Friday, February 04, 2005

Living in the Moment

This week's study circle topcis is 'Living in the Moment' lead by Swami. It was the first study circle held at my place in my room. The study circle started with Swami asking each of us to put down the thoughts that were going in each of our minds on paper. He asked to think for 5 minutes and jot down all the thoughts that were running down in our head during that time. Given as absent-minded as I am, I could not collect my thoughts in that short time to my surprise. Usually a million thoughts run through my mind on a normal day, and I could not produce a single thought on demand. Some of the significant thoughts I could write were due to worrrying about the future (research, shopping, and some other petty things).

After this short exercise, Swami asked the following questions:

- Categorize the thoughts that you wrote into past|present|future, and see where most of your thoughts fall in.

- How do you practice to be in the present all the time, i.e., perform actions with a clear mind without any thoughts?

As I noticed I did not worry much about the past, but many of my worries were about what will happen in future. I was always anxious about the future. It may be easy to say that 'past has already happened, and future is unknown and the only thing that is in your hands is present', but practicing that would be very difficult. Observing the breath is an excellent way to live in the present moment. By observing the breath, one is conscious of the body and mind and is able to control them efficiently.

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