Karmic forces lose power when you live in the present

As repeatedly mentioned in my previous posts, one of the most effective methods to break free from the control of karma and karmic habits is to live a conscious life. To live a conscious live means to live a mindful life. It means to live in the present moment. The key is mindfulness.


When you are mindful, karmic forces lose power

When we are mindful and live in the present moment, we activate our conscious selves. When we activate our conscious selves, karmic forces gradually lose their power over us.

However, most of us lead an unconscious life and therefore, are constantly affected by our karma and karmic habits. In order to know how mindful, or not mindful you are, think of the amount of time you spend reflecting on something that occurred in your past or worrying about something that might happen in the future.

If you contemplate on an argument you had with your colleague while washing dishes, you are not present in the moment, unless you are mindful of the fact that your mind is drifting away from the present moment. If you think about your dinner while driving home, your mind is not on the present moment either, unless you are mindful of the fact that your mind is not on the present moment.

Living in the present moment means all of your attention is directed to what you are doing at each moment. You could be motionless. But if you are truly present in the moment, your attention rests on your stillness. You watch yourself breathe and feel your presence in the moment.

Very few people are able to live this way, because we have so many responsibilities to juggle in our daily lives, and besides, we are not accustomed to living in the present moment. Our minds never cease to meander from one object to another.

However, it does not take extra time to be mindful. We do not even need to take time to meditate to lead a conscious life. All we need to do is to be mindful of what we are doing at each moment.

For example, when you are typing in front of a computer, be mindful of what you are doing instead of unconsciously typing. When you are walking on the street, be mindful of each step you are taking. You simply need to center your mind on what you are doing at each moment.

It is just a matter of initiative, discipline, and training. You are not being conscious when you are engaged in a habitual thinking pattern, unless you activate an awareness that watches you immersed in a habitual thinking pattern. We often dwell on our past or future. However, when you dwell on your past or future, the majority of what you think is habitual, futile and even harmful.

Of course, we need to make plans for the future and learn from the past. However, there is a difference between planning and unconsciously worrying about the future. There is a difference between learning from the past and habitually dwelling on the past.

When you dwell fully on the present moment, your mind stays clear of the negative emotions such as fear and worry. Fear and worry arise only when your focus is drifted away from the present moment. They cannot inhabit your mind as long as you stay fully mindful of the present moment.

See if you can practice the following:

• Sit down and relax. Cease all your thoughts and stay in the present moment without letting your mind roam for 10 seconds. Then gradually increase the time.

•  Try to walk while completely anchoring your mind to your breathing and your bodily movement without thinking of anything for 10 seconds. Then gradually increase the time.

•  When you are engaged in a daily activity, do it whole-heartedly without thinking of anything else. For example, when you wash dishes, see if you can wash dishes with a silent mind. Do not think about the projects you have not completed at work. Do not think about tucking your children to bed, for example.

Practice the above as much as possible. When your attention is anchored to the present moment, karmic forces lose power. Try to live in the now as much as possible. Live in the Now.

Korean Zen