Power in the Present Moment, by Merina Arjumand
Living life in modern society is, for many people, a stressful, busy, or dull existence. As I travel across the country, people have shared with me their frustrations about the day-to-day grind that they find themselves in. A few friends have admitted that their lives are now filled with so much worry, sadness and grief about world events that they feel completely overwhelmed.
Where is the joy in a life full of worry about the future and frustration about the past? This is how I was living a few years ago. I had a near-death experience when I was younger, and now experienced another brush with death that transformed my life and taught me about the beauty and power of the present moment.
Every moment became precious. I noticed thousands of things that before had gone unnoticed. “Why was I in such a hurry?” I wondered. As the days passed in my reborn life, I realized that my brush with death had shifted me into fully living in the present moment. Watching my children, who instinctively live in the moment, reminded me that this is the natural way of being.
Life became an intensely enjoyable ride, even though life challenges still existed for me. At the same time, friends and acquaintances continued to speak of their current life as a dreary existence. They wondered why I was so happy even in difficult situations. “What do you do differently?” they would ask. At first, there were no words to describe my transformation.
As my interest in spirituality grew into a passionate drive, I began to research spiritual and cultural traditions around the world. Answers revealed themselves in the ancient wisdom that is a common thread throughout all of the spiritual paths.
Here are some of the ancient teachings about staying centered in the power of this present moment and this day:
One of my favorite quotes inscribed near the Taj Mahal and thought to be written by Shah Jahan is "If on earth there be a paradise of bliss, it is this, it is this, it is this!"
The Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaton reminds us, “Don’t labor after riches first and think that afterwards you will enjoy them. If you neglect the present moment, you throw away all that you have.”
Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, “Anyone can carry his burden, however hard, until nightfall. Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, until the sun goes down. And this is all that life really means.”
Here is a Sanskrit verse about living in the present. “Each today, well-lived, makes yesterday a dream of happiness and each tomorrow a vision of hope. Look, therefore, to this one day, for it and it alone is life.”
I found that if I focused on what I was experiencing through my physical senses, I could easily stay in the power of the present moment. My list of favorite delights for each of the senses looks like this:
Sight sparkling eyes, forests, mountains, beaches, flowers, ancient structures, candlelight, artwork, simple luxuries, children, people from many cultures, animals in the wild, dolphins, whales, smiles from anyone, the face of a loved one
Sound laughter, giggles, world music, drumming circles, baby sounds, rushing water, wonderful voices, chimes, angel whispers, wind in the trees
Touch hugs, kisses, making love, crystals, stones, velvet, silk, lace, polished wood, flower petals, massages, polished marble, soft rayon, silver, soft linen, gold, soft cotton, hugging trees
Taste pure water, coffee with French vanilla and soy cream, chai with cinnamon, sea salt, fresh fruit, almonds, dates
Fragrance roses, carnations, jasmine, clove, lilac, cinnamon, gardenia, sandalwood, aromatherapy essential oils, wood burning fire, freshly baked bread, spicy chai, aromatic coffee
Find a pen and piece of paper and play with creating a list for yourself. What are your favorite things to experience? Now that you’ve started your list, you can bring your favorite sensual delights into your daily experience. Go on a playful hunt for treasures to bring into your home, heart and life. Soon, you will find that your life on earth is full of treasures, blissful moments and wonderful memories. Pampering yourself and your loved ones can be a very enjoyable pastime to weave into your routine. Figure out new ways to do this. Create treasure hunts for the people that are dearest to you. (Check out some suggestions in our Bookstore and Giftshop.)
How can we live a satisfying life in the midst of rapid change? Stay focused on your experience in this moment. Feel your connection and oneness with the infinite field of Consciousness and Unconditional Love. As you practice this, you will sense the unchanging essence of your spirit and live a life filled with power to do whatever is before you. Your unfolding creation will be a transformational life full of compassion, healing and peace.
Blessings for your journey, Merina Arjumand