The Law of Presence – You Only Really Have this Moment

Presence - Standing on Kilimanjaro

Martial Arts students often try very hard to push themselves and learn all the techniques required of them.  When it comes time to get ready for testing, many have difficulty, because it requires a new mindset.  They no longer have the luxury of analyzing their mistakes, as they are making them.  They want to “run the projector back” and rehash what went wrong.  Has this ever happened to you?  Have you ever listened to a speaker in person or on the radio, and been tantalized by the speaker’s idea, only to miss the next two ideas because you were thinking about the previous one?  While this kind of mental analysis is beneficial, and aids in the learning process, there are times where you must learn to “stay in the moment”.  If this idea is explored further, you start to realize that you really only have this moment to live.

Margaret Bonnano once said “It’s only possible to live happily ever after on a moment-to-moment basis”.  Although you can project your mind in to a previous time in the past or the future, you can only live in the present, in this moment.  We “indulge” ourselves by projecting our mind into the past or future, because we are fascinated with the possibilities. Nevertheless, we can only take action right now, in this moment.

So, when confronted by an assailant, you have only now to make decisions and take action.  You cannot afford the luxury of analyzing the event as it happens.  Although horrifying, this kind of event still fascinates us.  Allowing ourselves to analyze the event can cost us our health or our life, however.

So, when testing, the students must stay in the moment, act and react.  There will be time for analysis later.  This proves to be a very difficult lesson in life, and requires patience and persistence to master.

So, avoid the “paralysis of analysis”; stay in the moment.  It is really the only place you can ever be.

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One Reply to “The Law of Presence – You Only Really Have this Moment”

  1. I was out walking Saturday morning, with the plan of meeting up with my wife at the Goodwill Store. During my walks I usually eschew listening to my iPod as so many people like to do. I usually enjoy taking in the sights, sounds and smells of the outdoors. That morning I was particularly enjoying a honking contest fought by two Canada Geese atop the Liberty First Credit Union. As I took one last glance their way before going around the bend to Goodwill, something caught my eye on the ground. It was very subtle, blending in with the color of of the faded grass and soil…a twenty dollar bill! When I got to Goodwill, my wife had found a beautiful mirror that she wanted to buy, but couldn’t decide if she wanted to spend the money for it or not. The price….you guessed it, $20!

    If I had not been living “in the moment” and taking in my surroundings and being in a relaxed but alert state, I would never even had noticed the small, crinkled, green-gray piece of trash by the side of the road and my wife would not have her beautiful mirror. Of course you could say this is just a charming, and perhaps coincidental story. For me, living in the present is one of my greatest challenges in life, which happily always gives me the greatest rewards, both personally and professionally.

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