"Time is the horizontal dimension of life, the surface layer of reality. Then there is the vertical dimension of depth, accessible only through the portal of the present moment." --Eckhart Tolle, Author and Spiritual Teacher
This concept is tricky. We all spend so much of our days absorbed in thoughts about the past and the future. With modern technology it's possible to spend an entire lifetime distracted by thoughts.
Einstein believed that 'time is an illusion' created by the mind to help us conceptualize the vast ocean of space.
It's scary to think that there is no past or future when that is what occupies most of our daily lives. But if you really consider it, we can only ever be present. That pull of the mind to worry about what happened or to get someplace better is a conditioned reaction to finding comfort and avoiding pain. This grasping for something better and rejecting what is here perpetuates all human suffering.
"Mindfulness is not about getting anywhere else." -Jon Kabat -Zinn, PhD., Author and Founder of UMass Medical Center' Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program.
When we train in mindfulness, we welcome the vertical dimension of reality or the timeless and spaceless because awareness is outside of space and time. It is not conceptual or knowable. This doesn't sit well with the ego which is why it can be very difficult to relax in the moment and simply be.
Learning to shift into being is a radical departure from the old dualistic mind that wants to control reality and force outcomes. Because we are so identified with mind, surrender is considered a weakness or failure. But if we can identify with awareness, we allow the mind to relax and submit to the vastness of the lived moment where creativity and coherence is possible. As spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle states so beautifully, "You are the universe expressing itself as a human for a little while."
Like participating with beautiful music, the mind, body and spirit intuitively align with something far more alive and liberating.
The practice of mindfulness meditation helps us cultivate a flexible mind that is willing to surrender control.
"The future is a concept, it doesn't exist. There is no such thing as tomorrow. There never will be, because time is always now. That's one of the things we discover when we stop talking to ourselves and stop thinking. We find there is only the present, only an eternal now." --Alan Watts, Philosopher, Author and Spiritual Teacher.