Life is an enigma, around which our mind revolves. We spend our day (work, family, enjoyment), sleep, we get up and repeat. And it continues (‘Samsar’ – the wheel of the world/life). Many times our problems overwhelm us, and we start seeking answers to our questions. Once they get resolved, we crawl back to the rut.
So where exactly are those problems? Most of them come from outside sources – people, situations, relations, work etc. Our mind has to play a great role. If it is very busy with past events (how someone snubbed you last evening, how my wife did not give me coffee at the right time, how my boss shouted at me in front of others) or future (planning for a vacation, trying to solve an office problem that remains unsolved for days, planning for month-end groceries), we tend to loose focus on the present. Hence, the problem towers and we feel more overwhelmed.
Most of the time past is gone – every situation is afresh, it may seem to affect us, but mostly they are just memories embedded in our minds, and for which we can’t really do anything. They are gone, dead. Not alive.
Future is mostly uncertain – you were planning to go out on a Saturday afternoon on a pre-planned mall visit with family and your boss calls you office for some work OR you were going to office thinking about the day’s work and problem upfront, but when you reach office – a new problem is standing tall; that needs to be resolved first.
So, what’s the point? Enjoy the present. The Only. Present! There is a Sanskrit word – Shashwat – meaning ‘eternal’. Always.
Out of past, present and future, can you guess, what is ‘shashwat’?
Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to be in present, our mind wanders away. Just stop your breathe for a moment, and notice what you are thinking. It will be either past or future. Mindfulness is all about this – to be in present. Most of the meditations are designed so.
What can one do to remain in present? Elongate it. Slow and deep breaths. Write name of the Lord, speaking and also listening, slowly. Try to engage all senses.
Note that it is not being asked to not plan for the future. Plan it and keep it aside. Don’t ponder, again and again. Don’t cling. As with all situations, things will change when the real event arrives.
Practice. Present. Be.