One way to live in the present moment is to remain fully engrossed and involved in activities in the present, so that the mind is ignored completely. and becomes non-functional, and thus we become the activity itself. Many singers, painters, dancers, musicians and artistes transcend mind during their professional engagements and practices.
Life is full of “dualities” like good and bad, pleasure and sorrow, love and hate, friend and enemy. In fact we experience life through these extremities. While animal live a life of instincts, we have the capability to choose activity as dictated by our mind. This choice gives rise to fluctuating life conditions and we continuously shuttle between extremities. In other words, our life can be defined as a set of “experiences of dualities.”
In the BHAGWAD GITA, Krishna advocates DVANDA-ATITAA —— a life beyond dualities. He explains that a person who is neither perturbed by sorrow, nor excited in pleasure, completely devoid of materialistic attachments, fear and anger becomes STHITA–PRAGNYA, a Self-realised person of the ultimate wisdom and truth. Duality is the nature of the mind that is perpetually busy using the present moment to think of the past or to dream of the future. Our existence of the present moment gets affected by the state and time placement of the mind. This gives rise to duality. If there is no mind, there is no duality and we live only in the present moment, the real existence. This is called “middle path”. In all of our daily activities, our body and mind are never in sync. It is as if we have two people —— a thinking person and an acting person —— inside a single body. It leads to lack of coherence between body and mind in all our external manifestations. Consequently, we never live in totality and fail to give our best to the present.
Mind is like a flowing stream of thoughts, pertaining to the past and the future. Our association and clinging to any of these thoughts affects our present moment. There should be a sense of detachment and aloofness from these thoughts, which is called SAKSHI or witnessing. It is like a person sitting still on the banks and just watching the river flow. If you remain indifferent to the thoughts and become a SAKSHI, the strength and intensity of the rising thoughts reduces, and finally, a complete void is created.
The heart represents the qualities of compassion, selflessness, empathy and dedication. These are qualities of true human nature. Enlightened souls like Krishna, Buddha, Christ and Muhammad were full of these qualities. As a result, their mind was subordinated to the heart and their activities were dedicated to others and society at large. These enlightened persons had transcended duality.
We are all blessed with mind faculty, which is a powerful tool to be used for our spiritual growth. However, we become subordinated to our mind and start living a life full of miseries. We should realise our internal potential of Godhood, and use our mind as a vehicle to explore this truth, rather than succumbing to its power of duality and wasting our life in miseries.
——- Abhimanyu Pati (The Speaking Tree)