By The Spiritual Explorer | Published 1 June, 2011
Dear Spiritual Explorer: Lately all I hear about is that I have to be in the moment. Exactly what does that mean? Melinda B., Scottsdale, AZ
Dear Melinda: I think that being in the moment means that you are absolutely present. Being present means that you are not conditioned or influenced by your past in a particular moment. It also indicates that when you make a decision or choice, that your choice is not mitigated or influenced by a painful or even remarkable past.
That being said, how difficult is it to be in the moment? I asked a few friends. What I heard from my spiritually minded friends was that they wished very much that they could not be influenced by either a grudge that they might have held onto for years or memories of some hurtful thing they had felt had happened to them. One woman told me that a friend of hers had recently died and she had not been in touch with him for years over what she felt was some harsh thing he had inflicted upon her. I asked her whether in the softness of thinking about his death whether she had regrets that she had not connected with him. She answered that his death had opened her heart a bit and in that place she felt she could forgive him and then felt that perhaps she could have done that many years before.
Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati
I know that when I am not in my “moment,” and I am holding onto an angry feeling that I am not present for what is happening now, whether it be looking at a favorite flower, listening to some fabulous music or even paying attention full heartedly to a child.My guru, Ma Jaya, says that “anger destroys the moment.”How many moments that we could have been present for were lost because of anger, jealousy, indifference, unkindness, etc?
Being in the moment, however, does not mean we will be saved from either our sad or happy thoughts. It is just about being fully alive to the portent and quality of that moment. It is about perhaps not escaping from them through going underground in our particular idiosyncratic manner. How much richer those moments or our lives would be!
When I was thinking about the answer to these questions, I began a riff in my mind, and it went this way. What is it like to be in another’s moment? Is that possible? Can I slide into the next moment easily or will one moment hold me captive and bound? What does it mean “moment to moment? How does one truly live in the moment?
When we meditate if we don’t fall asleep, it feels that we can more easily attend and be aware of our moments. Those moments when we are present are also those moments of most being alive and aware, connected to our silence and our selves.
A very simple and most profound question. Thanks for writing, Spiritual explorer
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