Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. ~Buddha
A lot of people say they live for the moment and I believe they really do live for the moment, the moment when they will get to where they want to be in life, the future moment where they will finally be happy, or liberated from their problems and/or their suffering. There are two problems with living for the moment: 1) life will always contain suffering, or what buddha called dukkha 2) the only moment that exists is this moment, the moment that exists in the here and now. The question you must ask yourself is, am I living for the moment, or am I living in the moment.
Now bear with me, here is where those of us who have been conditioned to think in linear terms may not grasp the true nature of reality, or time, or should I say, timelessness. This is where some people get lost and may simply dismiss this post as spiritual nonsense: The present has no beginning and no ending, for time is a man made concept. Despite the fact that we know this, so many of us still manage to be consumed by “time”, projecting our lives into some future moment, completely ignoring the only moment in time that will ever exist, the present. This is what keeps people from experiencing life in its totality. It is easier for people to live their lives in the past, or project their lives into the future because looking for a brighter tomorrow is more important than being fully engaged in the now. One could argue, “who wants to live in the now? I have bills to pay right now, I have to deal with the discomfort I feel right now, I’m just not happy right now.”
All I’m trying to point to is, you can try to search for the beginning or end of the present moment but I assure you, you cannot find it, nor will you ever truly experience life if you live in the past, or resign to living for some future moment. The present perpetually arises in this moment, it is unwaivering. And while forms (animals, plants, human beings) change, or cease to be, these changes always unfold in the now. Now, let me pose the question again, are you a person that lives for the moment, or are you a person that actually lives in the moment? I choose the latter!