It is not a simple task—in fact it’s not only difficult but impossible—to live each moment in the present. Yet, without discovering ways to shut out the noise of daily life, it’s quite arduous to live our moments. I know for myself, I reflect on the past far more than I should and much more than I desire to do. Moreover, I ruminate about a time frame that is not guaranteed–the future. That leaves less time, and attention, to be fully within the realm of now. But I am acutely aware of when I’ve wandered into the past, or am thinking too far into an unlived destiny.
But it is without question, when I am present—when I am conscious of living in the moment—I am more focused, more centered, more trusting of my future, and more accepting of my past. It takes time–and it takes effort–to arrive at a place where we are genuinely honoring the present moment. It’s not a natural state. There are probably other ways in which we can learn to be mindful and live presently, but without a scintilla of doubt meditation trains the mind; it naturally brings you to a place of being here–now.
With a loyal practice, your mind automatically takes you to the breath when meditating. It is the bridge, the anchor. Thus, when the mind wanders, rhythmically the dedicated student will return to the breath. The breath is the present moment. And the present moment sustains us. We trust, we let go, if only for a brief time; for each experience can lead us to a new way to see the world, and allows us to imagine ourselves anew. We find a way to abandon thoughts of a bitter or complicated past, and accept that it cannot be altered in any way. Likewise, there’s a lack of dwelling on a future that no human can authentically foretell.
Learning to observe the breath–adopting a daily meditation practice–can aid any of us in being less reactionary. By honoring the breath–taking a moment to breathe–it will relieve the stress and anxiety and chaos that dominate modern culture and pervade daily life. The likelihood of the spirit getting a beat-down is diminished–even if abated to something as gentle as a raindrop–when we catch the silent moments. Those amazing aha moments.
Breathe. Live this life. Be in this space. Trust this time. Every still moment has the potential to back you up, if need be. It is this moment that is holy.