How To Be Present. Some Practical Advice
By Mtbclimber • July 25, 2016
A long time ago I read a book called the The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I will admit that I was not a fan of the mysticism but underneath all that there is a very simple and powerful message. Be "present" at all times. Unfortunately, the book wasn't exactly clear on how to do that. I was left knowing that I shouldn't be living in the past or future and also not letting my ego control me, but I was shown no clear path to that goal.
So I decided to take the advice quite literally and focused on the present moment at all times. This, surprisingly, was exactly what I had to do to quiet down my mind. When this idea first clicked into my mind I thought wow why have I never thought this before? I was driving and I decided "for the rest of this drive I will focus only on driving and the road". Then I got home and read for a little while. While I was reading I focused on each individual word and sentence. This is all you have to do!
Now when you do this for extended periods of time your mind basically rewires itself and makes you a one pointed focused individual.
A mistake I made:
In the beginning I tried to eliminate all thought and focus only on what I was doing. I would begin to get frustrated and later I realized it was impossible to do this. You CAN'T prevent thought from arising from the back of your head..it's literally impossible especially for a person who didn't grow up as a Buddhist monk. However what you can do is NOT react to your thoughts. When I was reading or golfing or whatever I was doing there is ALWAYS some degree of chatter going on in the back of my head. It wasn't until I began practicing this technique that I was made aware of the sheer volume of thoughts that go on. Before this I felt like I was on automatic mode and never realized what was really going on back there. Now I was driving stick.
When I would have a thought I would simply choose not to react, or participate. The back of my head would start chatting and my conscious mind, the part that I control, wouldn't say anything back. This is probably the most important aspect to grasp and it might take you some time. Over the next few months the chatter in my head decreased tremendously. There where many times where my mind was 100% clear and free of thought.
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