The Mindfulness Blog

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The Present Moment, And Realities Of Our Secular World

Is living in the present moment a skill, or an awareness, that we want in our politicians? For those of us who make personal or business decisions based upon predictability and consistency, is the present moment really the only thing that's real? Is the abiding sense that permeates our rational world, so steeped in the secular that we are incapable of experiencing the present moment?

Let's allow that rubber to hit the road, because they're all legitimate questions, and they're all deserving of our examination. Maybe it's just the residue of law school training, or the first 65+ years of my life, but the questions persist, and they need to be answered-- artfully, or inartfully (I specialize in the latter).

Fact check: I'm a big fan of the present moment-- I wish I could inhabit it more often. I meditate regularly, as a means of getting to mindfulness and the present moment. But let's put that fact check aside, and get back to the three questions posited above. Summarized succinctly, my personal answers are: It depends/Of course not/No. Please allow me to explain.

"It depends": For politicians, the present moment can be a tricky place. Regardless of what they may see, hear, touch, smell or taste, politicians have to be politically correct about what they say or do, and that oftentimes means calculated messaging, if not downright dishonesty. For them, the present moment is a place and time they can find personal nourishment, but professionally, it would not seem to serve them.

"Of course not": For the rest of us, the present moment is one of several different realities that we can live and thrive in. And all those realities are of equal importance. Family, personal relationships and professional relationships are critical to our well-being, and must be tended to with attention and care.

"No": Of course, we are all capable of living in the present moment, but it's not something that comes easily. Spending a lot of time with my 4 year-old grandson has done wonders for me in that department, but I realize that's a luxury we don't all enjoy.

Think about the total absorption that a young toddler brings to pretty much every moment and-- along with the lack of preconceived judgment, as well as the utter lack of regard for future implications-- you've got a pretty good idea of what living in the present moment is all about. Child-like, but not child-ish.

Seeing the world through the eyes of a child? Another way of
expressing, or understanding, that sentiment is living in the present moment-- living mindfully. It's a natural ability that we all possess. As adults who have been taught otherwise, mindfulness is something we have to work at-- that's the "on purpose" part that Jon Kabat-Zinn talks about. And that's where meditation comes in, for me.

But I digress. We were talking about the present moment. Look ma-- no hands!


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