In one of the mindfulness classes, we started discussing if ‘being present’ is a luxury or an essential skill for modern times.
After a little while, we all came to acknowledge the importance of being present, whether being present to our kids, job, loved ones or simply being present in mundane activities so that we can open our hearts to embrace the richness that may be available during those moments.
Otherwise, we are often running ahead trying to meet deadlines, bagging next goal, or simply hung up on an imaginary satisfaction in the future.
Being ‘present or mindful’ is a skill we all can use to regain some sanity in this highly fractured modern world. Interestingly, stresses of modern life peel us away from the reality of ‘present moment’ to suffer in imaginary dimensions of past and future. What is even more distressing is that we work hard to be in past and future through ruminating, obsessing, over-thinking and rehearsing things/events/feelings/people.
As we know this is never so helpful.
It is where mindfulness training is helpful. It allows us to directly see and investigate the true nature of thoughts, feelings and emotions we find ourselves in. It makes us experience how everything, howsoever big, menacing and catastrophic it may look, is always temporary. Both good and bad things have certain shelf lives. When we learn to stay present, we open ourselves to the nuances and richness that is present even in undesirable circumstances and this equips us to take on unsavory circumstances with courage and presence of mind.
Repeatedly coming back to the present, we learn to stay rooted to the reality of the moment thus slowly peeling away from imaginary torment of past and future, however convincing that maybe. It is the beginning of a happier life.
Hafiz, the Sufi poet, says it beautifully:
What do sad people have in
They have all built a shrine
To the past
And often go there
And do a strange wail and
What is the beginning of
It is to stop being