaming about it. Things will change. You’ll see things you hadn’t seen before. Colors will be brighter, people will be more beautiful, many of your experiences will be more interesting and enjoyable. Life takes on new meanings.

One of my friends told me the only time he feels really alive is when he jumps out of an airplane. (Not to worry. Up to this point, he’s always used a parachute.) Do you see why he feels that way? It is because the fear of death scares him into ignoring the distractions in his mind and allows him to be absolutely present to what is happening at the time.

Reading this, you may have already caught the correlation between the dreaming & imagining state and the Conscious Mind. Naturally, it’s beneficial to be able to dream and imagine, but it’s also terrible to be unable to control it. The Conscious Mind is often the reason why you can’t be present to the moment. It is busy generating torrents of thought to keep you from experiencing the here and now.

I can see how free falling at ten thousand feet gets your full attention pretty quickly. But that’s not a very practical way to train your mind to be in the here and now. Besides that, I have a firm policy of not jumping out of perfectly good airplanes. Instead, I learned how to control my overactive Conscious Mind while sitting on my perfectly good meditation cushion.

Written by Eduardo Mitchell

March 22, 2015 at 11:59 am

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