9 Things You Can Do to Cultivate a Relationship with the Present Moment  

by Mark Votava

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I find that the present moment is always slipping through my fingers just when I think I have a hold on it.  But I am finding out that the present moment cannot be contained by me in any way.  It can only be embodied in an evolving fashion in everyday life.

The present moment is constantly teaching me to live my life.  It is calling to me to do away with my anxieties and find what is available now.  There is usually so much wisdom, peace and love in the present moment, but I cannot see it because I am focused on what is missing in life.  This is one of my greatest mistakes as it keeps me from being grateful about the life I have.

This is a lifelong process of learning to live by the rhythms of the present moment.  It teaches me of the mysteries of God and the sacredness of all of life.  When I have practiced appreciating all of life as a gift, my imagination becomes alive and I start to breathe freely.

Here are 9 things we can do to cultivate a healthy relationship with the present moment.

1. Practice silence and solitude

Our silence and solitude will bring us to embrace living in the present moment.  Living in the present moment is impossible without silence and solitude.  Our silence and solitude will cultivate a healthy, functional relationship with the present moment in the place we inhabit together.

2. Embrace an embodied wholeness

Without silence and solitude, we will have an unhealthy relationship with the present moment.  We will abuse the preset moment with our own agendas.  We cannot directly see this relationship with our eyes, we can only feel it embodied in our relationships.  Is it whole or not?

We feel the energy it brings into our locality.  It is either functional or dysfunctional.  This relationship affects all our relationships.

3. Be open to yourself, others, the world and life

David G. Benner says in his book Soulful Spirituality, “Our relationship with the now will always shape every other relationship we have.  A dysfunctional relationship with the present moment will be reflected in a dysfunctional relationship with our self, with others, with the world, and with life.  But on the other hand, an embrace of the present moment opens us up to life and all we encounter.”

4. Embrace the mystical imagination within you

Our self, our neighbors and our locality will be the recipients of a colonial expression of faith if we do not cultivate a healthy relationship with the present moment through silence and solitude.  A healthy relationship with the present moment opens up the mystical imagination among us.

5. Become aware of the ecology of relationship

It causes the mystical imagination to come alive within us.  And this will affect the ecology of relationship in the place we live.  This ecology of relationship will affect all that we are.

6. Go to solitary places often

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went to a solitary place…” (Mark 1:35). 

I believe Christ practiced silence and solitude because he was cultivating a healthy relationship with the present moment in his life.  It affected all his relationships.  It gave him solidarity with others.

Jesus understood the ecology of his relationship with others in the present moment.  That is why he practiced silence and solitude.  It was a part of his passion.

7. Appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now

Thich Nhat Hanh states, “Our true home is in the present moment.  To live in the present moment is a miracle.  The miracle is not to walk on water.  The miracle is to walk on the green Earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now.  Peace is all around us – in the world and in nature – and within us – in our bodies and our spirits.  Once we learn to touch this peace we will be healed and transformed.  It is not a matter of faith; it is a matter of practice.  We need only to find ways to bring our body and mind back to the present moment so we can touch what is refreshing, healing, and wondrous.”

8. Find your home and identity in your local community

We need to become connected to the present moment in our local community as the body of Christ in everyday life.  This is our home.  This is our identity.  This is where the true self is discovered.

9. Practice the liberation and freedom of gratitude

It is an on-the-ground miracle to embody living in the present moment in the place we live.  This is where all beauty is found within and around us.  When our bodies become rooted in the present moment we experience an ongoing sense of freedom, liberation and gratitude.

How do you relate to the present moment?  Are you uneasy?  Anxious?  Peaceful?  Tired?  Rested?  Content?  Unhappy?  Disillusioned?