Living in the present moment…

There were many times we were being asked this question, “What will you be doing when you are not teaching (yoga retreats or yoga classes)?”

I have no specific answer for that question. As I (the mind/the ego) am living in the present from moment to moment and allowing everything to flow naturally as it comes.

Ever since I practice being in the present moment until it becomes a natural way of life for me, I never think about what I “will” do “if” I am not doing what I am doing “now”.

I let go of expectations or anticipations of what is coming, nor do I have to be doing “something” when I am not doing what I am doing now…

Once someone asked me out of care and curiosity, “What are you going to do when you don’t or can’t teach yoga anymore?” I said to her, “I never think about it. I don’t have to think about it. But surely I will know what to do when that happens… One thing for sure, is that everything is impermanent…”

Our guests also liked to ask us out of care and curiosity, “What are you doing when you are not teaching?” I said to them, “I don’t know. But surely there is always something to do when we are not teaching and it is not necessarily that we have to be doing “something” all the time…”

It is not like I can only do my own practice when I am not teaching classes, as teaching classes is also part of the yoga practice…

Some people asked, “What do you do when you are not practicing yoga?” For me, there is no separation of life and yoga… Everything that the mind perceives through the senses of what it sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches and thinks, is part of the yoga practice… Whenever the mind comes in contact with the objects of the senses, there is yoga practice… Letting go of craving and aversion, being at peace not being affected, nor disturbed, nor influenced, nor determined by all the experiences that the body and the mind is experiencing from moment to moment…

There is not a single moment that I am separated from yoga. Maybe I spent a few specific hours a day doing some asana and meditation practice, but there is no difference at all when I am not doing asana and meditation practice in the other hours… I am practicing yoga when I am driving, when I am walking, when I am eating, when I am resting, when I am playing, being in the present moment, accepting the reality of the present moment now as it is, from moment to moment…

Maybe I do have other things to do other than “teaching yoga” when my body and mind is not engaging in running and teaching yoga retreats and classes, but it all depends on that present moment what it will likely to be… There were times we wanted to do something but it was not possible at that moment, and so, we had to try again some other time… There were many times that we didn’t plan to do anything special, but things happened accordingly and we ended up doing something unexpectedly… And we were enjoying every moment of it.

Ever since practicing awareness of being in the present moment, I stopped projecting or anticipating what I “will be” doing when I am not doing what I am doing “now”… Or what I “will be” experiencing, or what I “will” become… I am what I am, and every moment is changing… I don’t even need to expect myself to be better than what I am now, or be more peaceful than what I am now, or be more strong and flexible than what I am now, as I accept myself as I am in the present moment now as it is, and I allow impermanence or changes to happen, and I accept all the changes as it is from moment to moment… I am not determined by the condition of my body or the state of my mind… I do not identify with the impermanent changing good and bad qualities of the body and mind… I am what I am. I don’t have to look for peacefulness, as I am peaceful. I don’t have to get rid of suffering, as suffering doesn’t exist by knowing the truth of “suffering”. I don’t have to be good or bad, as I am neither good nor bad…

For me, “teaching yoga” is not separated from everyday life routines. It is like everything else that my body and mind might be experiencing in life from moment to moment, like seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling and thinking, it is not a “thing” that I do or don’t do. Sometimes certain experiences are there and in other time these experiences are not there. And all these experiences are impermanent, constantly changing, including “teaching yoga” or myself “practicing yoga”…

It is like, the awareness is aware of the mind is now seeing and enjoying a beautiful scenery in front of it, and of course this will change, either the mind perception or position will change, or the scenery will change even if the perception or position still the same… And the mind is being in the present, it doesn’t project what it is going to experience in the next moment when it is finished seeing and enjoying this scenery… If that is happening, it means that the mind is no longer being in the present, nor seeing or enjoying the beautiful scenery that is in front of it now, but being busy anticipating and imagining what is going to be its other “experiences” other than this one in the present moment.

And so, surely I can give any answers that I want to give, and don’t mind at all if that is not really what I want to do, or whether it will be exactly what I am going to do or not… As I know about the law of impermanence. There is nothing wrong with giving an answer about “what next” with the perception of the present moment now and what I think that is going to be, and at the same time, allowing the reality to be what it is even though it is not what we thought it could be… This way, there will be no disappointment at all when things don’t turn out the way that we would like it to be…

Whether I am “busy” with teaching yoga, or having the “free time” not teaching yoga retreats or classes, I still live life the same, and being what I am, how I am and where I am… Whether I am here or somewhere else, doing the same things or something different, I am what I am…

The point is, when we (the mind/the ego) stop project into the future and stop limiting what we should be doing and not doing, the opportunity for doing anything is so unlimited, it can be anything beyond our knowledge, imagination and expectation… Why do we limit ourselves by restricting ourselves to some fixed “ideas”, “plannings”, “schemings”, “anticipations” and “expectations”?

