That is the average human concentration span. We are SO far gone from actual reality that it comes as no surprise to me whatsoever that the world is what it is. Our minds are incessantly remembering, obsessing, criticising, complaining, dreaming…basically making noise in order to avoid the dreaded silence.
We are encumbered by fear and anxiety and obsessed by desire and the avoidance of pain. We are lost in the fantastical lands of yesterday and tomorrow. A nasty cocktail indeed that manifests in a world of violence, suffering and inequality.
The ego’s sole purpose is to create its own reality and have us believe that it is the right and only one. Through the creation of time and a false “me” it keeps us trapped in the past and future. Yet time doesn’t exist and neither does this false “me” and the “story of my life”.
Time doesn’t exist because you cannot go back to yesterday and when you were there it was “today”. You cannot go into tomorrow because when it comes it is “today”. There is only today, and to be more specific, there is only a continual movement of moments that constitute reality.
The “story of me” is not real because it is a subjective interpretation of my life experiences expressed through thought. This story creates your beliefs and values which in turn determine your thoughts, feelings and actions which define your reality; a reality which in 99.9% of humans is a roller coaster ride of highs and lows.
But surely the singular purpose in life is to live in harmony and peace?
Regardless of what you have, where you are and what you are doing, if you do not feel happy and at peace your quality of life is suffering. It is stated in the practise of Buddhism that the very objective of life is to be in peace at the moment of your death.
To live happily and peacefully the majority of the time requires that you accept the present moment as the only true reality. Can you see and understand this as an irrefutable fact?
When you clearly see this it doesn’t mean you are instantly free of the burdens of the past and anxieties of the future, but it does mean you are more aware of their nature and this awareness will help you to live more in the present moment.
Living more in the present moment is about seeing it is the one true reality and understanding that real peace can only exist in that moment. It isn’t about abandoning your dreams and aspirations or forgetting your past, but about releasing yourself from attachment to your past and to your desires.
The past has happened for you to learn lessons and grow (hopefully!), so take those lessons and leave the emotional attachment behind (no amount of anger or tears will ever change it). looking to the future to become more and achieve more is only destructive if you are attached to that vision meaning you will be highly emotional if you don’t reach your goals. It is highly unlikely you are currently doing today as you planned or thought you would be doing 3 years ago, so why be surprised or disappointed when life takes you in a different path than expected when that is the norm?
I don’t know if we were meant to live 100% of the time in the present moment, but I do know that this is where you will find true peace. It is not a bucket-list tick or goal to gradually achieve. it requires clarity and understanding combined with a firm desire and determination, but without attachment or you will once again be caught up in your ego’s story of me.
Reflect, understand, relax and enjoy the vast silence and peace that can only be found right now, and now, and now…
“Look lovingly at the present, for it holds the only things that are forever true.” A Course in Miracles
“What you are is what you have been. What you’ll be is what you do now.” Buddha
“Realise deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” Eckhart Tolle