The only time that truly IS, is right now, the present. Yet following suit on the previous lesson, if "I see only the past," then my mind is preoccupied with only the past. But, people will argue, I'm thinking about this as I read it, so isn't it the present? Not wanting to get into the time-space continuum (another subject I'm noodling - thank you, Brenda, for putting up with me as I work it out) I do want to put forth that if the mind is preoccupied with the past, the mind cannot grasp the present--it is all illusions.
If we think in terms of the past, or anticipate the future, it is just our previous experiences projected outward. In other words, we really are thinking of nothing, or a blank slate.
The purpose of today's lesson is to train our mind to recognize when it is not really thinking at all. When these thoughtless times preoccupy our mind, we cannot see the truth. By recognizing the blankness of the slate instead of believing it is filled with real ideas, the first step is taken to opening the way to truth.
As I go through this exercise, I find myself getting irritated. I have no problem with the "I seem to be thinking about _____" part but trying to separate it into "Oh, it's just all past stuff projecting forward" is rather annoying. So, I label the irritation and add it to the mix, "I seem to be thinking about ______ and realize it's all past stuff, and that concept is annoying."
I realize this is my ego speaking. "How dare you label me as past experiences projected outward? Can't you see I have something important for you to think about?" Ahhh, the ego. I'm finding it rears its head a lot in these exercises. In fact, as I try to grow spiritually, I find it coming to the surface a lot. It appears my ego is threatened by becoming more "soulful." Is anyone else experiencing this? I recognize it, but how do you soothe it and move on? Does it become less pronounced as time, and education, continue?