We live in a generation where it is very rare to find anyone who is truly present. A boy I know related that he went to a therapist who promised him that she has the answer to his problems if he comes in for a session. She comes in 20-25 minutes late. Then she is busy with her phone - texting and trying to listen to him at the same time. Then she receives a call in the middle of the session which she answers from her son's Rebbi saying that he was being sent home for misbehavior. Then she tried repeatedly to call him back to argue on her son's behalf but there was no answer [this is all going on during the session]. Then she explained to the client what a good boy her son is and that he doesn't deserve to be punished. She was not able to focus on this boy's problem because she was wrapped up with other things. So even when you pay 200 bucks to someone to listen, odds are that their thoughts will often shift elsewhere. [The boy said that she had no solutions for him either. How could she - she was focused elsewhere].
Look at how we daven - or better - don't daven. We spend most of our tfillos elswhere. The Besht said that a person is where his thoughts are. We are almost always living in the past or future and in another location. That is why everyone needs a smartphone. It allows one to be everywhere at once - ensuring that he will truly be nowhere.
I recently went out to dinner with a friend. It was a shocking almost surreal experience. He didn't take out his phone once. He was actually present. WOW!
Some quotes reminding us about the importance of kavana and focus on NOW and HERE.
“How to be at peace now? By making peace with the present moment. The present moment is the field on which the game of life happens. It cannot happen anywhere else.”
"Give up waiting as a state of mind. When you catch yourself slipping into waiting...snap out of it. come into the present moment. Just be and enjoy being."
"When you feel confused or burdened by problems focus on THIS INSTANT and ask yourself: WHAT PROBLEM DO I HAVE RIGHT NOW? You will find that there is no problem NOW. A challenge that requires action, possibly, but not a problem."
“Most humans are never fully present in the now, because unconsciously they believe that the next moment must be more important than this one. But then you miss your whole life, which is never not now.”
“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.”
"The key to transformation is to make friends with this moment. What form it takes doesn't matter. Say yes to it. Allow it. Be with it."
"Somebody, I don't recall who, once said: "When you get there, there's no there, there". This applies not only to location in space, but also to time: when you get to the future, you find yourself in the present moment. So the future never comes. Don't let the thought of future (or past) obscure the preciousness of the present moment."