Living in the present moment… We are reminded again and again to live in the present moment, to accept what is, to be mindful, here and now. Then Resistance says: But I don’t want to be present when I’m in a stressful situation! I’d rather be elsewhere!
The thing is, our monkey-minds are always trying to go elsewhere, to be in the past or the future, no matter how good the present is. It’s not about getting away from bad things. The mind just wants to get away from Now.
This morning I got one of the best massages of my life. It was so soothing. A U2 concert played softly on the CD player. A skilled and compassionate massage therapist was taking care of my body, my health was fine, my finances good, I wasn’t hungry, I didn’t have to go to the bathroom…
And my mind couldn’t stop thinking about the past, the future and what to change about the present. I couldn’t just let go and focus completely on accepting the present moment the way it was, no matter how perfect it was.
When I realized what my brain was doing, I focused my will to release my attachment to my thoughts, and surrender. I had to trust that my massage therapist would take good care of me, that all was the way it was supposed to be, and that trying to control the situation – or grasp it too tightly – would only stress me out.
So I let go. This was not a one-time choice. I had to let go of each second as it came up. I had to enforce my strength of will to constantly release my attachment to what was going on, and my attachment to how I thought about it, every moment.
And it was good.
And when it was over, I didn’t feel bad that it was over, and I didn’t rush off to the next thing. I moved gently. I stayed present (as much as I could). So even when I opened the door and went back out into the cold, windy, wet Calgary weather, I held that space of presence.
I didn’t succeed every moment (not by a long shot), but each moment that I succeeded, was perfect.