A novel titled The Unbearable Lightness of Being was written by Czech writer Milan Kundera in the 1980's, and quickly became extremely popular, spinning off an American movie. The novel itself has its fair share of ardent admirers and detractors, but for me it is the title that sparks the imagination - are we burdened with being? Is life too dull or too much for us?
Spinning the title to The Wonderful Lightness of Being, we can celebrate every moment of our existence. We should live every moment like it's our last moment.
Question - while eating our breakfast, how many times do we actually think of our food? What it taste like? How it looks and smells?
Sadly, our minds are racing around, thinking about work, getting there and so on. We're missing the moment. We cannot experience something in the future - we cannot taste next month's ripe mango! This is life for most of us.
It is said that we process some 22,000 thoughts per day, 1,500 thoughts on moments in the past, 2,500 thoughts in the now and a staggering 18,000 on our future. Think about it, we're wasting 85% of our lives. We cannot relive our past, neither can the future give us joy right now.
Next time you are chewing on the bowl of muesli, think about each spoonful. Next time you are walking in the park or mountains, appreciate each view, sound and smell with every footstep - think now.
By living in the now, we can escape the unnecessary worries and concerns of what we perceive as problems. We can only change our circumstances now and not tomorrow - our focus should be on doing things that will have a positive outcome in the future. In other words making tomorrow's ‘now moment’ a pleasant moment when it arrives. We're all too familiar with the ‘day after the night before’ waking up feeling a drum kit inside your head while talking to God on the big white telephone - this is poor planning!
Deciding to stop and think about ‘now’ can be life changing for now you stop to think. No longer do you do things out of habit and you start to become more aware of you as a person, your environment and existence at a deeper level. Suddenly, it's not all about you. There's others and nature too, you empathise with all creation and it's creator.
Ambarish Keenan is a member of Sri Chinmoy Centre in Dublin. Ambarish is an architect and in his spare time offers meditation classes in Dublin. Ambarish is also a good marathon runner.