How precious is a single moment? Sitting still in my morning meditation watching myself breath, I observed within myself the desire to be finished so I can move onto the next thing. It occurred to me how much we look for the next moment instead of being fully present. Sure, there are times when we don’t want the moment to end. Yet there are many moments throughout one’s day when we are looking forward to being somewhere other than where we find ourselves. In this week’s blog I thought I would explore rushing a moment.
A moment can feel like an eternity. There are times in our lives when we feel as though time is not moving fast enough. We may be waiting for some news or event to occur, or waiting for that special vacation, just putting in time until we can leave. As children, waiting for the Christmas gifts from Santa Claus seems like an eternity, especially if there are gifts under the tree. The anticipation of the fun or excitement associated with a future event fills our thoughts. Yet, rather than being present, we are focused upon a future not yet materialized. A moment can also feel like an eternity when we have a trauma in our lives. Waiting for the news about a loved one, or for results from a doctor’s visit feels like it takes forever. We are so focused upon the future that each and every moment can seem torturously slow. What we don’t think about is that the current moment will never come again. This very moment is gone forever once over. If we are focused in the future, there are many moments we are missing between now and something yet to come. It is these moments in our life when we look back and feel as though time has passed us by.
There are moments in our life when time goes too quickly. A momentous birthday celebration has just come to an end and we feel as though we want more. The time with our friends and family has flown by, or it may be when our children move away from home. We have looked forward to this moment and yet, here it is, and we don’t want them to go – just one more day. That special vacation you were waiting for, has just come to a close and you can’t believe how fast time has passed. I suspect that is the same feeling one has at the end of one’s life. All of a sudden it is the end, there are no more moments left and it feels as though it has gone by so quickly. When we are loving what we are doing the time flies. When we are dreading or hating what we are doing the time goes so slowly. Regardless of how we feel, time is passing at the same speed. From a chronological perspective, each moment comes and goes at the same rate of time. It is simply our perception that distorts time making it feel longer or slower.
Can you be fully present with whatever you are doing? Regardless of what events are occurring in your life? Can you be fully present with each moment? When times are good, can we notice each whole and complete moment without rushing to the next? When I am sitting in my morning meditation, feeling the bliss of the moment, will I remain present in the observation of my breathing, in and out. When you have a momentous event (i.e. birthday or anniversary) in your life, how will you stay present, moment-to-moment with what is happening? It seems that with happy events, there is an element of attachment to the moment. When we have situations occur that are not so pleasant, we want to put it out of our mind. At these times, there is a desire to forget or drop the moment. Regardless of whether we are attached or dismissive of a moment, we are often not present in the current moment. It is this moment that is reality. The past is history and the future is fantasy. Here and now is all we have.
Not wanting the moment to end is death. How so? Life is ever changing and shifting. It is dynamic and unforeseeable. To hold onto the current moment would be stagnant, life would cease. If we were to put our bodies on hold, our cells would not reproduce. We would atrophy and die. Similarly, to put a moment of celebration and joy on “repeat” would cause it to be repetitive and eventually boring. Life is full of celebration and ever challenging moments. Each is equally important from the perspective of being a precious moment in one’s life.
Regardless of what kind of moment you are experiencing, it is a moment in your life. Notice that you are breathing in and out. Be aware of the feeling, texture, smell, sounds and sights of each moment. Recognize that moments come and go, both good and bad. Rainer Maria Rilke said
Let everything happen to you,
Beauty and terror,
Just keep going,
No feeling is final.
Celebrate this moment and every moment after.