One of my favorite Zen stories illustrates this very important concept. Once upon a time, there was a monk who, walking along a mountain path encountered a man-eating tiger. Seeing a vine growing on the cliff face just below his path, the monk leaps off the edge grabbing hold of the vine. The vine begins to loosen and in the frozen moment before his fall and death, the monk notices a strawberry growing in the cliff face next to his vine. The last words the monk speaks before his death are, “What a magnificent strawberry, I think I’ll eat it.”
This story illustrates being totally in the moment. For the monk, there was no past, no future, no tigers, no cliffs; there was only that pristine moment filled with an appreciation of that magnificent strawberry.
Living more in the moment takes practice and patience, but the payoff is enormous. You will begin to grow in confidence and self-trust. And once you’re no longer being victimized by chronic anticipatory fear and worry, you can risk letting go of any struggle as you watch a sunset, listen to music, or simply soak in a warm bath.