How do I honestly live in "the now"?

 Alexander Nicholas Smith (@alexxxwakeup)8 years, 10 months ago

I would love for this discussion to be a compilation of different soul’s experiences that involved being in “the now”, living fully for this moment. None of that you only live once bullshit, but truly and genuinely living gratefully for this moment that you’ve been given. I find it hard to silence my thoughts and be fully present in the moment, so I was curious to what other Hethens had experienced.

November 9, 2012 at 7:12 pm
Anonymous (291) (@) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

I’ve brought up previously on this site that everyone lives through eyes conditioned by the past. When we are able to recognize this, we’re able to appreciate what the present moment has to offer us, letting go of what past we have allowed to obstruct our view of the present and future.

From experience, personally, i held onto past demons that haunted my existence. I was wrongly judging people for being like those I have encountered before. I had assumed that everyone was as evil and dark as the people who I had lived with, been raised by, had been hurt by. I was utterly convinced that because I knew the darkness people were capable of, everyone was just as guilty. And that ruined alot of things for me, alot of opportunities, alot of “could have been’s.”. I am still, in a sense, a very “cold blooded person”, but I have grown aware that you cannot allow what your past has done to you to ignore the present. You cannot allow the past to continue directing how you appreciate today. You cannot allow that to blur your vision. Its amazing, being able to appreciate what today has given you. The opportunities, the laughs, the life.

When you can’t accept the present moment, the now, as something to live in passionately, you’re missing out. It’s hard, we’re human, we get distracted constantly and are pulled back by everyday things. But that isn’t a good enough excuse to NOT live in the present moment.

Just let it all go. Live free.

Ruby (25) (@rubymoon) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

10 days Vipassana retreat ;) Can’t be more in the now than that.

Kris (328) (@kjbaran) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

Time is an illusion, that makes the past a stored memory and the future non-existent. Now is all that’s left.

Nick (554) (@splashartist) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@alexxxwakeup, Without any bullshit, meditate every day. That’s the ONLY way (as far as I know) to fully experience the moment as it is. And it isn’t ‘easy’, it takes discipline.

Ben (148) (@cognizantelephant) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

Just accept it. Focus on your breath. If that feels like something you are not used to, then that is good.

Anonymous (40) (@) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

Look at everything as though it were new, like a child.

The trees, grass, clouds, birds, even man-made things are remarkable.

Instead of looking at a red flower with thorns and automatically labelling it a ‘rose’, just enjoy and appreciate it for what it is because, like everything else, it really doesn’t have a name. Breaking down what you know and just existing alongside everything else with a personal sense of harmony is a good start and made me feel very uplifted just walking around doing boring chores.

That’s not to say you should go crazy and start staring at what are to most people mundane things; it’s a slightly different perspective on life that is totally for you and nobody else.

Obviously, you’re not a golfer (605) (@donjaime23) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@alexxxwakeup, When confronted with a situation, rather than ask yourself “why?”, ask yourself “why not?”

patience (147) (@patience) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

my friend, you are always in the now, and you always have been. it just depends on whether or not you’ve been focusing on it.

don’t worry, as you go through life, gaining new experience and knowledge, you will become more in-tune with it, and in one moment or another you will eventually rouse yourself from your thought slumber.

Nick (195) (@nickc2007) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

When you read about being in “the now” or focus on being in “the now”, you lose it. Being in “the now” is having fun, hanging out with friends, dancing, or getting wrapped up in a sport or hobby and not noticing times passing. I promise you it happens to you for a large percentage of your day, you just don’t realise it ;)

Kevin (19) (@benly150) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

I do nature photography. I have never been so present when I go out into the wilderness and am one with nature, the animals and food chain. So yeah pick up a camera and head out or just walk around in nature.

Megan (32) (@fearlessldr) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

For me, it’s when I get deeply involved with an art project, a new painting, I just completely block out the rest of the world and become solely focused.
It’s when I listen to awesome music–my ipod is my best friend.
It’s when I’m snowboarding, and I’m zooming through trees and off ledges and my mind is just completely free.
With tango dancing too, as it is entirely improvised and requires intense attention and focus with each moment.
Bike riding and running do it for me, too, and same with having good conversation and good laughs with the people in my life.

Heidi Thompson (10) (@thomph) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

Be as aware of everything around you as you possibly can and when thoughts about things you need to do later or things you forgot to do creep in, recognize them and bring yourself back to focusing on your surroundings.

Yuksel Sarac (46) (@yukselsarac) 8 years, 5 months ago ago

Actually there is no time which was born and will die. It’s not a process. It’s only a moment. Memory records the now and stored. We call the now as a past just because we remember it and we call the now as a future just because we will live in it. So there is only one thing to say about this: Time is not someting else other than the now.

MisterCheese (24) (@mistercheese) 8 years, 5 months ago ago

@alexxxwakeup, Well, I still fight daily for the present. being that the present is all there is, as in, you cant physically be anywhere else… but mentally everywhere. I personally too find it hard to silence my thoughts being that my mind constantly seems to take me away into endless distractions. But im coming to realise that the neutrality isnt the goal. Its a mindset, physically im trying to be more and more active in what i want to be doing, playing guitar, writing, travelling, and then when i feel im on the right track i let my mind loose, and see where it takes me… ive ended up in some pretty strange places haha! and all experience seems to bottle up and hide behind me. Edging forward to push me forward. i find it very hard to describe.. .and you can hear so many different people, especially on this site and places like these who have a quite beautiful talent to articulate such feelings into words. But i somehow feel that words fail me. Written and spoken. I tend to let my actions send my message. but how its recieved… forever a mystery.

