We make an enemy out of the present moment as we gaze longingly to the future and as we cling desperately to the past. Yes, as Eckhart Tolle writes, “The present moment is sometimes unacceptable, unpleasant or awful. However, “It is as it is. Observe how the mind labels it and how this labeling process, this continuous sitting in judgment, creates pain and unhappiness.” He further explains, “Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.”
The question is why be present when the present is unpleasant. The answer is simple. Everything happens and can only happen in the present. When the events we recollect of the past were lived, they were lived in the present moment. Now IS where the action happens. Do we really want to hurtle towards our death by wishing this moment away? Do we want, on our death bed, to regret all the precious moments we missed?
Byron Katy so succinctly summed it up when she said, “The only time we suffer is when we believe a thought that argues with what is. When the mind is perfectly clear, what is is what we want.” ... “I am a lover of what is, not because I'm a spiritual person, but because it hurts when I argue with reality.”
Put in these terms it just doesn’t make sense to make the present moment an enemy. If choosing to be unhappy makes you happy then choose it. Being here now, with the mind, is a practice. Lucky, we are equipped with a wonderful practice tool, breath. Paying attention to breath brings the attention back to the here now. When we remember.