"When we are constantly worrying about the future or regretting about the past, we will never be happy in the Present Moment."
Defining Being Present
Being Present is about being aware of the present moment rather than dwelling in the states of thinking into the Future or into the Past.
In life it can be difficult to remain in the state of being "Present." This is because life often demands us to do too many things and as a result we are always thinking into the "Future" of completing things and worrying about things that are incomplete.
We can also be pushed back into the Past from our thoughts about something that we have done which is "bad," "imperfect/embarassing," "Could have been better" and when we are unable to let go of this Negativity it will be hard for us to drag ourselves back to the Present Moment, into the moment of Stillness and Happiness.
If one observes the deeper Mind as one carries out daily tasks one will realize that the amount of time that one spends in the "Present State" is actually very little. We are either focused too much on the future or too much on the Past.
If one wishes to develop Experienced Knowledge of the State Of Being Present then one can simply practice the 5 Present Breaths Meditation.
And as one experiences the State of Being Present one will be able to experience a refined sense of Happiness/Relaxation/Harmony/Wellbeing within.
Being Present In Depth
Defining Wandering Thoughts
So you're sitting on a chair doing nothing then suddenly you have a thought without even intentionally creating it.
That is pretty much what a wandering thought is.
Most of us do not really think much about wandering thoughts because we may have come to the belief that "it is natural to have wandering thoughts." Thus whenever we experience wandering thoughts we have developed a habit of letting them come into our minds as if granting free-passes to strangers to come into our home.
As a result, when we have become used to experiencing wandering thoughts, we can forget to address them.
The Difference between Thinking and Wandering Thoughts
The main difference between wandering thoughts and thinking is that in the former it is subconsciouslly created whilstthe latter is created consciously. Another difference is in our ability to control them. Wandering thoughts are less controllable and needs much more convincing to get them out of our minds - much like trying to let go of the wandering thoughts about a person that we have just yelled at. Thus it is important to understand why we are subconsciously creating the wandering thoughts so we can address them.
Importance Of Addressing Wandering Thoughts
To be Present, one must address their Wandering Thoughts because wandering thoughts can take us out of the state of simply being Present.
To let go of our wandering thoughts we must first develop the desire to. So let us look at some of the negative impacts wandering thoughts can have on our happiness so that we can naturaly develop the motivation to release it.
Although there are some people that believe that Wandering Thoughts are good in that it allows the Mind to "Relax." and "Clear" some things up. But there is a bit misunderstanding here.
Firstly, when the Mind is Wandering, the Mind is in a state of agitation/stimulation. Thus in this state a lot of energy is being drained. We all know how much thoughts can drain our energy i.e. if we simply look back at a times where we have spent long periods of time "worrying/planning" about a future event.
Do you find yourself dwelling in your thoughts all the time?
Secondly, when the Mind is Wandering, the state of the mind will be a clouded one. And when the mind is clouded it will never be able to come up with a clear/real solutions to the problems that we wish to solve. It is only when we address the cause of the wandering thoughts that the chaos will begin to clear and inner wisdom can come through.
Wandering thoughts are also the Deep Cause for insomnias. When our Mind wanders around as we try to sleep it can make us stay awake all night long. And the worst Wandering Thoughts are usually the ones which we are not aware of.
Is it easy for you to sleep at night or does it take a while?
The ill-effects of a Wandering Mind thus can be many.
Realize that our goal of addressing wandering thoughts is not to adddress it for the reason that it is "Bad" but rather to develop the Knowing of why we have wandering thoughts and coming to the realization of whether or not we need them naturally. It is then we can fully let go of the need to wander around in our minds and let go of them.
Life experiences will ultimately push us to realize that it is much better to be in the present moment rather than to dwell in the wandering thoughts.
Path Of Creator
Being Present In Relation To The Path Of Creator
The Path Of Creator is about creating Greater Happiness in our Lives.
And to do this we address our Sufferings.
So here we will look at the ways in which Wandering Thoughts can push us out of the Present State and into the Suffering State of being Non-Present.
Causes For Wandering Thoughts
If one develops Stillness of the Mind to the extent where they can simply observe the Present moment with "Absolute Stillness," and from that State of Stillness observe the very beginnings/deeper Causes of Wandering Thoughts as they are being created in the Consciousness, one will be able to discover some sort of Negativities behind the Causes.
