The reality of your life is always now. And I think that this is a liberating truth about the nature of the Human mind. In fact, I think, there is probably nothing more important to understand about your mind, than that, if you want to be happy in this World.
The past is a memory; it is a thought arising in the present. The future is merely anticipated; it is another thought arising now. What we truly have is this moment. And this. And we spend most of our lives forgetting this truth, refuting it, fleeing it, overlooking it.
And the horror is that we succeed. We manage to never really connect with the present moment and find fulfilment there, because we are continually hopping to become happy in the future. And the future never arrives.
Even when we think we are in the present moment, we are, in very subtle ways, always looking over its shoulder, anticipating what is coming next. We are always solving a problem. And it is possible to simply drop your problem, if only for a moment. And enjoy whatever is true of your life in the present.
Whatever you can possibly notice – in your body, in your mind, in the World – has only one place to appear: in your conscious experience.
Now I Am not saying this is all just a dream, but as a neurological matter it is very much like a dream. It is a dream that is constrained by inputs from the external World. And the dreams we call dreams at night are dreams that are not constrained by the external World – and that is why you seem to be able to get away with everything.
But your mind is all you have. It Is all you have ever had. It is all you have to offer other people. And this might sound calloused to say when there are maybe many other aspects of your life that seem in need of being addressed … But it is still true. If you are perpetually angry and depressed and confused and unloving, it does not matter how much success you have or who is in your life, you are not going to enjoy any of it.
I suspect you could all make a list of things you want to accomplish – of things that really need to be changed about your life. What is the significance of everything on that list? Each thing on that list seems to promise that if you could only do it, you would have reason to just be happy in the present moment. We are all trying to find a path back to the present moment, and good enough reason to just be happy here …