Mindfulness, Meditation, Peace, and Tranquility are all found in this moment. It is when we are in the past or the future that we find ourselves struggling with stressful, negative, emotions. When we focus on the "Now" then and only then can we be present and find peace.
This weekend I was fortunate to be able to attend a lecture of a Himalayan Buddhist Monk. He spoke of the process of dwelling in the past and future with our thoughts, and how we do not find happiness or peace when we do that.
The past holds memories that we long for, or memories we wish had not happened. There is nothing we can do about the past, yet we let our minds wander there often. Situations that happened that upset us in the past can keep upsetting us as we think about them in the now.
Memories that held happy times can make us feel a longing for them, or sad that we are not experiencing them in the now. Constantly living in the past is not going to bring us a happy, peaceful, now.
Meditation is all about being in the moment, ridding ourselves of any thoughts of past and future. In meditation being in the moment is all there is. As I have stated before, the Dali Lama says, "You can meditate anywhere, anytime." If you are in the moment, you can meditate.
Mindfulness is also about being in the moment. Focusing on where you are at, what is around you, and being aware of your thoughts and emotions, is mindfulness. Not choosing to focus on the past or future, but being aware that you have the choice to "think" and "feel" how you want right "now" is mindfulness.
Choosing to be in the present moment is power. You won't be distracted by anything that has happened in the past, or what might happen in the future. You will have more inner peace and be more centered if you spend most of your time in the "now".
It is a mind training to take charge of your thoughts. It won't happen over night if you are always used to thinking about the past or future. The past can be as little as a second ago, but it is particularly troublesome when we focus on the days, months, and years past.
When we think of something that happened long ago that upsets us, we will relive that upset over and over when we think about it now. Why do we want to torture ourselves with reliving these upsets? It is our choice to relive it or not. Not thinking about it will leave it in the past where it should stay.
Thinking about happier times is not so upsetting, unless you are experiencing troubled times now. Then it can feel sad or frustrating to not be living those past experiences. Again it could cause you to feel negatively. Better to be in this moment and leave the past to the past.
Thinking about the future constantly can disrupt your present moment. Always wanting something else, or needing something to change, can only bring frustration and longing. It is one thing to desire something, but to believe that your happiness is always in the future, will just rob you of your present moment and present happiness.
All we have is this one moment, in the now. This is where we find peace and happiness. This is where we can thrive. Living in the moment will keep you from having a lot of unnecessary emotions that come from your past and future thoughts. The "now" is all you really have.
So practice being here in the "now" more than you think about your past or future. You will have more peace and happiness because of it. Just another tool for a healthier "You"!
- I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.