Sunday, November 27, 2005

Anchored in the Present

Anchored in the Present

Time to reflect. Time to be anchored in the present. Time to remain still, at least for a short while.

It's always the future that gives us stress. Whenever we worry about something, it is always something that's in the future--never the past, because it is simply impossible to worry about the past. It is gone. It cannot be undone anymore. The past only gives us regret, guilt, pain and anger; the future, worry and fear.

The key to peace of mind then is to remain anchored in the present. At any moment in time, we we are. The future is not here yet, the past cannot touch us anymore. So we should never tar the perfection of the moment by dwelling on the baggage of the past nor the burden of the future. The present is what matters and the present is perfect because you are alright, right now. Are you not?

Worry and fear happens when we anticipate the worst; when we are attached to the fate of the physical body and the ego. Our ultimate worry is death--the final annihilation of the body; and for the rest of the time we worry about things that affect the ego--failure, humiliation and rejection.

What does it mean to be "anchored in the present"? Don't we need to at least plan for the future?

Yes, we certainly do. But effective planning is still an activity that is anchored in the present. True "planning" is an act of achieving a state of preparedness--a conscious state where one perceives all the dynamic forces that are at currently at work and willing oneself to move in a direction where one's energy and resources are channelled in the most creative and effective manner.

The sailor senses the winds and the currents and adjusts his sail and rudder in the most optimal position and remain ever-ready to readjust them again show there be a shift in nature's forces. The sailor, at any moment in time, is "anchored in the present". He has to be in such a state, to be able to "plan" his next step.

The present is always neutral of emotions--negative or positive ones. Even when you say you are "very happy now", what you actually mean is that you are very happy now compared to how you felt in the past (or the future, because whatever that is pleasant now can never last forever). Emotions only arise when we compare the present with the past or the future. Whenever the mind starts to compare, hope or desire something, mental tension is created and waves of emotions are generated.

When a thought arises in the mind, it is always about something in the past or the future. If we are able to just perceive this very moment--our immediate sense of being and presence--without a thought of the past or future, then we are completely at peace with the universe. This is the bliss that transcends pain and pleasure--the enlightened state that all mystics seek for.

Unenlightened beings such as we only get to catch glimpses of the present--what spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle calls the "Now" and medical-turned-spiritual health doctor Deepak Chopra calls the "gap between thoughts". That is why, most of us are seldom at peace: We simply worry (future), fear (future), regret (past) and complain (past and future) too much. So starting now, learn to anchor yourself to the present. Now.


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