It is possible to grasp the reality of the present moment totally only when you see everything that has happened in the past as a dream. When you discard everything that has happened until now as a dream, only then can you understand the truth of the present moment.
It is the bhootkala (the past) that has overwhelmed and burdened our mind. Without being free of this bhoota (here meaning the past) you cannot attain the Bhootnatha (a name for Lord Shiva). To attain Bhootnatha we need to see everything in the past as a dream. And this is not a very difficult thing to do. All that we need for this is a little awareness.
You must have seen cats and dogs, sometimes they roll in water or dirt, but when they get up, they immediately shake everything off their body and walk ahead. In the same way, you too can play in the water or the mud, but every once in a while, just stand up and shake everything off and come into awareness. Then you will find that Lord Shiva is right here, right now. When you do this again and again, this realization begins to dawn and deepen within you.
Many times people become dejected and say, “Oh, I do not find interest in anything”. For you to have interest in something, you need to wake up and shake everything off. Why does one’s interest wane? It is because the clear mind is consumed and burdened by events of the past.
Whether pleasant or unpleasant events, whether it be your friends or enemies, all these entangle and burden the mind so much. They seem to take up so much space in your mind, as if you have given that part of your mind on rent to them. The past lives in your mind, but you don't really get anything in return (laughter). There is only loss in this entire transaction (by letting the past take up space in your mind).
So every once in a while, you will have to stand up and say, “This is my home”, and discard the past, else the tenant (events of the past) will think it is his home and he will take control, and then you will not know who the real owner is. So don't let the past consume your mind, displace you, and make your miserable.
When this awareness comes up in our life, even if for a few minutes every day – that all that has happened in the past, whether good or bad, is nothing but a dream, then you gain the strength to face whatever comes up in life. Then you will experience a surge of energy and expansion in your consciousness that was earlier clouded by these events.
Now this is not some mood-making technique to keep fooling or tricking the mind every now and then by saying, “Oh, it is all a dream”. When you feel hungry, then you do not see it as a dream. You feel it is real, isn’t it? So there is some practical truth to this.
So, every once in a while, stand up and just shake off the past and see that everything is a dream. This is the essence of sadhana (spiritual practices).
Sadhana does not mean to venture off into some other realm or dimension. It means to be here and now, doing all your duties and responsibilities, but also withdrawing from it all and awakening ( to the higher truth ) from time to time. It is awakening and kindling one’s awareness towards the ultimate truth. When we keep rekindling this awareness from time to time, I tell you then, life becomes so wonderful. Not just for yourself, but also for all others around you . Then all the people who come near you will also experience peace and happiness. You will have so much positive energy and good vibrations around you. And this is the only way to create that positive energy in and around you.