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» Home » Illumination5 Practices For Being Present (+ One Major Pitfall to Avoid)

Article by Aletheia Luna from Loner Wolf

Copyright © 2012 - 2022

Let’s be honest here, being present in the moment sounds good in theory … but in practice, we suck at it 99.9% of the time.

How many times have you found yourself making all these fancy mental plans of “being as present as you possibly can” and imagining yourself as a Zen-master-to-be or advanced yogi in the making … and then a few minutes later you’re crunching down a packet of Doritos and staring vacantly at the Instagram stream on your phone?

Can you relate to this frustrating phenomenon?

Since interest in meditation and mindfulness blossomed in the 1990s there has been endless talk about the importance of “being in the present moment,” practicing mindfulness diligently, and meditating every day.

It seems like everywhere we look in the realm of wellness, self-help, and spirituality, being present is glorified as the highest of virtues. And I have nothing against that because it’s true. Being present is really the only sane way to live life.

But there’s one sticky issue that I’ll cover in this article, along with some down-to-earth advice for how to be more present each day.

What Does ‘Being Present’ Mean?

Being present simply means inhabiting this moment without getting lost in thoughts about the past or the future. When we’re being present, we’re vividly awake and conscious of what is going on in the here-now.

A definition of being present often used is quoted from professor and founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Jon Kabat Zinn, who defines the present moment (or mindfulness) as:

… paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally.

The Power of Presence: Why it’s the Solution to Nearly Everything

With popular books like ‘Be Here Now’ by guru Ram Dass published in the 1970s and ‘The Power of Now’ published in the 2000s by spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle, most of us on the spiritual path are aware of the power of being present.

We can recognize that when we’re fully living in the here and now, we’re not suffering as much from the baggage of the past or future anxieties.

Being present helps us to tend to our needs, be more thoughtful and empathetic with others, make wiser and more conscious choices, listen to our Soul’s deeper impulses, slow down and appreciate life, and experience states of joy, awe, and peace.

Furthermore, when we’re present and are truly ensouled in the here-now, we’re also less identified with the fragmented and contracted sense of self that we call “ego.”

The ego or sense of “me” – which is essentially just a conditioned habit of thought that is changeable, permeable, and ultimately illusory – dissolves when we’re in the present.