I made a decision to try and stay in the present moment today. I am so not used to it, that I need to remind myself the whole time. On the train in to work I decided not to listen to music on my earphones. Instead I listened to the sound of the rain on the windows, the whisper of people speaking and the mantra of the train wheels on the track.
It made me realize how much I do to dull the pain of existence. From the first time I open my eyes in the morning it is a rush not to be alive. The very first thing I do is to check in on social media (the fear of missing out). Then one or two (or more) coffees and a cigarette. By then my senses are already dulled, and I am happy to not be awake to my true self. I am a Robot, like the Will Smith movie. I am on auto pilot throughout my day and year and life.
I enjoy my coffee and cigarettes, and I love my Scotch and red wine. I do not think those things are fundamentally a problem (although many Buddhists would object). But these are things that dull us, things that help us avoid the present moment.
I want to have the balance of being fully present, Cigar and Scotch in my hand.