This post helps you learn how to live in the present and what it means. As a result, you become free from worries about the past or future. You will also gain an understanding of the brains place in the view of being present. On account of this, it is easier to take a balanced approach toward bringing presence into your life. There is also an introduction to the idea of letting go of holding on to practices.
What is the present?
On balance, the ‘present’ describes the space in which everything takes place. In other words, a moment free of time, where the past and future do not exist.
All life unfolds in the present moment. To explain this, take some time to observe and reflect on your story thus far. You will find out that every experience is subject to time. Hence why there is always a beginning, middle, and end. However, the eternal present, where these occur, does not change. In addition to this, nothing can affect it in any way, shape or form.
Ask yourself if you have ever done, felt, or experienced anything that did not take place in the present moment? Will you ever conduct any action that will not take place in the present?
When you remember something that took place in the past, you activate memory in your brain. The process of remembering takes place now, in the present. Similarly, when your mind thinks of the future, it imagines or projects. The work of forming new images as well as imagining also happens now, in the present.
In summary, as you reflect on this truth, you will learn that the past and future don’t exist by themselves. You cannot see the moon without the presence of sunlight. Similarly, the past and future have no light of their own. Both only take place within the present in the form of thinking.
Why does the mind always think of the past and future?
The brain is the central organ of the thinking mind that stores vast amounts of information as memory. In essence, this includes past events and anything that may be of some use in future. The brain holds most of this intelligence as both images and words. Together these can create a range of stories and ideas, with each one potentially influencing your life.
It’s important to realise that these are normal functions of the brain. Or to put it differently, mental movies, pictures or mind chatter should not be a problem. Only when you give too much importance to these thoughts, do they become an issue. When the mind builds up past excess momentum, these thoughts usually take the form of guilt, pain, trauma and regret. The reason why the brain stores painful or difficult memories is to protect itself. Moreover, any event that triggers these feelings is a signal to the brain to withdraw, to avoid harm.
One of the main tasks of your brain is to work towards ensuring your survival. In doing so, it draws up potential threats and dangers which often come up as future worries or fears. What’s more, this is another way the brain tries to protect you as a being. Both the past and future tend to overlap each other and can have an impact on all your activities.
In general, the brain allows you to plan, organise, and thrive as a human being. With this intention, the process of thought is to help you survive and succeed as a being.
What place do practices have?
As soon as your mind generates too much energy, it can become lost in thinking. Due to this, it can feel like a constant pull between the two polarities. Sooner or later, this leads to strong sensations of suffering. These are clear wakeup calls to begin connecting with the present.
It’s a natural and innocent tendency of the brain to want to protect your being. Once you become aware of this function, you begin to find freedom from its influence. Understand deeply that your mind is only one aspect of your existence. As long as you know this, you will not fully buy into all its movements.
When you first begin to seek freedom from past pain or future anxiety, you will find many available methods. Each one is a useful way of getting a glimpse of what it’s like to be free from the mind. In effect, any practice gives you some short term relief from worry or guilt. Furthermore, they also help you become more aware of the brain, thoughts and how they grip your being. Having this awareness is all you need to begin the process of freedom from your mind.
A simple way of doing this is to keep bringing your attention back to the task at hand. For example, you’re sitting here, breathing, alive, and everything is fine at this moment.
Any activity where you become absorbed into the moment is also useful for your health. Altogether, each of your body’s cells thrives on your attention. For the same reason, all practices have their place as you begin to wake up from the mind. Your body becomes more alive, and you develop a strong presence.
Do you always have to keep trying to stay in the now?
If you are ill, you often take medicine to either relieve the symptoms or cure the illness. On the whole, good health is your physical, mental, and social wellness. Such a state is being free of having to depend on any medicine or outside crutch.
In any case, the practice of a technique to connect you to the present is a short term medicine. These exercises intend to provide you with space and perspective from the mind. Be that as it may, you must not misuse practices as a method of suppressing emotions or thoughts.
To demonstrate this, picture the scene of taking medicine if you are ill. Once the medication has done its purpose, if you keep taking it, you cause harm to the body. With this in mind, doing excess awareness or mindful practices for too long can block your brains free movement. Under those circumstances, you would not be able to let new ideas and solutions arise in your mind. It’s important to know that all techniques involve using the brain. For this reason, in the long term, they cannot solve the problem of excess thinking.
The practise of staying present is a great exercise for anyone starting to wake up from the brains pull. Whenever you notice yourself caught in the past or future, you move your attention back to the present. In that case, it’s very similar to all other practices where you drive your mind back to a focal point.
At first, you will feel some brief states of peace and relief. Mainly because techniques serve to provide a small taste of how inner peace feels. Despite this, your brain will naturally want to go against this practice. Mostly due to the energy, it takes to keep trying to be present.
Why should you start to let go of the present?
The purpose of all guidance is to help save time by providing an understanding that you can learn quickly. Once you have understood the pointer of a lesson, you need to let it pass. For that reason, you have to learn from your own experience.
Your mind is always present, as is your body and everything that exists. Additionally, within this space and wisdom, all life takes place. In any event, this is not something you need to think about or force yourself to believe. The pointer to be present is always valid, but you can’t apply it using thought.
What you must remember is that thinking and techniques are the activity of the brain. Hence why they are both subject to a beginning, middle and end. Therefore, you do not need to keep trying to make sense of them.
Now that you can observe thought, you’re present and aware enough. You can begin to let go of the practice of trying to stay in the now. In time, you understand that presence and awareness are the same. Both the knowledge and permanent peace were with you all along. Only your excess thinking and analysis prevented you from seeing this truth.
As you begin to let go of all practices, you connect with the real presence and source of everything. From this point, the process of becoming free of the mind begins to happen on its own.