I was moved by a line in an otherwise shallow, mainstream blockbuster film that I watched last eve (the title shall rename nameless to protect the insipid and homogeneous). “Just close your eyes and let the water carry you.” It’s a phrase not uncommon to our anxiety-ridden, multitasking, future-planning selves, though it’s advice we often don’t really own, even as we try to practice mindfulness and being-present-in-the-moment. Still, the advice stands to serve us well. Many of us seem to be constantly plotting our next move- or, as the case seems to be in New York City, all of our moves several weeks out, when we might, instead, be focusing our efforts on the here and now. Meditation, for me, serves the same purpose as hearing that cliché, or of observing something profoundly beautiful or experiencing something particularly enjoyable or miserable—these are all moments that force me to be in the here-and-now.

What are some other things in your life—planned or unexpected—that help you to remain in, or to return to, the present moment?