30 Days of Now
A few days ago I began an experiment. I decided that I would spend thirty days living in the present moment. For thirty days I will not dwell in the past or worry about the future.
I've read Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment (several times), read Thich Nhat Han and other Zen masters who insist we should live each moment here and now, but never have I been able to comprehend truly living only in the present. It seems we all look back at our past with fondness or regret and towards the future with anticipation or fear. How can we live without planning for the future?
I decided since I couldn't overcome the skeptical ego-mind, then I could compromise and at least try it for 30 days. For one month I can take a break from always planning for tomorrow and just live in the moment to see what happens as the Universe collides with my presence. This isn't particularly easy right now considering that my wife and I both have temporary jobs with the National Park Service and a lease which will expire this fall.
I decided to write about my experience here for two reasons:
To share the experience good or bad, and to keep myself more accountable.
So far I have been able to focus on the present about half of the time and I am more at peace with life in gerneral, -BUT, when doubt and fear creep in they seem to hit harder. My ego thinks I'm crazy and is putting up a fight. Meditation and focus are helping but it can be a struggle.
So until August 15th I will pay bills and budget for the week, but not worry where my next job will be. I will think about my day and how I will spend it, but not about what the weekend will bring. I will live as close to the present moment as possible. I'll be checking in every few days or as the occasion calls for it. We'll see what life brings.
Zen Presence - Ideas for Meaningful Living
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Posted by Dan Garner