The Elusive Present Moment

Every now and then, the present moment slides into my awareness.

The autopilot self is an incessant whirlwind,  
Mechanically distracting itself.

On some level, we (at least I) are afraid of simply being, which would *supposedly* be completely dull and empty.

We live so often in a haze of habitual thought patterns, like a swarming cloud that floats a few feet above our actual existence.  I find I unconsciously divert so much  energy toward escaping from the present moment that I forget, continually, its EVER-refreshing beauty and simplicity. Never fails.

We watch TV. Compulsively socialize. Walk the dog. We even bring the newspaper into the bathroom so we’re not left with alone with ourselves for those precious few minutes.

Why does the idea of emptiness appear so threatening? What harm do we think could possibly come from simply existing, without a train of thought to cling to or a task to complete or a shiny picture to look at? When I truly think about it, emptiness sounds divine.

I’m learning to identify certain thought patterns that cycle endlessly on repeat. Which leads nowhere except the haze. Depending upon my self-image, my possessions, even relationships and ideas…leads only to the haze. Nothing can replace pure consciousness, moment to moment. I’m not saying not to think or have ideas and relationships with people. Just recognize when you’re using them to fill a void.

 Once I settle into the present, I remember how the moment is a sanctuary. There’s no future to dread or anticipate. No past to dwell upon. Nothing can hurt you. Nothing really exists except the Now…might as well experience it to the fullest.

This article from Psychology Today got me started on the present – six steps to living in the moment.

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