Life goes on always in a rush. Within this rush, we’ve already lost our ability to control our thoughts but it can be recovered. Do you remember any time, when you were able to totally control your thoughts, even for a short period of time? Are you able to direct your focus to whatever you want for a time period of your will? Actually, these are questions that attract our attention before anything else, while starting Mindfulness practice.
What is strange here is that the thought control problem is experienced by everybody around us and that’s why it’s normalized in our day!
Thoughts are constantly splitting and reproducing. Our thoughts, which keep splitting into two as “things happened” and “things to be done” on the axis of past and future, are putting us away from the reality and joy of the present moment. The mind, which is very skilful in accepting negative thoughts as reality, prefers to focus on what is missing rather than what is blissful. And as the result, we keep living in various dreams during dinner, in bed or at work. While the mind looks for the better all the time, we get inclined to look at the resolutions of the past problems in happy moments of the future. All of these bring us problems such as anxiety, fear, stress, insomnia.
In this vicious circle, “the present moment” is only a step to reach out to the future and happiness comes always a step later.
However, life actually happens right at this moment. The only reality is this moment. There is no time other than “now” that matters. By sparing time for ourselves through mindfulness exercises and meditation, and by focusing on our thoughts, feelings and sensations, we become aware of ourselves and our environment. Although setting this process might be a little bit tricky, through this process we become individuals, who notice the beauties at the moment and live the future by planning correctly rather than dwelling in dreams.
When you’ve reached the present moment, the future almost stops. When you start enjoying the moment, the regrets of the past leave you in peace, you stop dreaming of a future happiness. Happiness is not in the future, it is right here, right now.
So shouldn’t we dream of anything or think about the past or future?
Human beings progress by thinking. They see the past, take their lessons and plan the future accordingly. Without dreaming we can’t reach the point that we desire and dreaming is the starting point of most things. But when we start looking for happiness in dreams, we miss out on life, which keeps flowing at the time being, and when we expect some future moments to bring us the happiness then we put ourselves in agony. An individual, who doesn’t notice life, doesn’t really understand what he/she needs to change or what are the things that really please him/her; keeps swaying between regrets and future dreams.
How can we notice the blessings of the present moment?
Spare time for yourself with meditation. Notice your feelings and thoughts. Ask yourself: is there happiness in the things that I’m doing currently or nowadays? At which points of my day do I experience the real happiness and at which points of the day I can create some happiness? Am I living this life as a burden, strain? If there are burdens in life, how can I change them?
The first step is noticing your thoughts. Whenever you find yourself lost in thoughts and dreams, just take a deep breath in. For 1 minute only focus on your breathing and bring yourself back to this moment. Notice that the dream that you’re in is actually a cloud of thoughts. Try to see that real life flows through the present moment.
While eating, notice and sense the taste of the food. While listening to someone give your all attention to that person. While walking among the greens, on green grass, sense the beauty at the moment. While spending time with your family or friends savour the moment, see all their beauties. When you’re all by yourself, notice the joy of being on your own.
Don’t expect the happiness to come when you get that promotion, when you earn more money, when you move to a better house or when you find the love of your life. Happiness is not always around the corner, let it be right at the center of your current life.