Nothing else is possible but to be here now. No exercise, no Ashtanga yoga, no effort is necessary. One can only be here now. Also when I get angry about the past, I'm here now. Also when I worry about the future I'm here now. I cannot disappear in the future. Jumping into the future is a story for movies like "star war".
To focus on the senses, what do I hear now, what do I see now, what do I feel now is an ability of the mind among other abilities. Other abilities are indeed remembering things. It can be important for jobs. Another ability is to visualize, i.e. how I perform the next pose. This can be an important step towards being able to do it.
Being present (focusing on the senses) can be very important, for sure. There are situations where it can be life threatening if I'm not present, i.e. when I cross a street and I don't look if cars are coming. Sometimes it's simply impolite when I'm in a conversation and when I dream myself away. It can provoke the impression that the dreamer is bored.
Be here now is often an attempt of spiritual seekers with the impossible goal to be here now all the time. First, as written, nothing else is possible. Secondly, the mind is producing thoughts, even when we are sleeping and in bed. To stop this can only be temporarily. It's very frustrating to try something that is not possible. In addition I don't see the reason why this shall be a goal. Also dreaming can be interesting from time to time.
Does it make sense to learn to focus on the sense as one of the possibilities of the mind? I think yes. It's relaxing. It can bring a lot of joy. Eating a meal and tasting the food consciously is surely more joy than being mentally absent.
Even when focusing on the senses it's not the truth that we experience. It's also fiction. A dog hears and sees different than a human being.
I like the distinction about working mind and thinking mind by Ramesh Balsekar. Usually the mind is thinking. To use it for work is even important for survival. Work can be anything.
The thinking mind is what we all experience on a daily basis. Stories appear in our consciousness. Fiction. To realize that this is fiction makes life easier. To realize that the worries about the future are nothing but a thought can be a relief, possibly with the consequence to stop worrying as it allows to put away the thought like we put away a book. It's all fiction, sometimes entertaining in a most positive sense, sometimes not.
I've a book title here "Awakening to the dream". This describes what is meant by it.
Currently I read a very captivating book by the German author Andreas Altmann "Triffst du Buddha, töte ihn". (If you meet buddha, kill him.) The story: Andreas travels to India and participates in a vipasana retreat. Silence and meditation is on the schedule the entire day. The group tries to focus on the breath first.......to stay concentrated on anything for a long time is very difficult task, oh I know this too well. 10 min meditation and I've enough. It can be exercised to be concentrated.
On the picture is an easier form of the asana vasisthasana than we practice it in Ashtanga yoga. When I'm thinking I guarantee that I wobble and that I fall out of the pose. Balancing poses forces me to calm the mind.
The mind can be used in many ways. I appreciate all the abilities.
I'm looking forward to today: First I'll go to a Mysore class to practice Ashtanga yoga. A visit with my camera and my lenses to the zoo is planned. In the evening I'll go out with E. Ahhhhhh........