Anonymous (145) (@) 8 years, 5 months ago ago

@alexxxwakeup, you can t because you don t exist.

ELizard (229) (@heavydreamz) 8 years, 5 months ago ago

@alexxxwakeup, ‘the secret is to not care’

the ego is nature’s little trick to keep you caring about everything, social status, regret, the past, where youll be in the future, etc.. all the functions of the human brain all just a side-effect of nature’s want for you to reproduce and create life. The ego ultimately is nature’s motivational tool. its also a trap, giving your life meaning only through the satisfaction of desires that mostly can never be met, unless you are one of the rare people who get everything they want, always, which is unfortunate for them because they never see beyond basic desires until they one day realize their old and cant get everything they want anymore, and are then forced to see a greater purpose. Once you understand this, you realize that our greater purpose is to overcome the simplicity of nature. The ‘shift’ that is happening globally, people are taking control of their lives by dis-engaging the ego, adding a new element of awareness, awareness of our ‘nature’ and also our ‘purpose’ which is now globally being recreated.

Being present is simply the most powerful way to disengage the ego. The most powerful way to be present is to not care! Try it. You might find yourself in a panic one day and remember to ‘not care’ and immediately feel yourself liberated from the worry, immediately return to the ‘now’ where life happens, where higher purpose exists, with all the things you want, where you have to most powerful impact on everything around you. Imagine a game of chess, you are either fully in the ‘now’ and focused on strategy, or you are wasting your energy in fear of losing.

Another quick way to return to the now is to focus on ‘being success’ not ‘becoming success’. You can replace the word, ‘being present, not becoming present’ ‘being wealthy, not becoming wealthy’ You can see the simple ways the language changes.

Eric (1,819)M (@blankey) 8 years, 5 months ago ago

@alexxxwakeup, You’re always living in the now so it is sort of hard to escape it. The only way you “can” is entering the cyclical nature of your mind that deals with the past/future. Forgive the past and forget the future. Listen. Observe. Now.

Anonymous (14) (@) 8 years, 5 months ago ago

Being spontaneous and doing the opposite of what you have planned to do is a good way for living in the present, I have found. It is not good to let it overwhelm you though. Throw yourself into situations where you are forced to think sporadically and spontaneously.

I like to take very very long walks during the night. The sense of danger ends up forcing me to be alert, as the dark and cool air can send you into a sort of trance. My longest walk was a 6 hour barefoot walk in the rain. I took it from 1 until about 7 in the morning. It was very enlightening, and it really made me feel alive.

Everything drops away when you are forced to face the present.

Cosmic (79) (@cosmicd46) 8 years, 5 months ago ago


Before I started typing this reply I focused on the present. I removed my earphones, closed my laptop and sat back in my chair. I decided to concentrate on the beauty of my surroundings and so my inner voice obediently became silent. I could hear birds singing outside and cars driving in the distance. I could feel where my body touched my chair and the pressure of my hands, which were joined, on my legs. I observed the grooves on the surface of my wooden desk and the subtle patterns made by the paint on my wall (which was directly opposite me). By perceiving my surroundings with great care and focus, I connected with them. To clarify, I did not judge or label them, I simply acknowledged their existence. For me, this is what ‘being in the now’ entails.

Stephen J. Suss (0) (@sjs626) 8 years, 5 months ago ago

To elaborate on the previous post in terms of being non-judgmental–generally attempting to actively silence your thoughts arise in further cognitions (e.g.”Why am I thinking this,” “Stop thinking this,” etc.) Being told accept your thoughts no judgmentally can seem abstract or unattainable for many people as well but a simple exercise can be done to make this process more tangible. When in meditation imagine that you are your hearing you thoughts as a broadcast–detach yourself from the idea of them “being yours” and find a way to imagine that you are hearing them objectively. From this point of view there is less weight on ever word and every sentence. It’s as though your overhearing a conversation while passing by; you give it minimal attention. This is a tricky process harder some days that others, and takes practice, but in the end very much worth it.

Anonymous (149) (@) 8 years, 5 months ago ago

@alexxxwakeup, Meditate, BE AWARE. Awareness is the key. I recommend the books

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
Awareness by Anthony De Mello

BeyondThought (3) (@beyondthought) 8 years, 5 months ago ago

It is harder to explain or show than most will make it seem. You must think of where you are, what we are, what consciousness is and why you are even thinking. When you begin to question everything you start to hit bursts of what most would call “presence” and after awhile these moments become consistent and your days seem to last longer. As @misterkal said, it is almost like seeing the world as if you were a child. I do not think most of us stay in a constant state of “presence” but it is good to practice entering the state as often as possible (in my opinion).

Anonymous (78) (@) 8 years, 5 months ago ago

@beyondthought, for me what you call the “constant state” isn’t constant. It is cyclical. I have been been able to sustain the steady-state presence for long periods like months, but then I lose concentration and I slide into the dark for even longer periods. But I am becoming more confident in the cycling, the reestablishing connections and finding beauty. I remember in those periods of enlightenment finding the most simplistic beauty in the most complex spaces. Funny how those periods of presence emerge most when I stop seeking them. Perhaps my cyclical nature will spin up to become a constant. Or perhaps the cyclical nature, for me, is a constant. Either way glad to be blessed with presence in any moment.

Anonymous (149) (@) 8 years, 5 months ago ago

“Give all your attention to the question: “What is it that makes me conscious?”, until your mind becomes the question itself and cannot think of anything else”
— Nisargadatta Maharaj


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