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Our Relationship with the Present Moment


Feb. 10, 2016 Zen Habits

Have you ever thought of the present moment as a loved one?

I’ve been working with this thought lately, and I find it helpful when I’m feeling rushed, distracted, worried, upset, frustrated, anxious, sad, irritated.

Let’s think for a moment about our relationship with this loved one we might call the Present Moment …

  • We barely pay attention to it, thinking instead of what we have to do later, things we’re worried about, etc.
  • If it’s boring or uncomfortable, we habitually turn away from it and go to distractions, rejecting the Present Moment.
  • We judge it as good or bad, pleasant or uncomfortable, and dislike it if it isn’t behaving the way we want.
  • We don’t accept it as it is, but want more, are worried we’re missing out, think we should be doing something else.
  • When we’re upset or frustrated, it’s because we have a story running in our heads, rather than paying attention to the Present Moment in front of us.

Imagine a loved one who you don’t pay attention to, who you reject and judge as unworthy, who you don’t accept as they are, who you ignore even when they’re sitting right in front of you. That would probably not be a great relationship.

Of course, the Present Moment isn’t a person with feelings, so we shouldn’t worry about it so much, right? Maybe, but what I’ve been finding is that developing a good relationship with the Present Moment leads to less stress, more peace and contentment, and a better relationship with everyone else in my life.

What can we do to develop this better relationship with the Present Moment? Treat it with respect, and give it the attention it deserves. After all, just like with our relationship with anyone else — we have limited time to spend with it, and once that time is up, we can’t get any more.

Some ideas:

  • Try to stay with the Present Moment longer … whether it’s the physical sensations all around you, how your body feels, how your breath feels, or the thoughts or emotions floating around in your mind … try to pay attention without wandering.
  • Come back when you do wander.
  • Be interested and curious about the Present Moment, open to whatever arises, without needing it to be a certain way.

More ideas by clicking below.

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