I try to avoid reminiscing–not reflecting–on the past. Reminiscing means that I there is a longing, a desire for what cannot be, a nostalgia (the root word of which is pain). During reflection, I deliberately consider a past experience, asses if I chose the best course of action, and affirm to continue or discontinue what I was doing.
It is not a lack of sentimentality, rather, I believe (and have been taught), to fully experience one’s life, you have to be awake in the moment–right now.
The highest consciousness is expressing as all of us–right now. During the state of samadhi we are able to realize this consciousness manifesting as us. However, it is not something we can do yesterday, it is a level we awaken to in the present.
My teacher eloquently expressed, you are already in samadhi right now; however, that samadhi is on this human incarnation.
The yoga sutras prescribe five efforts and commitments aspirants should cultivate to assist them in remaining fully, nondually, in the present moment: shraddha (faith), virya (positive energy), smriti (mindfulness or remembering), samadhi (seeking sustained meditation), and prajna (pursuing the highest wisdom).
Smriti is not an obsessive needling, it is a gentle determination to perform one’s actions in a way that holds to attention on the highest goal–assuming that is your goal. Smriti does not pertain to only renunciate, a layperson can practice smriti through their everyday actions. One classic way is offering all actions to where they came from–the highest source.
The Unity Offering Prayer encompasses this concept (there are many variations available):
“Divine Love as me,
blesses and multiplies.
All that I have, all that I give,
all that I receive”.
When we are in our everyday life, there is a perceived duality. Our locus of operation and the Other. Simply, consistently, “seeing” our actions as service to the Highest is a way to remind us of Our True Nature. If we really believe that there is only One, all actions come from the One. Therefore, offer cleaning the car, mowing the lawn, preparing a meal as seva–selfless service.
P.S. As usual, click the links–the one on the five efforts has an exquisite meditation practice on it!