Consider the nature of life in the physical. We arrive naked and depart the same way. In between arrival and departure we accumulate. On the material level we accumulate things: houses, cars, clothes, gadgets, careers, relationships, and all manner of t0ys. On the emotional/spiritual level, we accumulate experience, memories, being. Clearly, the only one of these two we potentially/theoretically take with us beyond this life is the experience, the memories, the being. It is the memorable experiences, then, that, in eternity, we value the most. They are the most precious. They are what abides. All else passes away with the endless movement of time.
What is it, then, that makes an experience memorable? The one critical factor in memorability is focus of attention, PRESENCE. It is the only difference between an extraordinary moment and an ordinary, forgetable moment. It is the common factor in every memorable experience, the degree to which we are there in the instant of the event. This is true for all human beings, whether they are spiritually evolved or not. The difference between something memorable and something not memorable, is whether or not one was Present to it.
I ask everyone I see in counseling this question: “Have you ever driven down the freeway thinking about something, lost in thought, then look around after a while and not recognize where you are?” They all answer yes. Who was driving the car? I call it autopilot.
Consider this to be a clear cut example of something we do all the time. We are driving down the road of Life lost in thought, running on autopilot. In this fragmented state of consciousness we are not experiencing our life. We are just getting through. “Just got to get through the day!” Is this living? For many, the only way for something to become memorable is when they encounter one of life’s speed bumps and are traumatized into the moment.
Ask anyone who’s been in an auto accident, even a minor fender bender with no injuries, and they will tell you how it altered their consciousness, making the moment of the accident memorable. My question is: Is this all you want to take with you, memories of trauma, pain and suffering?
If you want something more out of life, start practicing Presence. You start with the intention of giving up being lost in thought. Acknowledge, through watching your own thoughts, the uselessness of most thinking. Most thought produces nothing useful, but is simply the churning of information, the replaying of past painful experiences, or endless worry about the future.
Strive to create memories from pleasant experience by finding the beauty and uniqueness of Now! Give up being lost-in-thought and work to find the preciousness of PRESENCE, the only experience which abides.