Why the present moment is so significant

<— — — past — — — | — — — future — — — >

In mindfulness meditation, you want to bring your attention away from memories of the past or imaginings of the future, and hold it steady on experience as it is streaming right now in the present moment.

Why?

Two reasons.

  1. Because the present is simple and easy. The events in the past and future you’re ruminating on are not. They’re complex, and they stress you out. The present moment just is as it is. So if you bring your attention out of the past/future, and into the present, you can allow your mind to come into a more relaxed mood.
  2. Because you’re learning to operate your nervous system. To do that, you have to watch it operate. Its operation occurs in the present moment. Actions you can take occur within the present moment, and have effects in the present moment. As a product of your culture, you spend too much time thinking about the past/future and not enough time observing the present. In mindfulness meditation you will intentionally compensate for that. In so doing you will increase in wisdom regarding the operation of your nervous system.

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