IN THE MOMENT(UM)
Its one of those throw-away phrases that populate wellness, New Age and alt-health conversations. We need to be “in the moment”. As if we could somehow disconnect ourselves from the flow of time and inhabit some kind of ever-calm, ever-stress-free space of Now. Although many mindfulness teachers continue to offer up this gratuitous phrase, it has little or no meaning in the cultivation of mindful living.
It hardly needs saying, but this moment only exists and holds value in that it is an abstraction of the flow of our lives. In Buddhist psychology there is the term “nen-moment” which points to a finite number of discreet experiences which exist in a given temporal ‘moment’. Nevertheless, even nen-moments refer to distinctions in the flow of experience, not that any moment could have independent existence. What matters is our capacity to observe deeper and deeper detail in our experience, to recognize patterns and to avoid being reactive to what occurs.
What is more important than trying to hide out in some imaginary space of Now is that we attend to and recognize the momentum of our lives. Nothing about our lives arises out of nothing. If we are to benefit from mindfulness practice, even in its most psychological versions, we are encouraged to recognize patterns of thought, behaviour and action. This means we need to recognize the momentum of our lives, to see what has arisen in our experience and how we have tended to react to it. Although change is the form of our lives, we do not initiate it. We can sail within the current of change and, to do so, we need to recognize the momentum of that current. Our task is not to change anything but to recognize this current and direct our actions in the direction which is purposeful for us. We work with the current never independent of it. Let our aspiration be to “live in the moment(um)”.
yours, on purpose,