I am not a different person or am I doing something different whether I am being busy with teaching yoga retreats and classes, or not. Every moment, I am practicing yoga. I am teaching yoga, I am sharing yoga, whether I am teaching yoga retreats or classes, or not. Peace and compassion is not just exists in certain conditions or time and space. Peace and compassion exists everywhere and every moment. Whether towards other beings or towards my own self (this body and this mind)… Peace and compassion is here every moment…

I (the mind/the ego) don’t think or feel that I need to do something different or special when I am not teaching, nor I can do certain things only when I am not teaching. Maybe the body and the mind can only be engaged with certain activities at one time, but I am appreciating every moment that the body and mind is doing and not doing at that moment… Such like, I am not able to be in another place when I am being here. But I accept that in this present moment now, I am here and not somewhere else…

And this is yoga. This is meditation. Training the mind to be in the present moment. Accepting the reality of the present moment now as it is, not necessarily the way that we want or like it to be, or the way that we think it should be… And not attach to this present moment either as even this present moment now, is impermanent, it is changing, and we allow impermanence or changes to happen, and accept all the changes as they are, accept the reality of everything as it is… And without the identification as the doer of the actions or the enjoyer of the fruit of the actions. It is just the body and the mind experiencing all these experiences. But “I” (the observer or the witness) am aware of the body and the mind is experiencing impermanent qualities of names and forms from moment to moment, and this awareness of being the observer or the witness is not being affected nor contaminated by all these impermanent experiences…

It is not about being a superhuman that have superpower to control things or to change things to be the way that we want or like it to be…

Even the enlightened beings didn’t try to change the world… If they did, the world would be free from suffering and be in peace now…

I don’t need to be intentionally plan to teach anybody at what time and what place… But it will come into an organized time and place naturally, without expectations, if that is suppose to happen, it will happen…

Every moment, “I” observe or witness what the body and the mind is experiencing, whether it is seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling, thinking, teaching, practicing, eating, drinking, driving, cleaning, writing, reading, organizing, sleeping, walking, sitting, standing, playing, bathing, shitting, and etc… “I” am not looking forward for the body and the mind to experience something that it is not experiencing now… But “I” allow all the experiences to come naturally by itself as it is… “I” am not associate with the body and mind, nor controlling what the body and mind is experiencing from moment to moment….

Even if I (the body and the mind) have the time to go to the toilet now, but I still have to wait for the body to be ready to pee or pass motion naturally… If there is dis-functioning of the elimination system, even if I want to pee, it won’t happen…

If I planned to do something next week or next month, bought a ticket to go somewhere, but if there is some changes in the present moment now that the plan needs to be changed, I allow that change to be what it is according to the present moment now. Maybe it will change back into the original plan or change into something else or it won’t happen at all… I just let it be…

Maybe in certain moments my body and my mind is engaged in certain activities, and in some other moments there are no activities at all, but there is no differences whether my body and mind is being busy with many activities or being free without any activities… I appreciate when there are activities as well as when there are no activities. I don’t have to be “doing” something when I am free, and I am not looking forward to be free by not doing anything when I am busy…

I don’t complain when I am busy nor when I am not busy…

I don’t need to wait until holidays to enjoy my life nor I cannot enjoy life without having any holidays… I don’t need to do something special or go somewhere special to enjoy life… Everything that I do or don’t do, wherever I am or am not, I enjoy every moment of it…

I am content and at peace wherever I am and whatever I am doing and not doing.

Maybe in this present moment now, I might need to organize some activities for the upcoming retreats. But that “action” of organizing something for the upcoming retreats, is in the present moment now… I am still living in the present moment, from moment to moment.

If my mind starts to think about “What I am going to do next if I am not doing what I am doing now”, then my mind will be projecting into the future, imagining and anticipating what I shall be doing or not doing in the next moment… The mind is wandering to the future projecting “things” or “actions” that don’t exist at all. If I have no awareness of what is happening, and if I identified with the thinking process in the mind, then I am no longer being in the present moment anymore. I will be lost in the projections, imaginations and anticipations of something that is not existing at all.

It is the same when our mind is thinking about something that had happened in the past… If I identified with the thinking process in the mind, I am no longer being in the present moment, but I am lost in the past memories, and continue being affected, influenced, disturbed or determined by something that had happened in the past but doesn’t exist in the present moment now… For example I might be thinking about somebody’s hurtful actions in the past, and start to feel angry and upset for that past experience that doesn’t exist in the present moment now, and making myself miserable and unpeaceful in the present moment… Merely wasting energy drowning ourselves in past experiences or memories…

That’s why if we (the mind/the ego) are able to live in the present moment now, nothing can continue to upset us or make us unhappy. It is our own responsibility if we allow the past memories or experiences to continue to affect us, disturb us, influence us or determine us…

