The mind is simply a producer of thoughts. Driving your focus to the future or the past. But never to right now. Peace is always in the moment of right now. Thoughts will always pull you from that moment.
Right now is a realization, not a thought. Thought is the problem when it comes to peace.
We attach too much meaning to our thoughts, allowing our hearts to be carried away by their nonsense.
If you really look at why you’re feeling any amount of stress, whether it’s a lot or a little, you can be certain that it’s being caused by certain thoughts that are dancing through your consciousness. Every thought that is brought to our awareness has attached with it the judgement of either “good” or “bad.” These judgements sway our emotions instantly and inevitably. And, as I’ve talked about before, most of the thoughts that enter our awareness are usually negative with an obvious attachment of “bad.”
Once I’ve realized, “it’s just a thought,” and bring my awareness back to the realization of the present moment, fears and anxieties drip away.
Some people call this mindfulness, some say it’s resting in the presence and love of God. Some say it’s both. However you attach meaning to this experience, it’s through this practice of present-moment-realization that your heart will feel lighter and your burden less burdensome.
An old man was walking down from a mountain carrying a heavy load on his shoulders. A younger man approached him and said, “Please, tell me what it means to be enlightened.” The old man placed the heavy load from his shoulders onto the ground and stood straight, smiling. The younger man said, “Yes, I understand. But what is after enlightenment?” The old man lifted his load again and continued walking.
We can easily be taken away by our experiences. When we experience the peace accompanied by present-moment-realization we almost want to stay there forever. This is unrealistic and irresponsible. A great component of life is attaining great responsibility. First you are responsible for your own life and as you grow, you become responsible for many other lives. What lies deepest within the heart of living a great life is service. We cannot serve to the higher levels that we’re called, if we’re lost in realization practice all the time. So we must fulfill our responsibilities.
There is a way, however, to experience present-moment-realization in every moment, even when we’re fulfilling our responsibilities. It just takes practice.
So what I’m saying is simple. Become fully aware of the present moment no matter what you’re doing. Remember, the present isn’t a thought it’s a realization.
*** The excerpt about the old man was taken from the book, Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman ***