Living in the present moment is probably one of the most challenging attitudes for human beings to learn. Why is it so? Well, because we just don’t know how to! We live so conditioned by our past experiences and attached to our future hopes, that the present moment is something that most of us simply don’t think about. There is always something else to think about: our job, the person I just had an argument with and all the things I could have said and didn’t, tonight’s dinner, family members, the news, and all the opinions I have about every one of these things and so, so much more...And so, we live infested by feelings of anxiety, worry and longing.
I recently heard an inspiring story from a friend. He and a friend were keeping company with Swami Kriyananda, founder of the Ananda Church of Self Realization. They were sitting together in Swami’s apartment, while my friend was massaging Swami’s knee with a new device that was supposed to help soothe his pain. (Swami Kriyananda almost always had a physical ailment, from a young age.) On this tranquil occasion, as my friend rubbed Swami’s knee to soothe his pain, he felt as if he had always been performing this action, and as though that was the only thing there was ever to do for eternity. At that moment, the other gentleman sitting with them quietly put my friend’s feelings into words, expressing exactly that awareness of having always been there together in this present moment for eternity. Swami felt it too.
Now, how can we tap into this “eternal now”, and stop postponing our happiness and inner peace for the future?
Here are a few tips that I find very helpful if not essential:
- You guessed it! Meditate! This practice is vital to help us develop a focused mind and learn to calm the energetic currents in our spine and brain that keep us ever engaged with the events of our lives and the world around us. Even if you are new to meditation, don’t give up! Concentrating and stopping our minds from thinking is not an easy task for most of us. But if you persevere, you will eventually find a deeper sense of peace, and fulfillment in yourself.
- Cultivate the habit of being aware of your breath during the day, especially when you are faced with a challenging situation.
- Find joy in everything you do. It takes courage and enthusiasm to sincerely enjoy everything you do, everyone you meet, being alone or whatever it is that tests your patience and pushes your boundaries. However, if you start enjoying just one aspect or one person in your life that is difficult to enjoy spending time with, you will find it easier to bear the rest of them.
Don’t delay your happiness one more day, if you postpone it, it will never come. Happiness depends solely upon us, on the attitude of our minds to help us grow and to do so joyfully.
Wishing you eternal happiness in the now!