By having the awareness that is being aware of the mind is wandering to the future, projecting, imagining and anticipating about this and that, that awareness is in the very present moment. This awareness is different from the thinking process. It is observing or witnessing the thinking process… It is observing or witnessing the mind is thinking about something in the past or the future. The objects of the thinking process might be something coming from the past or the future, but, this awareness of being aware of the mind is thinking about something in the past or the future, it is not in the past nor in the future, it is in the very present moment now. Unless I haven’t developed or connected with this awareness yet, then I am not being in the present moment whenever my mind starts projecting into the next moment, being in the future, or has gone to the past memories, being in the past… Constantly being determined, affected, disturbed or influenced by something that doesn’t exist in the present moment now, and full of fear and worry…

Living in the present moment, I am allowing everything to be existing and non-existing whether it is something that my mind agrees or disagrees with, likes or doesn’t like. I am allowing everything to come and go naturally…

Just like watching the sky, allowing all the changes in the sky to happen from moment to moment, without craving or aversion towards something that is not existing in the present moment, nor clinging or aversion towards something that is existing in the present moment. If it is sunny, let it be sunny… If it is cloudy, let it be cloudy… If it is rainy, let it be rainy… And not try to control or change sunny day to be cloudy day, nor change rainy day to be sunny day… As we (the mind/the ego) are never satisfied with what it is… We are always looking for something that is different from what it is…

I stop saying to people, “How did you feel?”, “How was the class?”, “This will be what you are going to become…”, “This will be how you are going to experience and feel…”, “This will be where you are going to be…” but in most conversations, I am more likely to say, “This is what we are doing now…”, “This is how we are now…”, “This is where we are now…”.

Just take a look at our usual conversations with anybody that we come in contact with. Except for the first universal greeting sentence, “How are you?” which is being in the present, and the rest of the conversations are about the past or the future…

It seems like our mind is being conditioned by what the world has been “teaching” us. Whether it is to show interests or care towards other people, or mainly being busybody, it has became a social interaction, politeness or culture to ask anybody about “What have been happening to you, what have you done, where have you been, how did you feel, how and where did both of you meet, when did you start practicing yoga, when did you start teaching yoga, or what you are going to do, where you are going to, what you are going to become in the future, what is your future planning… and etc”, to show that “I care about you”, “I want to know about you”, or else if we don’t ask these questions when we meet somebody, it is being perceived as “impoliteness or rude or unfriendly or insociable” or “I don’t care about you”, “I don’t want to know about you”…

But all these conversations are nothing but talking about the past or the future, empowering the past experiences or memories which are not the reality of the present moment now, clinging onto the past experiences, and projecting, imagining and anticipating about the future, which they both don’t exist at all in the present moment. There is not a moment that we are being in the present moment, enjoying what is here in the present moment… The action of the conversation is in the present moment, but the subjects of the conversations are always from the past or the future… And the more we involve with such conversations, the harder it is for us to be in the present moment, to be free from anxiety, fear and worry that arise when the mind wanders to the past memories and future projections, anticipations and imaginations…

It seems like there is nothing to talk about without talking about the past and the future… That’s why silence is the ultimate truth… Meditation is the mind entering silence. There is no past, no future, no dualities, no perception of names and forms…

If we had a strong heated conversation in the day, then at night when we want to take rest, all the contents of the conversation will bubble up on the surface of the mind making the mind restless and difficult to fall asleep…

Thank you for those who care and ask us this question as this inspires me to reflect upon the teaching about “living in the present moment”… And share this blog post with you who are reading this now.

In most time, there is nothing more to say, just being in the present moment… Whatever we are seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching and thinking are just being what they are… There is no judgment, no comparison, no expectation, no craving, no aversion… Peace in ourselves and peace to all…

This might seems to be “anti-socialism” in the eyes or the perception of the society, but take a look at the truth in most conversations, which mostly generating most of the restlessness, misunderstanding, complications, gossips, slandering, criticisms, judgments, comparisons, expectations, exploitations, disappointment, anxiety, fear, worry, depression, anger, agitation, hatred, jealousy, back-bitting, and etc…”

Speak less if possible, conserving energy for contemplating upon the truth and higher realization… If we need to speak, may it be speech that leads towards the truth, peace and harmony. Even though most of the time, truthfulness is not welcome, and the truth is not something that our mind or ego can agree with, nor something that our mind or ego likes and wants it to be…

Sometimes we are exhausting ourselves by engaging in too many activities that we think we should be doing for the sake of yoga, humanity or compassion. But by the end of the day, we are exhausted by too much worldly activities and neglecting our own over-all well-being… Even Buddha also would have his own time, not going out on the street to spread Dharma all the time, not meeting anyone, not talking, not performing any worldly activities or so called duties and responsibilities, and take rest… Even Guruji also will have time to play and rest… Who says playing and resting is not part of yoga and meditation practice? Being present while playing, being present while resting… Those who don’t know about this, they are always “doing” something to keep themselves busy, but not necessarily being in the present…

Again, this practice of living in the present moment (non-attachment, letting go of the past and the future) is only an advice for those who are sincerely in search for peace… Anybody can do what they want to do, say what they like to say and be happy with the way that they are…

Be happy.

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