Living in the moment:
We all want to be living in the moment or living in the now, but what does that actually mean? If we don’t know what it means to be living in the moment, it generally makes it difficult to actually live in the moment. How can you know what to do to live in the moment if you don’t completely understand what it means to experience the present moment or to be living in the moment.
Psychological thoughts prevent you from living in the moment
Our thoughts broadly fall into two main categories: psychological thoughts and functional thoughts. Psychological thoughts are the ones that decide whether something is “good” or “bad”, and these are the thoughts that create our suffering. For simplicity, our psychological thoughts are nearly all of our thoughts that have opposites. This is because if a thought has an opposite, then we will almost certainly consider one side to be “good” and its opposite to be “bad”. For example, if we think it is “good” to be rich, funny, skinny, and intelligent, then we would consider it “bad” to be poor, boring, overweight, and unintelligent. Our minds tend to be filled with the same psychological thoughts repeating themselves over and over again.
Functional thoughts don’t create any suffering
Functional thoughts are mostly answers to the question “How do I do that?” Functional thoughts determine how to build something, how to get somewhere, or how to solve a particular problem at work. Purely functional thoughts don’t create suffering, only psychological thoughts do. However, most of the time, our functional thoughts are tainted by psychological thoughts. For example, if we think about our tasks for the day (the to-do list), this would be a functional thought. However, these thoughts are often layered with thoughts like “it would be bad if I don’t get everything done” or “it is bad that I haven’t completed as many tasks as I wanted to”. These thoughts would then create our unwanted emotions.
The definition of living in the moment
In any moment when we have no psychological thoughts, or we don’t believe our psychological thoughts, what remains is the experience of the present moment. Whenever our psychological thoughts aren’t creating our experience of life, we get to directly experience whatever is happening in a given moment. The direct experience of any moment is the experience of the present moment.
In general, we rarely get to directly experience whatever is happening in a given moment because our experience is constantly being created by our thoughts of what was “good” or “bad” in the past, what is “good” or “bad” right now, or what may be “good” or “bad” in the future.
We don’t just experience meeting a person, we experience our thoughts about how that person is “attractive” or “ugly”, “respectful” or “disrespectful”, “smart” or “stupid”. We don’t just experience our tasks at work, we experience our thoughts about how our work is “perfect” or “not good enough”, how “boring” or “fun” the rest of the day will be, and whether our boss will be happy or unhappy with our work. These thoughts are what create our wide array of emotions.
The experience of the present moment
When we don’t have or believe the thoughts that create our unwanted emotions, none of these emotions are experienced, and we get to experience the present moment (we get to be living in the moment).
Regardless of how “bad” our circumstances may seem, when we experience the present moment (when we are present), we are free of all insecurities, anger, sadness, doubts, fears, anxieties, stress, depression, judgment, hatred, internal conflict, drama, arguments, jealousy, impatience, frustration, worries, and irritation. When we are present, what remains is an unconditional peace, freedom, contentment, and happiness. This peace is everything we have ever wanted. It is complete satisfaction.
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