Staying in the present

I went away and stayed in a monastery for 18 days. Together with other meditators, we were cut out from the world beyond the monastery. We surrendered our mobile devices and we had no access to the Internet. We woke up at 4.00 am every day and slept at 9.30 pm every night. It was 18 days of meditation retreat in Taiwan.

We maintained silence throughout so as not to affect our meditation practices. We moved from an external world with so much distraction to one of living with just our own internal world. We stayed in tune with our minds, bodies and watching our emotions. We guarded against unwholesome thoughts, bodily actions and ill intentions.

When you thought you are the master of your mind, it is further from the truth. As you watch your mind, you will find that the mind consciousness moved so fast that you could not catch the thoughts as they happen in that split second. You do not even know that you had been thinking earlier on. Our minds have not had the clarity to see the fast thoughts that run through every moment.

If this is the case, our ill-thoughts could lead us to do harms to others and to ourselves. Mind is the forerunner of all evil states. If the mind is not pure and good, one can act in an unwholesome state.

We practised staying in the present every moment. When the mind wandered away, we brought it back to stay in the present with the current action. This was the hardest part due to our deep-seated habits of multi-tasking and day-dreaming in our mundane world.

Staying in the moment with wholesome thoughts is a goal I can set for myself. This requires practice and executions in this fast-paced world.

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