The Present Moment
A Japanese warrior was captured by his enemies and thrown into prison. That night he was unable to sleep because he feared that the next day he would be interrogated, tortured and executed.
Then the words of his Zen master came to him,
"Tomorrow is not real. It is an illusion. The only reality is now."
Heeding these words, the warrior became peaceful and fell asleep.
When I worry too much, I open one narrow and limited tunnel of my fearful thoughts. It is like a never-ending rehearsal of thoughts, mental images, unpleasant feelings and unwanted results with no real connection to the facts, objectivity and understanding. If I constantly feed my mind this way, then my rehearsal of worry will reach the main stage ̶ my reality. I won’t be the central character in this play, so-called reality, but my worry will be for sure.
So, how can I stop worrying and start living? Does this path of worry seem familiar to you?
How to Stop Worrying About Everything by Shifting into Pure Consciousness
For most of us, the idea of events happening in the linear concept of time in the past, present or future has existed for very long in our perception of reality. However, there are other concepts of time, but as we're not familiar with them, we often find ourselves dwelling on the past and worrying about the future. We become exhausted from our mind spinning on a hamster wheel and... doing nothing useful at all.
Wouldn't it be great if we were able to quickly find a way to relax and stop worrying, the next time it hits? I've got one for you and it's super powerful!
Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Breathe in and out deeply and slowly for a few moments. Then, be aware of the thoughts, feelings, images or some other sensations that come to you. Observe them as they are. Let them come and go. After that, ask yourself:
What shape will my next thought be?
While you are waiting for the answer to come, be aware of a short pause between the question and the next thought. Repeat the question again. Be alert. You will find the space of the greatest potential, the growing gap with no thoughts at all, that some call universal, or pure consciousness! Other questions you can try:
- Who’s observing this thought/feeling/image?
- What will my next thought/feeling/image sound like?
- Where will my next thought/feeling/image/sensation come from?
These questions probably seem absurd and paradoxical, but they are not supposed to serve your logical and ego mind anyway, so try not to think whether they do or don't make sense, just try and ask them.
Let's see what happens when you ask the first one: What shape will my next thought be?
You don’t know what shape your next thought will be. In fact, there is no next thought. The future doesn’t exist. There are no fears and worries. Those are the tricks of your ego mind. The true serenity and harmony are in the present moment.
As you continue to practice more, it will be easier for you to be aware of the gap between your thoughts. You will be aware of the gap even with your eyes fully open! The more you are in the present moment, the more fulfillment you will experience. You will start living your life in a conscious way with more peace and joy and less stress.
The more you work on yourself, the more you will notice the difference between rational and irrational fears, real concerns and useless worries and many other things. You will notice that the gap also exists between the moments of stopping worrying and starting living and that the positive imagination, effort, commitment and action will flourish in the present moments of your conscious living. Start blooming now!