(See end of this post for some ideas about how to practice relating to the past in a constructive way.)
It can be supremely difficult sometimes to aim myself back into the present moment. To do so, again and again, from moment to moment, day after day, requires a kind of superhuman act of courage and trust, and it requires constant, vigilant practice.
But, I know at heart that this is essential if I want to live in peace.
Some ideas for putting this into practice:
- Think of a memory you have.
- How do you react to it?
- Do you notice any tightening in your body, or constriction of your breath?
- Do any emotions come up? Feelings? More thoughts?
- Are you judging this memory, labeling it as positive, negative, good, bad, or neutral?
- Are you getting sucked into thinking about it more?
- Are you fighting it, fleeing from it, freezing, or clinging to it with attachment?
- Does your response to the memory tend to pull you down or send you up?
- Can you choose to let go of that memory and bring yourself back to the present moment?
- Bring your awareness to your surroundings: sights, sounds, smells...
- Become aware of the objects you are in contact with.
- Choose to let go of the memory and put your energy into knowing yourself in relation to the present moment.
- "I release myself from the past." "I give up the past." "I am saying NO to my reactions to these thoughts."
- "I am here, now, being myself in the present moment."