Sticky Notes of Thoughts

…because some thoughts are worth remembering

On Being in the Present


In a mindfulness class, my teacher drew a picture of a butterfly, where the area of each of its wings represented the past and the future, and its narrow body, the present. The illustration reflects the statistics that we spend 85% of the time being in the past or the future, and only 15% in the present.

The depiction is brilliant because, like the butterfly’s wings, we don’t just spend our present thinking about the past or the future, but often busily fluttering about between the two. We start planning our lives, only to revise our plan because of something that happened in the past that we don’t want to repeat, or sabotaging our future event by setting an poor expectation biased by our prejudices we built up over the past.

The image of the butterfly also reminds us that to be in the present (depicted by the butterfly’s narrow body), you first come back to focus on your body, because unlike our time-traveling mind, the body, lives in the present.


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This entry was posted on March 20, 2015 by in Buddhism, Culture and tagged , .
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