Living in the present moment, according to Buddhist teaching, is the key to experiencing peace, love and joy! However, living in the present moment when experiencing the collective of symptoms the medical establishment defines as Parkinson’s is a significant challenge. It is the ultimate challenge of acceptance. Why? Because living in the present moment brings me face to face with these symptoms pretty much every moment I’m awake.
Sometimes I think it’s easier to let my mind wander, but doing so leaves me vulnerable to becoming the victim of my egoic mind. It leaves me vulnerable to fretting about things that happened in past or worrying about the future. I’ve learned from my experience, that when my mind wanders, it invariably ends up in a negative thought pattern. I don’t know why this happens, but Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now, says that this is normal. Research has also shown that the vast majority of human thought is negative. So best to stay in the present moment as much as possible and suspend unnecessary thinking.
The key to experiencing joy in the present moment, for me, is twofold. First, it is to accept the present circumstances of the present moment. This means, for instance, accepting that I am shuffle walking when I’d rather be walking normally. As the old saying goes, if you can’t beat them, join them! Secondly, it is to bring my attention to something more joyful in the present moment. For example, rather than focusing on how I’m walking, I bring my attention to the trees or the birds or the blue sky.
The fact is, when your mind is constantly on your symptoms, it and your body are constantly under stress, which works against any attempts at healing. So again, it is best to bring your attention to something joyful in the present moment. This has gotten considerably easier for me since moving to the lake. Now I can watch the lake or the birds or just listen to the waves lapping against the shore. It is very relaxing and therapeutic!
Indeed, living in the present moment is quite a challenge when you’re experiencing Parkinson’s. But I think that’s the whole point. If it were easy we likely wouldn’t do it, and it’s where we need to be!
So, seize the moment, seize the day and have a blast! It sure makes life a lot more enjoyable!
Have an awesomely present day!