THE ART OF THE PRESENT MOMENT - MEDITATION
In meditation, one must remain motionless like the rock in the middle of the river.
Why does meditation always insist on the presence in the moment: "being here and now"? Simply because being present is necessarily one. There is not the one who is physically there, and the one who is elsewhere in thought, in another place, in another time, with other people?
We are rarely aware of the present, absorbed by thoughts that form an invisible wall between us and reality. And it is this wall, on which we project our memories, our desires, our thoughts and the images that accompany them, that we often take for reality. We live in this illusion, and like the spectators in front of the cinema screen, we react emotionally to this virtual reality.
Here and now
To be HERE is to be in the world, it is to be aware of one's contact with the world and the changing and ephemeral nature of that contact. My sensations, my emotions, my ideas are constantly passing and transforming, like the perception of the wind on my face. It is the same wind that blows, but I never feel it in the same way. The wind is just a word, the reality of the wind is my perception and the sensations that this perception awakens in me. There is no reality independently of my relationship to the world and the beings that inhabit it. The world and the others surely exist outside of my relationship with them, but their existence is then only an idea.
To be NOW is to be out of time. The past and the future no longer exist. We need to remember the past in order to act in our daily lives, and also to be able to predict what will happen in the future, but to meditate on this is of no use to us. Both the past and the future exist only in our thoughts, in our imagination. I cannot be at the same time the one who meditates and the one who thinks about what he meditates, who will compare and judge what he is doing, or imagine goals to reach. In now, there is no time for time...
The illusion of futur
Since our youngest age we have been used to projecting ourselves into the future. We dream of becoming someone different from ourselves: "When I grow up, I will be...". But we never become, we are. We exist only in the present. We will never meet the person we imagined to be. He lives in a parallel world, in our imagination, in this fiction called me.
Yet we put so much energy into trying to BE the one we want to be, we put so much effort into it, that we lose sight of who we really are here and now.
This attachment to the idea of becoming is a manifestation of the ego. The ego wants to be. It doesn't exist in the moment, it needs time to project itself, to unfold itself in order to give meaning, an illusion of existence to the one called me. Thus, it is easier to say what we want to be than what we really are. Why is it easier to say what we want to be than what we really are? Because the present is constantly running away, and our ego escapes with it.
The progression does not exist
Sometimes I hear people say, "I feel like I don't progress when I meditate. But there is no progress in meditation. There is what I am experiencing today and what I will experience tomorrow, which I don't know yet. Any idea of progression or regression is born from the comparison of what is with what has been, or what we imagined would be. If you are really present in the moment, you don't have time to compare. Thoughts, memories, die as quickly as they came. The idea of progression is a judgment in hindsight.
"There is no birth, no beginning, no purity, no defilement, no growth, no decay. "says the Maka Hannya Haramita Shingio, the Sutra of Great Wisdom. Often, maintaining the illusion of progression is a strategy to justify not being what we want to be, or doing what we would like to do in our present life. It is a way of giving oneself time. But giving yourself time is a decoy. Let's be honest, we don't know how to be better or stronger or wiser tomorrow, we can only be what we are today.
Now flows like a river
In meditation, one must stand still like a rock in the middle of the river and let time pass. The water passes at the foot of the rock, it is always the same water, but the water is never the same, and its current, however strong it may be, does not carry it away.
One should not try to stop the current, the course of time, as the photographer freezes the moment in the lens of his camera. Time is like water, it is a flow, it cannot be cut into slices. Now dies every fraction of a second from which a new one is born now.
To be present is to prevent the thought from holding us back in the past, to prevent it from developing, to recognize, to name, to compare, to judge, to fear, to want... We must let each thought die with the passing instant, abandon it to the current that carries it away. The consciousness of the present cannot be formulated, reflected. Before the thought takes hold of it, it is already dead. To be here and now is to be fully aware of the impermanence of things.
Being can only be conjugated in the present tense.
To meditate is to be present to oneself and present to what is, freed from the bonds that pull us towards the past and the desires that push us towards the future. It is in this presence at the moment that we find our unity, the deep awareness of being.
Master Deshimru used to say: "We may come back here, we will never come back to now".
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