One of the ego’s tricks to steal mindfulness involves the use of a phenomenon called psychological time. This is the paradox of thinking that causes our attention to focus either on things that happened at some point in the past, or on things that might happen at some point in the future. This is such a common occurrence in human existence that few think twice about it. We frequently go through entire days thinking of nothing but the past and the future, pausing in the present moment only when absolutely necessary for the rudimentary functions of living.
The paradox comes from the fact that there is only ever the present moment. The present moment is the only “real” thing in our lives, ever. Our brains store images of things that pass before us during the present moment, and these memories are what we re-enact and re-create in our psychological space when we ruminate on past events. Likewise, the future is also a figment of our imagination, as nothing will ever happen “in the future” – it will happen in the present moment. It’s a difficult concept to wrap our minds around, which is why most of us never recognize that this phenomenon is occurring. But dwelling mentally on the past and the future, which are both creations of the mind, robs us of the richness of the present moment.
Because there are no problems in the present moment. The present moment may contain a life-or-death situation, but if that is the case, we’ll react accordingly, and the outcome will take care of itself one way or the other. But no matter what, there are no problems in life in the present moment.
It may be tempting to say, “but I can’t make my mortgage payments and I may face foreclosure and my son is having problems in school.” Those are part of your life situation, which is a mental construct. But your life at this moment consists of drawing breath, experiencing the sensations that your senses bring to your consciousness, and living through the trillions of interactions taking place within your body at any given nanosecond. If the conditions you’re experiencing right now in this moment were to go on forever, at some point that may become a life-or-death situation, but for right now, just for this moment, there are no problems.
What this implies is that all problems are mental artifacts. This means that if we stop creating problems for ourselves, we can choose to experience peace, abundance, joy, and freedom. Just for right now. Only this moment. There is only one thing to be doing right now, and you’re probably doing it. Revel in it. Enjoy it. Live to the fullest. Don’t allow your mind to trick you into missing the extreme beauty of this moment right now.
This guided meditation for relaxation takes you through a series of guided imagery exercises designed to help you peacefully turn your attention away from your mind-created past, and return your focus from your mind-created future, and living fully, happily, joyfully, and peacefully in this present moment.