This is a follow up to my previous post “Start living now”
In this post I will explain what does living in the “now” means because people are usually misunderstanding this idea. And please do not take it as an ultimate truth, this is just my way of seeing it, and it is one angle out of 7 billion 🙂
Usually when people talk about living in the now or living in the present moment. They take it as, do not worry about the future and do not cling to the past, instead be in the present and do the things you like the most so you could enjoy life and be happy and not worry about the things which you cannot change.
Although here arises little problem. Yes, do not cling to the past, because it is already gone and it exists only in your head. Many people suffer because of somethings which happened in the past. And also do not live in the future, it is an illusion created in your mind and has no connection to the actual reality. And if that illusion will not come in to reality, people will suffer. So those pointers are a very good start to live life in the present moment. Problem comes with the last point though, Do the things you like.
Problems with the last statement
- You cannot grow if you only do what you like. We only grow if we have to adapt, if we have to get out from our comfort zone. Biggest growth comes with the biggest challenges.
- You cannot always do what you like. Life is full of surprises and unexpected things are happening every day. Even if you have everything you have ever wanted and seems like you can do whatever you like, there’s still a huge change you end up in bad situations, someone close to you dies, financial disaster will strike or whatever. You will never have power over life.
This formula, “do the things you like” does not work in a long term.
So what to do, what really means live in the now, live in the present moment?
My perspective on “Living in the “now””.
First let me shortly go over what is reality and how we experience it. Reality happens only now in this very moment. The past and the future are the creation of our mind and they do not exist and because of that we can experience the reality only in the present moment. And how we can experience it? We experience the reality through our senses, seeing, hearing and feeling (which includes, touching, smelling, tasting). If those senses would not exist, the reality would not exist for us. For example, if we were blind, deaf and our nervous system gives no feedback from feelings, how we know that there is something outside of our mind, how we know there is an external world? We would not know it, which means there is no reality for us.
And now comes my perspective on the topic, how to live in the present moment. As reality is happening only at the present time and we experience it through our senses, the way to live in the “now” would be to see, hear and feel the reality with full awareness. No matter what is happening at the current moment, we have to grasp every sensation our body gives. We have to feel the life with our every cell. We have to experience the life and everything that is happening to us without any judgment and prejudice. We cannot choose which experience to enjoy and which not. No matter what life throws at us, we have to accept it without any resistance. Our senses are the key to live in the now. As soon as you start to judge something with your mind, you have went to the dreamland.
Everyone can enjoy themselves if they are doing what they like but what happens if you have to do something which you do not like or something bad happens which can change everything you have planned. Let me give you few examples.
- You do not like to wash dishes. Instead of rushing it and thinking already about the things which you’re going to do after you have finished, you should get your awareness to your senses. Drop your judgment and beliefs about dish washing. Slow down your movements and do them with full awareness. Do not rush. Hear how the water is flowing, feel what is under your fingers. In every second your body experiences so many sensations and feelings but you are constantly playing the movie in your head and you are missing the feelings.
- You have planned something big, maybe a holiday in foreign country, you have a wedding coming up or you have some other event which you have planned and prepared for so long already. And then something happens, you break your leg and you have to give up all your plans. Your mind will immediately start to run amok; “Why now, why me, it is not fair and so on and so on.” The truth is, you broke your leg and this is the reality. If you start to cry “why” you will suffer a lot. Instead detach yourself from the illusion (you played the future situation many times in your head when you were planning the event) you have created in your head and deal with the reality. There is nothing you can do, just surrender to the situation and move on with your life. Of course, breaking the leg is physically painful, but this too is a sensation you experience. Do not resist it, let it be and feel it with pure awareness not letting your mind distort it with false judgment. Yes it can be hard, but this is you, living in the present moment.
To make the story short. Everything you do, do it with full awareness by grasping every sensation and feeling that your senses are giving to you. See, hear and feel without letting your mind distort the reality by creating illusions and false judgments. By doing that you will start to enjoy life more and suffering will be just a history for you.
Embrace every flavor and grasp every aroma when you eat. Feel the water with every part of your skin when you shower or take a bath. Appreciate even every tiny feeling when you are making love. Dive into every note when you listen to the music, let it take over your body and move with the rhythm without boundaries and shyness. Be fascinated by your surroundings and see the amazing beauty the life has.
If you start living in the moment you will see that life is amazing, life is wonderful, life is incredible in its complexity, life is surprising in its randomness. Life is the ultimate experience we as human beings can have on this place called Earth. Embrace the life, live the life, come out from your head and start experiencing the life in its raw and natural way.