Using the Present Moment for Transformation

As discussed a few days ago here, there are very real benefits to being in the present moment.  A feeling of ease will overcome you as stress and worries fade.  I often find life so beautiful that it seems surreal - only because I am not used to experiencing life as it truly is - here and now.

Most of us spend our lives in our heads, thinking of the past or stressing over the future.  The result of our mind darting back and forth from the past to the future is that they tend to look very much alike.  In order to manifest true transformation in your life you must learn to access the power of now.

There is actually a great deal of science behind all of this "being mindful."  In his excellent book, Your Brain at Work , David Rock explains that mindfulness is a whole other way for your brain to experience life than the way most of us spend our lives.  When we are mindful, regions of our brain that normally lie dormant are activated.  Though I highly recommend reading the book, he has written a great introductory article on Psychology Today titled 'The Neuroscience of Mindfulness.'

Presented below are some basic but practical methods for being in the present moment.

1. Observe your mind.  It will flit about, worrying about the future, thinking of the past - watch it passively as an observer.  Let your thoughts come and go, realizing that they are only thoughts and not reality.

2.  Sit and focus on the physical sensations that your body is feeling.  Feel the warmth of the sun or the coolness of the breeze.  Hear the sounds of life around you.  Do not think of yourself as a separate self, but as a part of everything that your senses are experiencing.

3. Perform an activity that requires intense concentration.  Rock climbers, whitewater kayakers, and kitesurfers know what it is like to be present in the moment.  While you don't have to endanger your life to be in the present moment, an activity requiring your full attention will pull you out of your ordinary mode of thinking in the past or future.

As you learn to access the power of the present moment you will realize that the shackles that held you back were only self created mental constructs.  Our minds have a way of shaping our reality.  Accessing the power of life as it exists in the present moment is your path to freedom.

Zen Presence - Ideas for Meaningful Living


  1. "the shackles that held you back were only self created mental constructs" I think that's really the key. Our heads do a lot of things and make up a lot of things, if we could only remember that, then we really wouldn't be held back so much by the things our heads do.

    1. It takes a lot of effort to really look at our beliefs and see how they affect our lives.


  2. I am definitely more in the present moment than ever, when I'm sailing. There's something about being out in nature, focusing on everything and nothing all at once.

  3. I feel the same when I am hiking. We all have our spots and times.