We learn to meditate so that we can be more present – more connected to our lives.
Nearly all of our training is in the rational mind. We are most used to living with the rational mind and its linear perception of time. We have become quite attached to this perception. It gives us the feeling that we are going somewhere, developing and that we are progressing towards some future goal, time or thing.
I think it is fair to say that most of us have a desire to progress, to feel that we are getting somewhere. However, true progress lies not in the passage of time, but in our understanding and experience of it. The future, the past and the present all exist as one in an eternal moment. The potential of all things exist simultaneously in this present moment: the seed contains the flower; the new life of the baby contains the death of the old woman; the darkly despairing soul also contains the bravery of the warrior; the darkness contains the light; the sinner contains the holy man. Everything in this moment contains all other things.
The rational mind is a wonderful survival tool. We use our rational mind to constantly create models of what is to come. But remember, our rational mind is limited; it cannot experience things in the present moment ─ only thoughts about things. It is linear; one thought after another, so we “understand” one thing after another.
In meditation we contemplate and experience fully the present, in which there is no time but now, in which all that was and all that will be exist simultaneously. The present moment contains everything. The past is no better than the future; no time is valued more, nor better than any other. Each moment is complete in itself, fulfilled in itself. It contains the whole truth, from beginning to end.