In the movie Peaceful Warrior, an injured gymnast Dan regains his health under the spiritual guidance of a mysterious man whom he calls Socrates. In the final scene, Dan is performing his routine in competition, centering himself by focusing his mind on this imagined dialogue:
Socrates: Where are you?
Socrates: What time is it?
Socrates: What are you?
Dan: This moment
It’s short and easy to remember. Since watching the movie, I have used this little dialogue when I find myself distracted, spinning off in my head. With each question and answer, I am guided back to the present moment, disengaging from the mental gymnastics that scatter my mind in all directions away from here, now.
It also eases my grip on my ego identity. I am this moment … and this one. Nothing more, nothing less. All in.
I got a new car a few months ago. Like my phone, it is way too smart for me, but I do like some of the safety features. For example, if I’m drifting out of my lane above a certain speed without using my turn signal, the car assumes that I’m not paying attention. The steering wheel vibrates briefly and a light appears on the dash to alert me. In its own way, the car is reminding me to be here, now, in this moment, mindful of my driving.
I’m grateful for these helpful taps on my mental shoulder. Hey, pay attention. Don’t miss your life. This moment is a precious gift, a blessing of infinite grace. Receive it fully, with your whole self. Enter into it with openness, gratitude, wonder. It is a miracle.
Our appointment with life takes place in the present moment. ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Wherever you are, be all there. ~Jim Rohn