Priceless Wisdom: Present Moment and Negative Emotions
A senior monk and a junior monk were traveling together. At one point, they came to a river with a strong current. As the monks were preparing to cross the river, they saw a very young and beautiful woman also attempting to cross. The young woman asked if they could help her cross to the other side.
The two monks glanced at one another because they had taken vows not to touch a woman.
Then, without a word, the older monk picked up the woman, carried her across the river, placed her gently on the other side, and carried on his journey.
The younger monk couldn’t believe what had just happened. After rejoining his companion, he was speechless, and an hour passed without a word between them.
Two more hours passed, then three, finally the younger monk could contain himself any longer, and blurted out “As monks, we are not permitted a woman, how could you then carry that woman on your shoulders?”
The older monk looked at him and replied,
“Brother, I set her down on the other side of the river, why are you still carrying her?”
Explanation Of The Wisdom
How often do you carry the “past”?
Just like how this monk stopped carrying the woman, you can stop carrying your regrets, guilts and all past experiences.
How often do you carry the “future”?
You can stop future framing, needless planning, anxieties and stress simply by stop carrying the future.
Can you see how pointless this is?
Past has already happened and you can’t do nothing about it.
Future has yet to happen and you can’t do nothing about it.
Right this moment, however, is something you can do something about.
What does this mean for you?
Look at your negative emotions and see how all of them are related to either the past or the future.
Anger — Stuck in the past
Depression — Stuck in the past
Anxiety — Stuck in the future
Boredom — Stuck in the either the past of the future
Dissatisfaction — Stuck in the either the past of the future
Unhappiness — Stuck in the either the past of the future
Feeling of Shyness — Stuck in the future
Feeling of Deficiency — Stuck in the future
Neediness — Stuck in the future
Unnecessary psychological and physical tension — Stuck in the future or the past
Insecurities of all sorts – Stuck in the future
Obsessions of all sorts — Stuck in the future
Anticipation – Stuck in the future
Desire — Stuck in the future
Hatred — Stuck in the past
Fear of all forms (including the fear of death) — Stuck in the future
Can you see how all of these negative emotions and states you feel in your life is result of not being present?
Can you see how all these states are a result of obsessing over either the past or the future?
Your ego seems to cover almost all your life, except the present moment.
Here is how you focus on the present moment.
- Are you aware of your breath going in and going out?
- Are you aware of many different bodily sensations going on right as you are reading this?
- Are you aware of the unconscious tension you retain on your shoulders?
- Are you aware how, in this moment, there are no problems? How everything is-as-is and peaceful?
- Are you aware everytime thinking interrupts the present moment stillness and starts obsessing over the past or the future?
- Can you catch yourself forgetting to be present and then direct your attention back to the breath?
If your answer to these questions is “No” then you are NOT PRESENT.
You are living either in concepts or in fairy land. Not in reality.
But don’t worry, this is a skill you can acquire.
To deepen your presence, you must meditate and self enquire. In essence, you must start living from the present moment. This requires concentration, awareness and mindfulness skills.
There is only one way to put this wisdom into practical living: start a daily meditation practice and start an investigation towards enlightenment.
Theory, debates, reading, listening, talking, arguing and knowledge will only get you so far.
You must “walk the talk”.
If in doubt, remember the priceless wisdom.
“Meditate on the breath (mindfulness meditation to build concentration and awareness skills) and then self-enquire (the teachings of Ramana Maharshi) until you are free of all psychological sufferings and ego. (aka enlightenment)
Do this everyday and trust in the process that eventually your mind will be healed.
Because all good things require training and patience.
Know that as long as you do the work, the results will eventually follow.”
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