No Time Like the Present
The past, no matter how long gone, always comes back to life. The past, our own personal events and the events of our parents, our ancestors, everyone who came before us still remains somehow within each of us.
Wonderful and horrible things happened there, but I put to you that it is not the past that can do us harm; rather it is too powerful a focus on the past that brings us pain and robs us of the mindfulness so needed in successful and fulfilling meditation.
Some of us dwell on the heights we reached long ago, and those days of glory get played out over and over in our minds, perhaps as a measuring stick against which all present events are judged and found wanting.
Some of us dwell on sorrows, past mistakes truly our own, and past mistakes we made that cost us dearly, while others ruminate on opportunities that were missed and will not come again.
In the end, it doesn’t really matter much which way your present consciousness is directed when it’s directed anywhere but in the present. All over-valuations of any time in our lives but the present are harmful to our peace of mind.
This is not to say memories are bad. Of course they aren’t. Memories help shape us, help guide us and comfort us. Even the memory of pains and great sorrows can bring us a measure of peace—after all, we survived.
We survived to reach this present moment, didn’t we? If all we did that was good, and all we suffered was worthwhile, then it’s all for nothing unless we value the present most of all. We’re only alive in the present.
What about the future? After all, we’re working to derive benefits for the future, right here in this blog; however, we’re not doing so at the expense of the present.
Everything we discuss here is useful, indeed, must be used in the present. Right now.
Sure, we have to keep an eye out for things coming down the road—but we can do that with the greatest peace of mind by taking care of ourselves in this very present moment. Are you happy right now?
Are you working on being serene right now?
Posts on serenity:
Here’s a suggestion: take five minutes and meditate. Release your hold on the past and all fretting about the future, and free yourself to live mindfully in the here and now. You won’t regret it.