Ch. 04: The Here and Now
There’s something else to do now, and day-after-day from this point forward. It has to do with “mindfulness”. To be mindful means to be aware. Specifically, being aware of the here and now. Not the past or future, the here and now. In the here and now is where we’re living. Each moment that goes by we’re only living in the here and now. We may only experience what is true in the present. The past is filled up with memories which are selective, incomplete, occasionally even fake… The future is filled up with unknowns even more than the past. The here and now is all we have in which to “know” reality. In which to watch our awareness and see what it’s doing in the present.
When you discover yourself living in the here and now you’re empowered to behave in a way that may instantly alter everything. Detecting yourself cognizant of the here and now is occasionally tricky. If you play a game or if you play a sport… do something active… garden or rake or shovel or climb a ladder. During these times you’re in the here and now. Your brain is aware; your brain is centered just on that experience.
When you’re playing a game – you’re the game. There is little intruding thought about the past or time to come… But, when we’re quiet, the brain sifts through its mind candy and tosses some out for our thought processes to chew on a little.
If we don’t have external brain candy like the television, radio, computer, conversation, book, magazine, iPods, cellular phone, and so forth… then the brain will regurgitate a little of its own for you to analyze and playback in your mind.
The brain is a candy producer. It produces thoughts about the time to come and past perpetually that are totally unnecessary, but that fill each and every one of our brains with trash to keep our minds active. Though our bodies don’t like to be active all the time we’re awake, our brains do!
The mind isn’t used to being calm so what it does is relive the past or play out the time to come in scenarios that might or might not occur. The mind is a recorder of the past and an odds-maker and analyst of the time to come.
But, neither of those is where meditation is. Meditation and mindfulness are here and now. It’s precisely this minute.
Attempt to be aware of the here and now as you go through your day.
Catch yourself recognizing that this is the here and now.
See how many times you are able to accomplish this. At the start it will be difficult, you’ll forget a lot of times – whole days or a week might pass! Dream up creative ways to remind yourself to notice the here and now.