How often do you actually live totally in the NOW?
People are not mindful, no matter what they are doing, dreaming, walking, working or whatever. When you are gardening you wish you were eating very tasty food, and when you are eating food you are thinking about garden or worrying about work and so on.
Very less people do live in the present and mindful about what is going on in their hand. So people perform most of their actions half-heartedly and with less enthusiasm. How is it possible to work properly when the attention is somewhere else?
People can experience certain time periods, everyone has that experience even for short duration, when they were fully concentrated on one activity. And when they review it, they will find that periods were joyful and happy.
You may have noticed when you do your yogic practices you sometime feel a wonderful sense of joy welling up from within you. This is particularly noticeable only when you are mentally balanced and when you perform your practices with deep awareness.
One of the reasons for this feeling of happiness and joy is that, you lived in the present for short period of time; your attention was on the NOW.
It is also same when you read an interesting book or totally absorbed yourself with an interesting activity. It is living in the present that the important point.
Living in the present is an essential part of yoga, yet it can’t be developed. After being mindful in the present moment, one starts living in the past or future again. The reason for this mental projection is mental disturbances.
Therefore, the only really effective way to live more and more in the present is to empty the mind of its hidden problems. Just to say, live in the present is easy; it can never be practiced until all mental problems are eliminated. This attitude is not only important in yoga, also integral part of all spiritual systems.
Most people are never, or at least rarely, absorbed in their actions. When they are eating, they are thinking of fantasies they had during holiday. When they are sleeping, they are not really sleeping but are caught up in the turmoil of their mind.
A person in higher awareness is totally at one with what he or she is doing at any given time; the mind is totally concentrated and not scattered in all directions.
If you are continually living elsewhere, with the mind wandering here and there, wishing you were doing something else other than what you are actually trying to do, then this is an immediate indication of underlying disturbance of your mind. The more the mind projects elsewhere, the more problems you are likely to have. So you can ask yourself the question, "How much do I really concentrate on what I'm doing, without wishing I was doing something else?" Be honest, and you can convince yourself of whether or not you have mental problems.
Why do we continually tend to relive the past, or project into the future with anticipation of events to come?
The answer is basically simple - diversion and attachment to intoxicating experiences. Because we are dissatisfied, we try to escape by re-experiencing high points of happiness in the past and by anticipating possible high experiences in the future.
Most people are in a continuous dream state. They think that they are awake, but they are in fact, sleepwalking. They are not living their life as it really is, but are creating their own hell, heaven or haven of retreat. These are only methods to escape one, and to avoid facing up to and removing one's mental problems. And until a person begins to face his problems, there will never be any real change in his dream-like existence.
So cleaning out the mind is the first step in progressively seeing life as it really is and not as you imagine. You need to be determined to face the fears and eliminate them. But the benefits you will gain in the long run are more than worth the effort, for your life will progressively undergo a miraculous transformation. Slowly but surely you will start to know what joy really means.Try to be in the present !!!