Is the goal of Buddhism some kind of ‘living in the now’ ?
Eckhart Tolle and others seem to suggest so, and the practise of mindfulness is always ‘now’ centered, by means of keeping the mind in the present moment.
But a real seeker keeps in mind the question ‘Why?’.
Keeping present has a couple of effects. First it shows things … and by ‘things’ is meant your own body and mind … in their real light. You learn about your own self, and your own process. But why? To disentangle yourself from the world that obsesses.
The second effect is, providing you do not get lost in too much concentration on breathing or some other object, a sense of presence, of self awareness beyond your thoughts and emotions. Again – why is this beneficial?
Anyway, to what extent are people not in the present moment? Professor Philip Zimbardo (of ‘Stanford Prison Experiment fame) suggests that different cultures view time differently. He is stereotyping of course, but the outlook is interesting. Are you a positive/negative past dweller, or a future orientated person. Below is a clip from one of his talks: