January 5


Today's quotation:

What we are talking about is learning to live in the present moment, in the now.  When you aren't distracted by your own negative thinking, when you don't allow yourself to get lost in moments that are gone or yet to come, you are left with this moment.  This moment-- now--truly is the only moment you have.  It is beautiful and special.  Life is simply a series of such moments to be experienced one right after another.  If you attend to the moment you are in and stay connected to your soul and remain happy, you will find that your heart is filled with positive feelings.

Sydney Banks

Today's Meditation:

Right now.  It's the only moment in the history of the world over which we have any sort of control over our thoughts, actions, or feelings.  We can't control what happened even thirty seconds ago, and we can't control what's going to happen in ten minutes, but right now we can make decisions that will help to determine what our future's like, and that may make amends for past mistakes or build on past successes and achievements.

A few seconds ago, you decided to read this passage.  You read the quotation above, probably, and then started on this part.  Now you're deciding whether to continue or not.  Each moment of our life is like this:  we decide to initiate or continue actions--or inaction--based on what we think is best for ourselves and others.  We may get so caught up in what we're doing that we don't even notice the wonder of this moment--the sounds, the sights, the feelings--and that's a shame.  This moment doesn't consist just of what we're doing; it also consist of what we're being, and how we're being it.

"If you attend to the moment you're in. . ."  These are powerful words, and that attention is something that takes practice.  This moment is now, and it never shall come again.  Feel it, live it, breathe it, and let it be a great contributor to who you are.  Sometimes you may lose the moment due to certain tasks that occupy us for extended periods of time, but even then we can be attentive to the task, to its contribution to our lives and who we are, and to the fact that we're involved in something that probably will serve other people in necessary ways.

Some of my greatest moments have been those when I've stopped doing whatever I was doing just to be.  I stand in silence and listen.  I look at everything around me, no matter where I am, and consider how it's a part of who I am.  I feel whatever's closest to me.  I listen to my breathing.  And all this helps to remind me that there's much more to life than what I'm doing at the moment, and much more to me than just the person who's involved in the task.

Questions to consider:

How easy is it for you to notice all that's around you?  Can you do it all of the time?  Most of the time?

How much do you lose when you don't pay attention to the present moment?  Will you ever get it back again?

For further thought:

We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand. . . and melting like a snowflake.  Let us use it before it is too late.

Marie Beynon Ray

more thoughts and ideas on the present moment



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