This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are. ~Pema Chodron
“This very moment…”
There really is nothing else except now. The past and the future are unchangeable and uncontrollable. Living in the moment takes effort and requires clear thinking (something I’ve admitted is quite difficult for me). Breaking my life down into moment by moment living has proven to be important to my overall mental health and growth. On one hand it’s very “ZEN” and on the other it’s very “RECOVERY”. It took me going through the “recovery” part via Al-Anon support groups to get to the “Zen” part. It’s a philosophy of life that I am constantly in need of learning.
“…is the perfect teacher…”
We don’t have to look far to learn what we need to learn about ourselves. This moment is perfect to teach us what we need to know. Not “kind of perfect”, but “perfect” as in “dead-on”. This moment always teaches me the right thing if I allow it to do so. Right now, I am writing a blog post. As I write, thoughts flutter through my mind of things I need to do, should be doing or want to be doing later. Those thoughts tell me a lot about who I am, what I want, what I value, what I want others to think and so on and so on. They teach me.
I get an email from someone and it upsets me and then I have a choice of how to respond. We can respond habitually as we always have in moments like this or we can slow down and try another way. The habitual way I usually respond leads to pain or turmoil, so maybe I should be open to a new approach (or better yet, no approach at all). Letting go and not doing anything can be as powerful as trying to control the situation or the other person. This moment has taught me something new.
It’s all really very simple. Each moment of our lives has something perfect to teach us. We don’t need to look elsewhere.
“…and lucky for us, it is with us wherever we are.”
I feel very fortunate to have broken free from the ingrained teachings and habits of my past. If I get hooked into looking back at the past or too far into the future I am robbing myself of what this very moment wants to teach me. Dwelling on the past can hold me back or keep me from moving forward. Making plans for the future can create stress or fear as I try to control unknown outcomes.
I am living in the moment. For me, it’s the best way to live.
Originally written Jan 2011.