Friday, July 25, 2008

Preoccupation with past and future

Like most minds, yours may flit from past to future and back again — and only occasionally come to rest in the present. When you’re preoccupied with what may happen next month or next year, you churn up a range of stressful emotions based on hope, fear, and anticipation that have nothing to do with what’s happening right now. And when you’re reliving the past — which after all has no existence except as thoughts and images inside your brain — you may bounce from regret to resentment to sadness and grief. By contrast, when you meditate, you practice bringing your mind back again and again to the present moment, where, as the Persian poet Rumi says, “the only news is that there’s no news at all.” By returning to the simplicity of the here and now, you can take refuge from the stressful scenarios of your mind.

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