Do you know right now this very moment when you are engrossed reading this article, there is a beautiful world unfolding before you? But for some very weird reason, you chose to read these words instead (and I am afraid I can’t say for sure if you made the correct choice).
If you pause a little bit, you will become aware that your intellect wants to keep you engaged within the confines of your mind. The mind loves to keep you preoccupied with one thing or another because it enjoys being in control.
So much so that you invariably end up being used by it. Consequently, you have fallen for the illusion, where you have ended up identifying yourself as your mind. Here the unconscious identification with the mind ends up creating an elaborate image of false self, commonly known as ego.
Mind and state
This dysfunctional state of mind derives its power from your past. The past keeps projecting itself into the future so that your ego could survive. So much so that even the present is often seen through the prism of past—— making present a mere means to an end which is to be attained in future.
We often forget our mind is just a tool that needs to be put to rest when the task is completed. But what we are doing instead is playing with the tool even after completion of the job at hand —— making us all a compulsive thinker. In fact, you are so proud of being called one. It has become so addictive that you are intoxicated by its false sense of pleasure.
However one of the primary issue with any pleasure —— real or false —— is that it will invariably contain within itself all the possibilities of pain.
In fact, you would be surprised to find that intensity of your pain manifested in any form depends on the degree of resistance to the present moment. This, in turn, depends on how strongly you are identified with your mind.
Mind and game
You will find your mind playing its own game to make you withdraw from the present moment and invariably managing to succeed in escaping from the things that are unfolding in front of you. As a consequence, the more you are identified with your mind, greater is your suffering.
Not only that identifying with your mind will make you live compulsorily either through past memories or future anticipations. You keep oscillating between your past and future while failing to acknowledge the moment that is unfolding right in front of you. Most of the time, you are too preoccupied in your mind space to even acknowledge the presence of the present moment.
If you ever wish to start the journey of being in the present moment —— you need to start with observing your mind. The moment you realize that you are oscillating between the two extremes of the past and the future, that realization is sufficient to bring you back to the present.
Mind and resistance
When you learn to witness your thoughts, be prepared to experience a lot of resistance from the automatic default habit of your mind. The habit that thrives on being discontent, bored, nervous, and tensed for no reason in particular.
The very basic idea behind observing your thoughts is to bring consciousness to whatever is happening inside you. Identifying if there exist any resentment and dichotomy within you.
Are you resisting the present moment? And if you are indeed, then you are not accepting ”what is”. In this process, you are making your present moment something totally undesirable. Your conflict between the inner and the outer is creating unhappiness for you.
when you accept your resentment, frustration, and anger, you are no longer forced to act them out of your habit, and you are unlikely to project them onto others.
One thing you need to keep in mind that —— to complain is always nonacceptance of “what is”. It invariably carries an unconscious negative charge. Even when you are left with a no choice but to complain please do refrain from making yourself a victim.
You always do have a choice of speaking out, and when you make that choice you are in your power. You can change the situation by taking action or by speaking out. Alternatively, you can leave the situation or accept it. Anything else is just craziness of your mind.
A small zen story
A guy named Harry is on a quest for enlightenment.
He tries everything. He goes to school. Nada.
He becomes a life coach. More nada.
He worships in the local shrine-of-choice. Mucho nada.
Desperate, he decides to climb a mountain in Nepal,
to visit His Holiness, Rama Dama Ding Dong.
It is an arduous trip. (Aren’t they always?)
Finally, near death, he collapses on the ground
near a steep path.
He looks up, and sees an old man walking down the path,
carrying a big bundle of firewood on his back.
Harry says, “I’m looking for Rama.”
“I am he,” replies the guru.
“Oh, thank god!” Harry says. “I’ve been searching for so long. Please, tell me, what is ‘waking up’?”
The guru takes off the bundle of wood, sighs deeply, and smiles.
In that instant, Harry woke up.
Then Harry’s mind got involved.
He asked, “Please, pardon another question,
but what do you do after ‘waking up’?”
Rama picks up the bundle, places it on his back,
and continues down the hill.
Rama Dama Ding Dong did not bemoan picking up the wood. He didn’t complain about his sore back. He didn’t blame his parents for not being rich so someone else could carry the wood for him. He didn’t blame his wife for not using the communication model.
He picked up the wood and walked.
Being Present is all about acting clearly and cleanly, without blame or drama. There is nothing to do or learn before you can act with simple presence. Simple presence is a here and now.
All you have to do is to put down for a moment your personal baggage of problems, of past and future, as well as all your knowledge. That’s the only way to see the beautiful colors of flowers, hear the natural rhythm of a stream, or feel that consistent uneasiness within you. Otherwise, you will see but not see, hear but not hear, feel but not feel.
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