Let us examine this more closely by giving some examples of the possible Negative Causes.
Rejection of the Present Moment
There are many different ways that our Sufferings can create Wandering Thoughts.
The following are just a few examples.
1. Our Inner Cravings for something else rather than the present moment, i.e. our desires, our future plans and so forth can push us into the Future. When we do this we are rejecting the Present Moment because we cannot accept what we have/are experiencing in the Present Moment.
2. The experience of painful sensations in the present moment can push us to escape into the mind. These can come from all forms of Suffering Experiences as they will always create Negative Physical Sensations on the body i.e. Boredom/Impatience/Imperfection/ etc.
3. The Experience of different forms of fears can push us into thinking into the Future.
4. The Experience of Regret/Guilt can push us into the past and dwell on "what we could have done better."
5. The attachment towards past experiences can also push us to dwell in the past such as craving for an experience in which we have had (and most often these will be experiences which have greatly stimulated the Mind.
In any case, as one develops the Knowing for the Cause of the Wandering Mind one will realize the cause for all types of wandering thoughts can simply be summed to the Rejection of The Self.
Thus to address Wandering Thoughts at the deepest level is to develop theAcceptance of The Self and that will take us to deep spiritual lessons
i.e. Why can we not accept ourselves as is?
Why do we even have to wander off away from our Present Self when it is "imperfect" or when it is "experiencing something bad?"
Why can we simply stay with ourselves when it is "Suffering?"
The secondary goal of addressing Wandering Thoughts is to develop focus and control over the Mind. The mental muscles are developed each time you pull the Mind back to the Present. And as you develop that mental muscle you will be able to use your Mind with such a focus that will allow you to complete tasks with great focus/precision at a lesser time (Much going on a journey from A to B without wandering off the journey.)
How can we develop the ability to being Present in Life?
You can do this simply by always dragging yourself back into the present moment each time you experience a wandering thoughtt. And this will be a practice that is easier "said" than "done" especially if we have a habit of wandering/imagining in our mind.
In the beginning you will no doubt feel a sense of insecurity/unnaturalness when you ask the Mind to be simply "Present." You will no doubt encounter Inner-Resistances because now you are asking yourself to reverse the habit of wandering off which you have created for so many years. Fears of not thinking about the future will come up. Habits of not wanting to let go of the Past will come up. Being Present thus will also bring into light our deeper/hidden issues/negativities so that we can become aware of them.
No matter what challenges you face, the key to success is simply to be persistent.
Like how your persistence in wandering all the time have created this Negative Habit. To reverse it you have to similarly be Persistent in being in the Present Moment to create a "new habit" as we speak.
Within time from the act alone of trying to be present, it will allow you to realize just how much Suffering can be Created from a wandering mind and this will give you more and more power/intention to not wander and simply stay in the Present
Valuable Life Experiences will also help us to let go of the Wandering Thoughts. Time will eventually teach us that we can never enjoy the Present Moment if we are always asking “What to do next?” "What to buy next?" "What to eat and have next?"
Practices such as meditation will help one to greatly accelerate the process and help one to realize the wisdom of staying in the Present Moment.
If you wish to accelerate the process of Being more Present and have a less wandering mind, I have devised some Techniques aimed at people with busy lives so it is short and easy to fit into one's daily schedule.
One is the Holy Temple Technique which is quick to learn and apply.
The other is the 5 Present Breaths Meditation which takes one into the state of Stillness / Being Present even deeper.
The destination is towards being the master of our mind. In the end it doesn't really matter whether one uses the mind to think into the future or in the past or simply remain in the present time. The journey of Self-Transformation is about developing the Knowing to the causes of our wandering thoughts. If thoughts are being subconsciously generated without conscious effort, then behind it will most likely be some sort of Negative Idea driving the wandering thoughts. So the journey is about transforming all the suffering states of mind, so that we can be happy in All Moments - whether we think into the past, present or future.
Develop Experienced Knowledge
Try to remain as "Present" as you can throughout the day by being aware of your Wandering Thoughts and letting them go and not becoming attached to them i.e. making them grow more and more
The Creator's Meditation / VipassanaLink here
Practising the 5 Breaths Technique before the Creator's Meditation will help you greatly instruct the Mind to remain in the Present Moment / Calm / Still in your Meditation Sessions