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Seeking and Being Present: A Path to Fulfillment

In our fast-paced and complex world, being present is increasingly challenging as the drive to seek new things is amplified. We are addicted to stimuli, particularly the urge to solve problems. This pushes us to acquire new knowledge and experiences. While this drive fuels progress and innovation, it also makes it difficult to stay fully present in the moment and to feel satisfied it as it is..

The Distractions of Always Seeking

When we're always seeking, we can get caught up in desires and distractions. Constant comparison, thinking about the future, and dwelling on the past can make us feel unsatisfied and unhappy. This happens because seeking and acquiring—whether it’s material possessions, achievements, problem-solving, relationships, or even spiritual experiences—pulls us away from the present moment, where life really happens.

The Power of Being Present

If we are deeply rooted in the present moment, our suffering and confusion will diminish even when the drive to seek arises. Zen practice is powerful for this. Understanding that the world is a phenomenon that constantly arises and passes away allows us to settle comfortably in the present. In other words, Zen practice helps anchor us in the present moment and reduce distractions. By cultivating a state of presence, we can experience life more fully and truthfully, finding peace and contentment in the now instead of constantly chasing more. 

SONOMAMA (As-It-Is-Ness)

"Sonomama" (そのまま) in Japanese means "as it is" or "just as it is." It implies leaving something unchanged or in its current state. This phrase aligns with the concept of accepting things without trying to alter them, capturing the essence of embracing the present moment and its inherent reality. SONOMAMA practice is about leaving our thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations as they are without judgment. Just leave them as they are. This practice encourages us to accept things without trying to change or judge them. Embracing as-it-is-ness fosters a deep sense of peace and contentment, allowing us to experience the present moment fully. By practicing SONOMAMA, we can stay grounded in the present and avoid the distractions of constant seeking, ultimately letting go of incessant demands and finding true joy in simply being. All there is is always the way it is now.

Spiritual Traditions and Presence

This perspective aligns with many spiritual traditions, emphasizing the importance of being present and transcending constant demands. Understanding and integrating these principles can foster a more balanced and fulfilling way of living. Spiritual teachings from Buddhism, for instance, highlight the concept of "non-attachment" and being present. Similarly, mindfulness practices rooted in Zen Buddhism and other traditions teach us to live in the moment and appreciate the now.

Embracing SONOMAMA for a Fulfilling Life

By embracing the SONOMAMA practice, we can lead a more fulfilling life. We learn to appreciate the present moment and enjoy simple things. We understand that constantly pursuing more often leads to a never-ending cycle of dissatisfaction. Instead, we can find true peace and contentment by being present and accepting things as they are.

In conclusion, while our current human life emphasizes seeking and solving, building foundational muscles to be you as you are is essential. SONOMAMA (as-it-is-ness) meditation is a powerful tool to remind us of who we are. It embraces the drive to seek and solve, leading to a more fulfilling life. By practicing being present with SONOMAMA, you can find true peace in the present moment.

Writing and Image by K E I K O

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