Part 4 | How to Live in the Present Moment


June 8, 2016


Question: Is it absolutely essential to know, understand, and define what a moment actually is in order to live in the present?

Answer: Maybe, maybe not.

If Europeans in the Middle Ages measured a moment as precisely 2.25 seconds long.  How have others conceived of the idea over time?

From a specifically Buddhist perspective, as described by Dogen Zenji, a day consists of 6,400,099,180 moments.  This is to say that a moment is about 1/75th of one second long, which makes, say, a blink of the eye about 50 moments long.  (As an interesting aside, it is also understood that each moment is made up of 65 instants.  This means that one day holds 416,006,446,700 instants!)

So, using these as two points of comparison, we can safely say that a “moment” is somewhere between 1/75th of a second and 2.25 seconds long.  But what does that really tell us?  Hmmmm…

Truth is, we don’t always need to know the ins and outs of a thing in order to make proactive use of it.  For example, we don’t need to know how a combustion engine works in order to drive a car.  We can safely and effectively operate a motor vehicle without this knowledge.  Which means that, perhaps, we can learn to live and be in the present moment without, necessarily, having an exact definition of what that truly means.

That is, we all have a subjective understanding of what being present feels like.  We learn this idea, and develop it, incrementally as we live—one experience at a time, we learn where our “zone” is and what it feels like to be there.

For some, being present might be a feeling of oneness and connection; for others, it might mean clear thinking, swift resolution, feelings of bliss or peace, solution-making, and sharp, confident responses to life; or, for some, it could mean feelings of gratitude, appreciation, and boundless joy.

Regardless of how one culture, group, or era defines the meaning of the present moment, we all have our own working definition of the term.  In the end, it might be a case of “we know it when we see it”.

So, should that be the case, the question becomes, “What actions can we take to live in the moment, see it, and know it more often and more intentionally?”

What is one time in recent memory when you have been in the zone, locked in, and truly present?

Be your greatness. Start. Do. Go.

Circle Photo

Zach Carlsen is the grateful lead blogger at

His strengths of Ideation, Connectedness, Input, Strategic, and Empathy have taken him all over the world.  He is an inventor, athlete, joyous wanderer/wonderer, translator, poet, and Transformation Coach.

Connect with him:


Twitter: @zstrengthslife

Facebook: Zach Carlsen

2 thoughts on “Part 4 | How to Live in the Present Moment

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