Present Moment, Precious Moment
Two monks walked along a riverbank and saw a lady standing on a shore with a basket of food in her arms. The senior monk walked up to her and asked, “Why are you standing here?”
“When I left this morning and went to a market there was a bridge here but now it is gone,” the lady answered. “I cannot get across over the river and my children are starving and waiting for my return.”
The senior monk picked her up and carried her across the river. The lady went home and fed her children. The two monks continued on their journey along the riverbank for a couple of hours before sitting down for a rest.
“Father,” the junior monk turned to the senior monk, “we took vows not to touch woman when we become monks. Why did you carry the woman?”
“Son,” the senior monk answered, “I have left her two hours ago and you are still carrying her.”
This classic story gives us a profound lesson on how not to carry baggage that no longer serves us, especially the mind’s chattering. We can all remember the long lasting suffering and pain from our last break up, argument, or hardship even if it happened a long time ago. Continued preoccupation with our past emotional baggage holds us back and does not allows us move forward to experience the creative, unknown, beautiful way of life.
Dwell in the present moment because it is a wonderful moment. The past has already happened and the future has yet to unfold. The present moment is a precious and wonderful moment where the past and the future happen simultaneously. Where the past, the present, and the future become one. This oneness only happens when we are in the state of trance, tranquility, and creativity.
We have all experienced many let-downs in life. We thought we would be happy when we got married, bought a big house, and got a good job. There are so many times in life when we witness and personally experienced the repetition of this same story over and over. The past or the future does not furnish our peace or happiness but only brings us an unchanging state of like and dislike, happy and sad, the duality of the world.
It is a joy to sit at ease and return to our breathing, our smile, and our true nature so the essence of our lives can be in the present moment. Peace and joy can be experienced in this moment. If we do not have peace and joy now, do we have to wait for tomorrow or the day after tomorrow?
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras ~300 BC
Sutra 3.53: By Samyama on the present moment one can discriminate true knowledge from the false.
Time is not a substantive reality but is only an imaginary concept. We do experience the persistence of the present, however the concept of time arises from sequences of events built up in memory; thus the abstraction of “past” arises. Similarly, imaginary constructs of sequences not yet present gives us the unreal “future.”
Whatever exists in the present is real and true; whatever appears in imagination of past and future is neither real nor true. Deep contemplation of the present allows us to discriminate the true from the false, the real from the unreal.
Time is a quasi-linear, arbitrary metric of change; and certainly a convenience in physics, music and engineering; but it is not real—think of it as a shim that makes the math work. You may verify for yourself…. In the inner stillness of meditation, what evidence of time do you notice? You will see that the only suggestion of time is when words arise related to the concept; words being imaginary and not real, e.g., the word water does not quench the thirst, the thought of light does not dispel the darkness.
- Sit quietly, walk gently on the earth, breath consciously, and talk tentatively so you can experience the precious and wonderful moment that is.
- Listen to your breath and the pulsation of your heart and the universe. They are the manifestation of the precious and wonderful moment.
- Practice conscious breathing not only while sitting in a meditation room, but also while working at the office, driving a car, or sitting on a bus. Wherever we are at any time throughout the day, you can follow your breath and say simply, “Calming, Smiling, Present moment, Precious moment.”
- As you breathe in, say to yourself, “Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in.” As you breathe out, say to yourself, “Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out.” This technique can help focus your mind on your breath. As you practice, your breath will become peaceful and gentle, and your mind and body will also become peaceful and gentle. In a few minutes, you can realize the fruit of breath work.
- Recite the following four lines as you breathe in and out. “ Breathing in, I calm my body, Breathing out, I smile, Dwelling in the present moment, I know this is a precious moment!” This practice is not just for the beginner. Some monks have practiced this for decades!
What is Spiritual Healing?
Spiritual healing is not about dogmatic rituals that we have to perform or the specific ways that we have to live. It is about the connection to our inner teacher, a teacher who speaks the truth to us when our mind is quiet, and there is no interference of learned knowledge or philosophy. It is about our connection to the essences of our universe, water, air, fire, earth, and ether. These elements are who we are, where we came from not long ago, and where we will return in the very near future.
Spiritual healing is about our connection to our spiritual beings, beyond our physical temporary existence in this universe. It is about the connection to the cycle of the universe and the cycle of our human race. Those cycles are the same; the difference in time and space are only created in the human mind.
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