Accepting the Present Moment

I’ve been told a million times to live in the present moment, but I just discovered a new piece of this idea. To live in the present moment, I need to accept the present moment. If I don’t accept things the way they are, that means that my mind wants something different than what is currently present. My mind will start searching the present or the future for this more pleasant state and I will instantly be lost from the present moment.

I used to think this statement was just about focus and concentration. By practicing Anapana I would improve my focus and concentration so I could will my mind to stay in the present. The extra step is that concentration can help me face the challenges of the present moment, but to live in the present, I must accept everything about the present.

I must accept my physical traits and mental traits. I must accept my physical surrounding, whether I live in a mansion or in the slums. And finally, I must accept the people in my life as they are in this moment with no expectation for their future. I must accept all of the past and present choices of my family, friends, and peers. I need to see people for who they truly are.

By accepting the present, I’m not throwing away the ability to make choices. I have the ability to invest time and energy into things that feel productive and beneficial. The most important thing I’m going to invest in is growing in Dhamma so I can accept the present moment. Time to meditate.

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About Ryan Shelton

While I'm currently married to a beautiful woman while teaching physics at Padua Academy, these descriptors fail to capture the totality of my adventurous life. I have hiked over 1700 miles, traveled to 5 continents, managed a bakery, started a meditation center, counseled troubled teens, attended Duke, UNC, and Harvard, protected forests as a wildland firefighter, volunteered thousands of hours with Americorps, rafted the Grand Canyon, SCUBA dived on the Great Barrier Reef, and continues to find new adventures. I hope my writing encourages you to pursue your dreams and be the best version of yourself while supporting your communities to work together to solve the current challenges in our world.

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