I would like to explain why training in present moment awareness should be our top priority. If we examine the kinds of thoughts that cause us to suffer, there are are two varieties.
First there are the kind of thoughts that lament the past such as anguish over the passing of a loved one, the reliving of a traumatic experience or regret over mistakes we’ve made. Second, there are the kinds of thoughts that are characterized by fear of the future, such as worries that we will not have enough material resources or that we will not have the company of friends and family.
Both kinds of thoughts are of course useless to us and cause us to experience negative feelings. If we are trained in labeling our experience as it arises and returning the mind to the present moment, we can then devote our attention to action based on the lessons we have learned which in turn will ensure a bright future.
In this way, we overcome both kinds of thoughts at once. Because we avoid wasting time rehashing yesterday, we no longer need to worry about tomorrow. If we become skilled in our ability to return to the present moment, happiness will therefore quickly ensue.