“Look past your thoughts, so you may drink the pure nectar of This Moment.”
Yogic thought purports the importance of being mindfully in the present moment, whether in action or in thought. This is a constant struggle in life, practicing presence. Often we hear phrases like “live in the moment,” “be in the present,” and “do it now.” While in a yoga practice, we “breathe into the present moment,” or hear some semblance of: “leave your day at the door, and bring your heart to the mat.”
To just be in the present is vital, but what is the present without the past or the future? The present moment is so important because it is fragile, fleeting. Literally, it is there for a moment and then it is gone. Why emphasize the significance of being in the present moment if it is a perpetually ephemeral instant?
Constantly changing and evolving, the present will always exist as a delicate part of our being. Think about it: the present moment is always passing. Your thought, now, is already in the past. And what is keeping you thinking, keeping you curious? The unknown future, which is formed by constantly passing moments in the present.
As humans caught up in the world, we generally incline either towards dwelling on the past, maybe feeling stuck, or rushing onto the future endeavor, maybe tripping on our own quick feet in the process. The present, therefore, serves as the pivot point of the teeter-totter between past and future. It balances the two so that weight – thought – does not fall too heavy on what has happened or on what is to happen. Both of those “happenings” are already happening in the current instant. The present becomes the past, and also the future.
This is precisely why yogic thought encourages us to “live in the present.” It is undeniable that our past informs our present; it is likely your past that brought you to yoga in the first place. The future gives us more reason to live in the present; it offers us visions of growth and self-improvement and opportunities for learning and enlightenment. The rich and fragile present depends on the past and the future.
Be tender, then, in your caress of the present. Hold your present moments gently. The present wants to be cradled ever so lovingly like an unsettled baby, that sensitive child that exists inside us all.
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