How Present-Moment Awareness Can Make Life More Meaningful

When we practice present-moment awareness, we can savor each moment, make time feel like it’s passing slower, and get in touch with the fundamental wonder of being alive.

Adobe Stock/ fizkes

Presence is meditation in motion. It is the practice of bringing mindfulness into the activities of everyday life. We can practice the art of being here, now, while waiting in a long grocery store line, changing a baby’s diaper, or sitting in traffic.

Presence involves a simple yet incredible shift—from the ordinary state of mind wandering to bringing our attention to the experience of what is happening right now. You can make this shift anytime, anywhere. 

Why develop this habit? Spiritual leaders and philosophers have attempted to answer this question for thousands of years. And yet Ferris Bueller (the impetuous high school student from the classic 1986 film) might just have the best answer: “Life moves pretty fast,” he warned. “If you don’t stop and look around for a while, you might miss it.”

He’s right. Life without presence moves pretty fast. When we wake up, go to work, and do the other things we need to do, we often operate on autopilot; the days fly by, as do the weeks, months, and years. In fact, scientists have confirmed that this experience of time “flying by” increases with age. With each passing year, the novelty of…