Embracing The Moment
Years ago I awakened to this truism: We repair the past and prepare the future by being present in the moment. I was a bit puzzled by this insight so began to meditate on it daily. In these daily sessions with my Inner Being I began to experience the concept of time as an illusion that kept me from being present in the infinite flow of Life. I began to see how I divided my life into separate boxes of activity rather than being aware of participating in the ever present flow of Now. Learning to live in the moment brought a sense of blessing and reverence to everything.
I found myself repairing the past and preparing the future. I found myself in the spaciousness of the here and now. This experience began to show me that no matter what we think or say, it’s always the present moment. It’s like standing in a flowing river experiencing the ever present movement yet being fixed in one place. I began to experience the mysterious paradox of life in the midst of the wonder-filled present. This led me to understand in a new way that our Presence in our Product. As you’re reading these words are you in this flow, here, now?
I’m reminded of Brother Lawrence who taught me to be with the dishes as I’m washing them, with the broom and the floor as I’m sweeping; to consciously focus on what I’m being and doing as I’m participating with it. This is the essence of practicing presence, of being here, now. The more we consciously embrace this moment, the more we became aware of the infinite Presence that’s always here and always now. This brings awareness to how often we’re not here and now. Where’s your attention now? How focused are you here? Where are you?
Over the years I’ve watched myself and others get caught in the morass of there and then rather than the wonder of here and now. Instead of repairing the past, we dwell on it, long for it, mull it over and get stuck in it. We also project into the future, wanting things to be different and not appreciating today. Goethe said: “Nothing is worth more that this day.” When we’re living in our yesterdays and tomorrows the worth of today is diminished. Are you connecting with what I’m saying here? How are you embracing this moment, here and now?
How often have you, like me, looked for happiness in some other place beyond this place; in another hour beyond this hour? Is it possible that living happily ever-after is a day to day affair rather than some fantasy out there in the forever unknown? Imagine a situation you haven’t wanted and have railed against. Sit quietly and peacefully in this situation and bring light and life to it. See a radiant glow of light energy around it and embrace it. What’s your experience in this moment? Is the situation being repaired, transcended, transformed? Can you allow it to be?
Now envision a future situation you’re wanting. Surround it with a radiant glow of life giving energy and sit within it. In this present moment you are experiencing another present moment. You are creating this future in the present.. Rest here in this moment. . . Are you getting a subtle taste of how you can repair the past and prepare the future by being present in the moment? Now, before you read the next paragraph, sit quietly in this moment. . . Breathe. . .Receive. . .
When you’re walking, how aware are you of putting one foot in front of the other and breathing in and out, in and out? How about when you’re driving your car? I remember so many times driving down the highway and missing my exit because I was not giving attention to my driving. Being on ‘remote control’ is a very common practice for most of us much of the time. This is not embracing the moment. It’s not being aware of the moment. It’s not being present. It’s being absent, unaware, unconscious, habitual, asleep . . .
I’ll never forget the first time one of my psycho-spiritual mentors yelled at me to WAKE UP. I had no idea what he was talking about. After all, I thought I was awake. My eyes were open. I wasn’t in bed sleeping. How could he accuse me of being asleep? It took years and much practice before I truly realized what he was directing me to: Embrace the Moment. . . . Awaken Presence. . . . Attention Attention Attention. . . . Huh? What? Really?
Without an ‘ongoing awareness practice’ living in the past and the future becomes habitual. It’s easy to become mechanical. We get tired, lazy, distracted, alienated, disconnected and bored along with a variety of other dissociative behaviors. We stop focusing on what’s here and now because we’re habitually seduced by our conditioned behavioral patterns. We get lost in the outer world of noise and drama and forget there’s a silent inner world that’s filled with subtle revelations beyond all we think we know. The final word here is from Walt Whitman:
“Happiness, not in another place but this place, not for another hour, but for this hour. With the past, I have nothing to do, nor with the future. I live now.”
- While you’re sitting here, become aware of you body. This is an awareness exercise. Wiggle your toes. Be aware of your feet, your arches, your heels. Now move to your ankles, calves, knees, thighs, hips, and so on until you’ve connected with all the external parts of your body. Put your hands over your heart and feel your pulse, your breathing. Become consciously aware of your surroundings. Slowly connect mentally, emotionally, physically and . .
- Throughout this day, remember to remember to give attention to your breathing and your pulse. You can do this while you’re at your desk, walking, doing anything or nothing. It’s a simple exercise to reconnect you with your Ground of Being: to become more and more Self Aware of your connection with the Infinite Awareness in the present moment, open moment. . .
- Practice Brother Lawrence’s method by focusing with internal intent on what you’re doing externally – I’m opening the refrigerator. I’m scratching my head. I’m typing this sentence. I’m feeling the weight of my body on this chair. I’m aware of the pain in my lower back. I’m blinking. I’m aware of my breath again. I’m relaxing my shoulders. I’m standing up. I’m washing this plate. I’m picking up this pen. I’m feeling gratitude. I’m smiling. . .
- Choose one of the above exercises and practice embracing the moment throughout this day and notice the difference it makes. Focus on the moment and consciously elevate your inner disposition, attention and awareness. Tap into the ever expanding level of being and becoming by embracing the moment, here, now, all ways. Attention . . . . Intention . . . . Attention . . . .
Are you still breathing? Are you here now? Are you embracing the moment? Are you smiling?