Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment, Buddha
There are three things which rule our lives; desires, fears of all types and, regrets for mistakes, missed opportunities and decisions that just went wrong.
A life lived without hesitation and doubt is a very free and happy life, as well as rare. This is a life worthy of striving towards. These three tyrants will be exposed in this article as what prevents a person from living a free and happy life.
Our greatest strength is to know our weakness.
In knowing what prevents us from having the life we would like to live, we have found a cause and thus a direction of what action to take in order to correct our limitations.
I suggest you put in some effort to carefully examine and thus prove my thesis to yourself so that it is not merely intellectual but rather, an emotional truth.
Any time you hesitate or feel insecure in any way, you will find that it is one of the topics in the title which controls you at that moment. The possibility of recurrence of some past event, or rather getting the same results of a past event, makes you second guess your initial intuition and thus opportunities pass you by.
We can work on correcting this defect in two ways, first in the field, day to day as events come up, and secondly through time alone in meditation. The first is obvious, at a time of decision in which you are reluctant for any reason, look for the identification to the past event and overcome the habitual behavior in your response. This is a very difficult method of correction, although certainly good to work on.
The second method, meditation, is one that anyone can do and although not an instant cure, it provides a definite respite from the constant background noise of negative thoughts that rule our lives.
There are many types of meditations but first let me clarify the basics. Meditation is training the mind to stay focused, that is the essence of what it is about. There are also many visualizations that are referred to as meditations, since meditation is a mental process of using the mind. I believe it is important to know the subtle difference so that you get the most benefit.
As I mentioned, meditation is a mental exercise to train the mind, visualizations are a specific experience one wishes to work on for reasons relative to the particular visualization. The reason it is important to know the difference is because in order to have the most effective and powerful visualization experiences, you need a strong mind, which requires meditation practice to develop.
Without the foundation of a strong mind, your visualization practice will turn out to be random imagination rather than staying focused on the specific topic. The problem is that if you think you are doing a good visualization and are really just day dreaming, you are not going to get the desired results.
And so we begin with meditation practice to train the mind. Commit to sit quietly without any movement for 20 minutes every day, preferably at the same time every day, and preferably at night when everything is quiet.
While you are meditating, repeat this simple thought; “Focus on the present moment.”
The power in this practice lies in our greatest weakness, human stupidity. Yes, we are basically pretty stupid in respect to the human nature to live as a creature of habit, and sadly we more often live by bad habits than good ones.
In knowing this essential weakness that plagues all humans, we can use that as our greatest strength and make it a habit to focus on the present moment rather than live ruled by desires, fears and regrets.
Combine this meditative practice of focusing the mind with the thought to stay present along with knowing that these three tyrants are controlling your life, and in time, which could be months or longer, you will find a definite change to your overall attitude and actions.
Happiness comes when you are fully present and not living in fears of the past or a negative view of the future. This meditation will train your mind to stay present by creating the habit to be present for the time of your meditation. As you develop mental strength, you can increase the time of your meditation.
And the key to long term states of happiness is that once you are able to attain this state of bliss in your meditation of being present, you can repeat the phrase constantly throughout the day and even though you are not meditating, you will feel that happiness no matter what you are doing.
We must stop living this moment based on our past experiences that went wrong. That is what we do every minute, and that is also what causes us infinite troubles of unhappiness by preventing us from moving forward, changing patterns, and living the life we desire.