In practice, it is not easy to truly experience every moment of our life.
We go through life caring the burdens of our past experiences, mistakes and memories. The past can be reproduced only through our memory and not through facts or the actuality of the ‘now’. We can’t resurrect the dead moments of our past, no matter how much we think we are dependent on them in our everyday reality. The past is dead and trying to revive it can only poison our mind and make us unable to move forward.
When we occupy our mind with former memories, we are preventing ourselves from experiencing spiritual liberation. We are blocking our inner self from being involved in the present moment. Instead of expanding our awareness and live entirely in the present, we occupy our mind with thoughts from an earlier time. When we are being caught up in this fake mental prison, we become biased to the objective reality.
But how easy is it to live in the present time? In reality, it is very difficult. You can simply check and see if you are living in the present moment right now, by examining how you are perceiving time as you read this text. You may notice that you go through it with the intent of accumulating information and you are not really experiencing the reality of each moment as you are reading. The truth is that we can’t experience the ‘here and now’ unless we take the time to make the effort for perpetual practicing.
The first step into a deeper understanding of ourselves is to notice how we perceive life. Do we identify it with a continuous process of gathering information, experiences and techniques without actually being present in it, really living it from moment to moment? When the mind is being occupied with the collection of knowledge it is not free to actually question the wonderful thing that is life. It is not liberated to investigate and examine what reality is.
The second step is to learn how to stop and listen. We must cultivate our ability of seeking the present truth and to do so we must learn to release the mind from the burden of thoughts from bygone events, thus helping it enquire fully observant. Attending the ‘here and now’ will occur naturally once we can stay focused on our inquiry of what is happening inside of us and around us at the present moment without the disturbances of the past.
As awareness arises we must learn to follow its flow. We shall not let ourselves get startled by the power of awareness as we might stop the stream of balance by becoming tense and anxious to act instead of experiencing the natural course of mindfulness. This doesn’t mean we should have a submissive attitude but on the contrary we must be active in an attentive manner.
The third important step towards sustaining yourself in this state is to desert the idea of the self. As you let go of your ego happiness occurs instantly. If you bring yourself back into the picture while you experiencing happiness and even say ‘I am happy’ you go back to self-consciousness, you immediately come out of the state of the ‘here and now’.
In order to surrender to the present you need to let go of the ‘self’. The more you abandon self-consciousness the longer you stay in the ‘here and now’ and be able to experience true happiness with the tool of awareness. The key here is to learn not to be dependent upon this state as you may experience true pain. You need to follow its flow and let it come and go naturally.