Marcus Aurelius And Living In The Present Moment

Marcus Aurelius And Living In The Present Moment

It's easy to lose ourselves in the endless torrent of information and distractions that bombard us daily. Which makes the lessons of the Stoics and Marcus Aurelius more relevant than ever. Aurelius' meditations on mindfulness, self-awareness, and the power of the present moment, offer valuable insights that can help us navigate life's challenges more effectively. 

One of the most important lessons from Marcus Aurelius is the concept of 'prosoche,' which means 'attention' or 'vigilance' in ancient Greek.  

In the context of Stoicism, prosoche refers to the disciplined focus on our internal mental processes, with the central idea being to develop the ability to constantly monitor and evaluate our internal mental processes. By actively monitoring these patterns, we can discern whether they align with our core values and principles. This self-examination enables us to cultivate inner virtues, such as patience, courage, and wisdom, while also helping us avoid being swayed by external influences. 

"The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts," wrote the Stoic Emperor in his 'Meditations.'

By practicing mindfulness, we can identify any unhelpful or negative thought patterns that may be causing us suffering. We often worry about future events that may never happen or dwell on past mistakes that cannot be undone. By recognizing these thoughts for what they are—unproductive and disempowering—we can learn to release them and act without the burden of energy-sapping, useless thoughts. 

So when you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, slow down, focus on the present moment, and pay attention to the quality of your thoughts. In doing so, you’ll not only be acting as a practicing Stoic, but you’ll also be setting yourself on a path towards greater self-awareness, inner strength, and personal growth.