This is a subject upon which much has already been written and most people think they understand. However, as it will help with meditation, it is worth exploring and implementing into one’s life.
In one sense it is impossible not to be in the moment. You are either aware of what you are doing in the present, aware of thoughts pertaining to the past or conscious of projections into the future. What is really meant by the phrase is similar to the concept of meditation, defined as “prolonged concentration on one point of focus”. Being in the moment therefore, is to be able to concentrate for extensive periods of time on one topic or event. This event can be taking place at the time of focus or be a series of thoughts about the past or future. The important thing is that you do not keep jumping from one train of thought to another. This tends to happen when stressed, when your deliberations constantly run round and round in circles, often reaching no tangible conclusions.
What is required is a discipline: to be able to choose a particular task or topic and then focus entirely on that alone, until a result or conclusion is reached. At this point stress levels will diminish and you are free to move on and mentally cross the previous topic off your list. This is an extremely efficient way to live and frees up much time, enabling you to be much more spontaneous. If we can clear our “in tray” so to speak, we are ready to tackle the next assignment straight away. The baggage we then carry is always kept to a minimum and we are free and able to engage with the present.
When you sit to meditate, your mind will then be open to concentrate on your breath, mantra or after Initiation on the Light and Sound. You will not be sat there making a list of things you must do and worrying about when and how to do them.
The above advice is easy to give but can be difficult to implement. Start by taking a single task and seeing it through to the end, for example; when the post arrives, sort it immediately and act upon everything straight away (assuming that is possible).When doing something practical, no matter how mundane, try to concentrate on the task in hand and not drift into other trains of thought. You will find you will accomplish the task better, in less time and surprisingly may even enjoy it! In some ways it is like returning to being a child again, when everything around you was fresh and exciting.
By practising this approach, you will begin to reap rewards in the world, by developing better time management, reducing your stress levels and as a result enjoying much deeper, fulfilling and focussed meditations.