At any given moment, we are usually on auto-pilot, assessing each experience based on our huge cache of opinions, preferences, and past experiences filed away as knowledge. We may also be projecting into future moments with those two basic motivators—desire (hopes) and aversion (fears). Being attentive first requires awakening to the present moment, simply remembering to be here now. Then we might soften, open, and skillfully work with the myriad experiences in this moment, observing and choosing if and how to respond.
In mindful presence,
The moment is now. The present moment is not just a progression of past moments, but is alive in its own way, complete and perfect. And it is this new moment that demands our attention. Only in the moment can we be fully awake and respond to the real needs of ourselves and others. Only in the present moment can we be fully attentive.
—Llewellen Vaughn Lee