True Freedom is in the Present
By: Kay Joosub
Apparently the present is our only home, but we are hardly ever there!
Fancy that, not making use of our most sacred place. We are all guilty of chasing the future and thinking of what we are going to do instead of truly being present. Spirituality guru Eckhart Tolle reminds us that nobody has discovered the future yet, nobody has managed to stick a flag in it.
So, technically speaking it does not exist (light bulb moment). When you eat an apple, are you eating the apple enjoying every juicy crunchy bite, the juiciness and mushiness and sweetness in your mouth, thinking how blessed you are to have this time, this fruit and this utter pleasure of the moment? Or, are you thinking of what you will be doing next? And yet again you have lost a beautiful moment.
When we go to work in the morning, our whole schedule is planned ahead, and yet there are frustrations with colleagues, technical breakdowns, and equipment not working properly. I am not saying do not plan and be reckless but be on the present mode: switch ON.
I am still trying to master the Wu Wei code, the Buddhist term where we accept the moment spontaneously as it arises. We do not fight it, we do not resist it: that is just how it is. Once we master this attitude, we should be more at peace and acknowledge the present moment whatever it brings. Naturally, no attachment to certain outcomes.
Easier said than done in our driven society. Even Jiddu Krishnamurti, the great eastern Sage, calls this Secret just that: ‘THIS IS MY SECRET: I Do Not Mind What Happens’. Practicing this wise philosophy would send all our frustrations and worries South!
Let us explore this a little: Peter at school had a colleague who made fun of him, now they have grown up and parted ways and meet at a party after 9 years. Peter still avoided John, as the memories of the incident flooded his mind. His evening was not as smooth as he had wanted. The term for this is Toxic Distortion: if he could JUST tell his mind to back off and not visit the past, it could have been the perfect night…
Our memory somewhat gets vague and we paint our own picture of the past. The past is then our own creation and bears little resemblance to what actually happened. It is also a mechanism to keep us stuck. So, it is actually more of our own creation, not truth and facts. Basically, it is recreated drama. So with a future that is not there and a past that is unreal we are, alas, only left with the Present.
International Teacher and Epigenetics Expert Dr Bruce Lipton says the secret to life is to harness the mind to promote growth. Not being in ‘growth mode’ normally signifies living in fear, fear of the future that in actual fact DOES NOT even exist. Our cells feel our feelings within us. They respond to our thought processes: our body responds to our thoughts. To feed ourselves with fear means that they will contract and not expand. Only when we are positive in our thinking process will the cells function optimally. They will answer the call for optimism and regenerate and become healthier, FYI positivity slows down the aging process.
Experiencing love and being in love is also a great teacher of staying in the moment. One has to resist the fear mode which asks: ‘What will happen if I lose this?’ Coming back to the present helps us realise the richness of normal existence where there is no a constant compulsion to acquire things. Without fear of the non-existent future, with no regrets of the unreal past, if we can truly savour the gifts of the moment, how wonderfully lucky we are!