04/08/2015. PRESENT MOMENT

I have recently found a new sense of wonder in the natural world. My eyes have been opened to the current moment. Not the past, nor the possibilities of what's to come, but the present moment in which we reside in. 

I often meditate on thoughts of the past, who I've known, who I've lost, skills I've learned, skills I've lost, where I've been, where I'm going, but never did I consider where I was. I'm here, and THAT is a revelation. When do all great things take place? In the present. One could argue that the past has no existence, nor does the future. I argue that existence can be experienced within every breath, not within the previous breath, not within your next breath, only the breath you draw at this very moment. Why then do we choose to dwell on the past or long for a future that will never come? Must you relish your victories to stand upon your pedestal? Does the thought of the next thing you may acquire drive your very being? Then what?

I fear my generation, and many of those prior, has become addicted to the very drug we call materialism. Our days have become entirely dedicated to the desire to acquire that which our neighbor holds dear, only a moment. We are forever aiming at a moving target, but once we steady our nerves we realize it's us who can't remain still. Our desires drive us (mad) to work longer and harder so we can have the life we've always dreamt of, one filled with STUFF. What then? Do we remain satisfied with our stuff? No. Instead we remain on the consumerism treadmill, unable to ever reach our destination. Why do we torture ourselves with desires, never knowing their purpose?

My desires remain within a small moment. I strive to find harmony within the present instead of the present moment of ten years from now. All things have wonder, the flow of the river, the croaking of the tree frog, the return of the geese, the heartbeat, the expansion of the lungs, the capability to feel pain, the capability to feel joy, the touch of a loved one, the companion, the family, the sunrise, the sunset, the stars above, the grass below, the blowing leaves, the winter snow, the fresh water we drink, the warm food we eat, and the tender, loving experiences that can only be found within the present moment.

Man is timid and apologetic; he is no longer upright; he dares not say "I think," "I am," but quotes some saint or sage. He is ashamed before the blade of grass or the blowing rose. These roses under my window make no reference to former roses or to better ones; they are for what they are; they exist with God to-day. There is no time to them. There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence. Before a leaf bud has burst, its whole life acts; in the full-blown flower there is no more; in the leafless root there is no less. Its nature is satisfied, and it satisfies nature, in all moments alike. But man postpones or remembers; he does not live in the present, but the reverted eye laments the past, or, heedless of the riches that surround him, stands on tiptoe to foresee the future, He cannot be happy and strong until he too lives with nature in the present, above time.
Excerpt from: Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Self Reliance"

-Steve Lockhart

Currently reading: "Walden" -Henry David Thoreau