Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Seize The Moment

לעילוי נשמת עליזה רחל בת חיים צבי

"Most people treat the present moment as if it were an obstacle that they need to overcome. Since the present moment is life itself, it is an insane way to live."

Most people are only view life through the prism of their own feelings and thoughts. Those who are emotionally developed are able to view themselves and their thoughts feelings and emotions as would an outsider. It is important not to make the eternal mistake of confusing my perspective with absolute reality. What I feel is EXCLUSIVE to me based on my innate nature, experiences etc. and in NO WAY necessarily a reflection of objective reality. Objective reality is known only to Hashem and the reason he gave us the Torah is in order that we should have some idea of absolute truth and in order that we should try to align our thoughts and feelings with the G-dly perspective which takes us from the subjective and personal to the objective and all encompassing.

If you are mindful and aware of the thoughts that are going through your head [and not just stuck inside of yourself], you will notice that many of them are focused either on the PAST or on the FUTURE. Why??

The answer, all too often, is that we are DISSATISFIED with the present. We are not completely PRESENT in the PRESENT because we don't like the present so we naturally and automatically transmit ourselves to a different time and place. This is a HUUUUGE mistake because the past is OVER and the future [that we imagine] is not yet here and completely in our imaginations. So we are essentially living in a non-reality.

I often marvel at how people of all ages and stripes spend an unbelievable amount of time playing with their little machines ["smartphone", "ipod", "iPhone", "blackberry" etc. etc.]. The reason this is so is because they are feeling a lacking in the present moment and time so they seek some sort of fulfillment in the virtual world of fakeness and emptiness.

Have you ever seen a chosson or kallah playing with their toys under the chuppah? Why not??

Because the moment is so meaningful for them that they want to be completely present. The people in the crowd are generally NOT as swept away by the present so they choose to ESCAPE by involving themselves in their toys. דוק ותשכח.

The takeaway message from פוסטינו דידן - ["our post"] is that we should attempt as much as possible to be FULLY present every moment. When you are davening - be completely immersed in the davening as if nothing else exists. When you are learning - all that exists in your mind is the sefer in front of you. The rest of the world should be - in your mind - closed for business. The same applies to almost everything you do.

Be completely present. The Baal Shem Tov famously teaches that where a persons thoughts are is where he is. When you are here, think about here. Take full advantage of the great gift Hashem has given you.

This moment.