Roll-call arrives and a list of names is read out. The response? ‘Present!’ Only when you are aware of the call of the here and now can you say that you are present. It’s impossible to be in the here and now if you are thinking about the disappointments of yesterday or the expectations of tomorrow.
So, how do you check that you are present?
It’s all about being mindful of what is happening around you at every moment. Checking in this way is actually an interesting experiment to carry out because it so easy to get stuck in an enjoyable experience and attempt to kidnap that experience and carry it forward into the next second, and then the next one.
This makes me wonder whether it is okay to carry happiness forward. Sometimes, a situation can raise a feeling of happiness in my mind, and this feeling lingers after the moment has passed. Am I clinging on to the past in these circumstances? I don’t think so because I believe that my aim should be to maintain my happiness at all times – like a string on which the beads of individual events are threaded. If I can maintain my happiness in all moments – even the ones that might have the potential to cause me sorrow, then the happiness becomes much stronger and clearer.
As I write this, I become aware that across the aisle from me on this train, a couple are speaking. From their conversation and accents, I can tell that they are Italian, yet they are speaking in English. The girl pulls out a book from her bag – the title is ‘English Grammar’ and it occurs to me that I could benefit, as a writer, from reading a similar book. I make a mental note to visit my local library soon.
Through all of this, I am aware of an undercurrent of happiness in my mind. The events came and went and yet the feeling of happiness still remained. I think that this feels right.
My present moment is … I don’t know – I’m feeling it now as my fingers meander across this keyboard and yet it’s not so easy to put it down in words. It’s just … it’s just what it is – from moment to moment. It’s just me experiencing what is. It’s just me being me – and me feels good.
How does the present moment feel for you?