So much is written about setting goals, laying a plan for those reaching those goals, visualizing yourself in the role of achieving those goals, that I feel wonder when I find people who just see, think, do with great success and power.
The Power of the Present Moment
There is a scene in the movie “Good Will Hunting” where a Harvard student asks a gifted blue-collar worker named Will how he is able to work math problems that are very difficult or even impossible for the brilliant people she knows at Harvard. Will explains that he does not know how he is able to do what he does. He tries to explain that when Beethoven sat down at the piano, he just played. Will explains that all he can say is that he just plays.
Religion (Eastern & Western) is, of course, have practices. One of the most overlooked aspects of religious practices is the power that religion can give people to clear their mind and be in the present moment.
Mental health professionals work with people to help them reach mental clarity and emotional peace. In those moments of clarity, people think at a higher level than they think when they are rehashing the past or ruminating on the future or even when they are in the present moment but are emotionally distracted. Some of these professionals use various forms of meditation in their practice.
A simple example of how thoughts can flow through your mind is what you may experience by working the following equation. If your mind is in the present moment, you will not be so much be thinking as simply being in a mental flow as you read this equation: if a=1 and b=1, then a + b = 2.
Now as you read on, the mental flow continues in the present moment.
Prayers or mantras, especially through repetition, can do something interesting in that they can return a person’s mind to the present moment. Neurologists can no doubt explain the process that is at work in mental centering through prayer or meditation. What seems to happen is that the process of repeating a familiar phrase can take thoughts and kind of usher them on down the road so that a person can move on to the next thought. If you do not have a prayer or a mantra, simply repeating any meaningless two-syllable phrase seems to work for some people.
The experience of being in the present moment, in that mental flow, is pleasant and is healthy. I once heard a person say that they are always in the present moment, that they just sometimes forget that they are. So here is to the Power of the Present Moment, the only moment I have ever had, and to playing for better thinking.