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Inspiring Quotes of the Week...

Being In the Present

Commentary by Peter Shepherd
Being In the Present
“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” ~ Buddha
Doesn't mean you don't learn from the past, or plan for the future, but there's no need to fret yourself that things weren't as they were, aren't as they are, or might be worse. Simply to LIVE without giving yourself those headaches, and therefore to have the free consciousness to be able to perceive what is, to be grateful and be happy.
“Living in the moment means letting go of the past and not waiting for the future. It means living your life consciously, aware that each moment you breathe is a gift.” ~ Oprah Winfrey
And as Leo Buscaglia says, "Life lived for tomorrow will always be just a day away from being realized."
“Mindfulness is paying attention, on purpose, non-judgmentally, in the present moment” ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn
Getting the picture, rather than agreeing or disagreeing, liking or not liking. Then, uninfluenced by fears, responding consciously rather than reacting.
“If you are too busy to meditate, you are too busy.” ~ Maharishi Yogi
When we make time for the things that support us - like meditation and exercise - we can better handle everything else in the day more effectively, and more than make up that time.
“It's never too late to change the programming imprinted in childhood, carried in our genes or derived from previous lives; the solution is mindfulness in the present moment.” ~ Peter Shepherd
As I see it not all of our thoughts originate in the brain. The brain is a transducer between our external mind and the body's nervous system. Where the external thoughts originate from is a non-verbal, aware mindfulness - intuition and intention, with free will. However, the majority of brain activity is programmed or reactive internal thought, without free will. That's how we're able to function as a body-mind with complex lives… but we can always change these programs and reactions by choosing afresh, in the present, consciously.
The mantra "Live in the present" is so easily misunderstood. Cats and cows live totally in the present, so they don't get bored and sit fretting. But we humans have an additional timeline dimension to our minds that offers us perspective. There's a lot to be gained from the past - experience, learning and pleasurable memories on the plus side; or to hold us back - regret, not forgiving and resentment, for example, on the negative side. There's a lot to be gained from the future too - hopes and plans on the plus side, or worry and despair on the negative.
Writers like Eckardt Tolle that emphasize the power of the now, living in the moment, are not saying there aren't benefits to being conscious of the past and future, they're pointing out the pitfalls. That not being able to be in the now is problematic. Not being able to be consciously aware in the moment - because of attention being fixated by regrets and fears - denies us appreciation of our environment. It makes gratitude and the freedom to be creative much harder. And it makes us too focused on the Ego's weaknesses. It denies us the ability to be mindful, i.e. consciously a witness of our mind, so that we can see past our attachments to the past and delusions about the future.
So we can take take full advantage of past, present and future - or let one or all of them drag us down.

Here’s some further reading on this theme...

Acceptance of the Present Moment - by Stefanie Miller

Acceptance of the present moment is the only way we can experience true peace and contentment. We can continuously yearn for or be stuck in the past or anxious for what the future holds yet really when we come into the present moment we can be aware of what is available and truly experience life. Continues...
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PODCAST: Peter Shepherd about Transitions in Life
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