They say that a Masai warrior dies if locked up in prison. They are not able to imagine that this condition wouldn’t last forever. They neither live in the future nor in the past. The Masai only live in the present.
We as a civilization have lost, or are about to lose, our connection to nature.
We are a part of it, we live in it, but we are rarely connected to it. Yet this connection is substantial for our survival, mentally and physically.
The indigenous peoples of the world, whether the indians in Peru, the native American indian cultures, the Australian Aboriginals or the African Masai, all are directly connected and embedded into their surroundings in nature. They are a part of nature.
The lesson we could learn from the Masai warriors is essentially not a new one. You will find it throughout all religions: the lesson to live only in the present, to let the past behind and not to be threatened by the future.
I argue that this attitude is an essential factor for their close bond to mother nature.
What advantages do we have if we only lived in the now?
Being present in the now is the truest path to happiness and enlightenment, so they say. To examine this thesis, let’s give it the following consideration.
Imagine you could erase your memory completely, and I mean completely: no more childhood, no more failures, no rejections, generally speaking no more negative experiences. Let’s forget for a moment that all your positive and happy memories would be gone as well.
This would surely result in: no more dwelling on the past, no more fears that certain events could happen again, no blaming your parents or others for what happened to you, etc.
Would you concur that this would take a lot of weight from your shoulders? You would have a completely new view of the world.
Now imagine that you additionally somehow lost the complete concept of the future. No more thinking about the future for you. Wouldn’t you be completely fearless? Would you face every day optimistic and happy?
You bet you would.
The scenario I described wouldn’t be possible without a permanent brain damage, a condition that is not very desirable. Wouldn’t it be great to achieve this state of mind completely healthy AND with all your memories preserved?
The goal is to use your memory with all the experiences you’ve made in a constructive positive way. The way you learned as a child that pressing your hand on a hotplate equals pain, but you would not live your life terrified every single day that this could happen again.
Use your memories as experiences but do not dwell on them in a negative way.
What matters is to live in the present, live now, for every moment is now. It is your thoughts and acts of the moment that create your future. The outline of your future path already exists, for you created its pattern by your past.
So, how do we live in the PRESENT with all our painful pasts and fears about the future?
How did the Masai warrior learned it?
The Masai warrior was raised this way, as were his ancestor generations over generations before. They perfectly adapted to their hostile environment. It forces them to focus only on survival and productivity. Only what helps them to survive matters, nothing else.
Little children are also a perfect example for this: they always live in the present only, no matter what they do, their entire attention is on that. They also ignore the future and forget the past.
How can we learn to achieve this desirable state of mind?
There are many ways.
First, you should consciously let go the past. This is very important. Then let go your worries and fears about your future. Basically an easy concept, but of course, very hard to implement.
The most popular and effective tool to help you accomplish this goal is through meditation.
Meditation aspires a state of mind completely clear. No monkey-mind swinging from tree to tree. A clear mind has no clue of past and future, it only knows the present.
With some meditation practice it is possible to transfer this way of thinking into your daily life.
By living only in the present you would be able to cherish the moment, to enjoy more the things you do, not to mention that you would get rid of your fears.
Here are some exercises you could do:
- practice in your everyday life to give special attention to everything you do, be it washing your hands, or eating your meals, washing dishes, etc.
- see the beauty in things (when did you last enjoy a sunrise or a flower)
- train yourself in awareness, try to avoid daydreaming
- try different forms of meditation (it’s not always sitting and breathing)
I can recommend every form of active meditation, try Sufi Whirling Meditation or Dancing Meditation.
No matter what way you choose to achieve a present state of mind, persistence and everyday practice is the key to success. After a while you will observe some changes:
- you will be calmer
- you will be more focused
- your relationships will improve and be more intense
- you will resolve conflicts easier
- your health will improve
- your life will become richer
- you will find inner peace
So, remember your goal is to be a Masai warrior in the mind.
Only, don’t let yourself be thrown into prison, this could end sadly.
All the best,