Whenever the mind wanders into thoughts or ideas, notice them and come back to the present moment.
Are they thoughts of the past or the future? If so, remind yourself why you’re here.
It can be enticing to get lost in thought, but while we’re contemplating future fantasies, we’ve totally lost track of this moment.
Break the habit of separating body and mind.
This brief tale that illuminates the importance of keeping focused on the present –
A young but earnest Zen student approached his teacher and asked:
“If I work very hard and diligently how long will it take for me to find enlightenment.” The Master thought about this, then replied, “Ten years.”
The student then said, “Well, what if I work very, very hard and really apply myself to learn fast — How long then ?”
Replied the Master, “Twenty years.”
“But, if I really, really work at it. How long then ?” asked the student.
“Thirty years,” replied the Master.
“But, I do not understand,” said the disappointed student. “Each time I say I’ll work harder, you say it will take me longer. Why?”
Replied the Master,” When you have one eye on the goal, you only have one eye on the path.”
Keep this tale in mind when you get lost in past or future concerns. Come back to this moment. It’s the only one that matters.