Being present in the now. What is being present in the now and why is it important?
Being present in the now is a state of mind that does not allow the experiences that happen through you to be colored by the lens of yesterday, that is, the past or tomorrow or what we call the future. Living in the past or future means that you approach what is happening through you with pre-conceived notions. When you live with a state of mind that is colored by the lens of pre-conceived notions, you are not free to experience what is new and fresh in this now moment. You see the now through what already happened to you or what you fear will happen through you. In a state of mind of pre-conceived notions, you miss the freedom of the present, the now, you are not really here. This robs your experiences of their inherent joy whether you perceive them as good or bad.
The importance of practicing being here now cannot be understated. The past and future are memories of what was and what you project and detaching from these memories so that you have clarity when you experience the now allows you to really enjoy the present moment in all its newness. This state of newness that is living in the present moment is what being alive really feels like. Many people experience this sense of aliveness when they do things that are dangerous and risky from climbing Mount Everest to going deep sea diving.
For us human beings, having all our focus on the now moment with no pre-conceived notions is an incomparable experience and developing this type of now presence takes practice and dedication because you are training your mind to change its ways. There is a more preferable reality waiting for you outside of your past/future thought paradigm. In my experience, a better one.