Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Being In The Moment

Eckhart Tolle, in his book The Power of Now states "The whole essence of Zen is walking on the razor's edge of be so utterly, so completely present that no problem, no suffering, nothing that is not who you are in your essence, can survive in you. In the Now, in the absence of time, all your problems dissolve. Suffering needs time; it cannot survive in the Now.

Being in the moment requires what may appear as opposite energies working together. To be in the moment one needs focus along with the ability to let go. Being in the moment requires us to focus on the Now while letting go of attachments to the past or daydreams of a perfect future. So many of us are filled with regrets about bad behavior or poor choices that we made in our youth or even in our recent lives. Often it is difficult to let go and leave behind the mistakes of the past. Equally difficult at times is letting go of a romanticized version of the past that never really happened as we think we remember it. In general, life has never been as easy or simple as we thought it was. Looking at my life 30 years ago, when I was 28 years old, with my now 58 year old eyes distorts the reality of how challenging life really was as young, naive, and often financially challenged parent. Even now, as a wiser and older person, I must also let go of my daydreams of a perfect future when today's troubles are behind me, when I no longer have to work, when I have no money problems, when I can do whatever I want whenever I want. Hopefully, I will have some of this but it's not likely to be perfect. Today's troubles will be replaced with tomorrow's challenges. I may be free of today's work grind but I still may need to work a little to supplement my income. It's not likely that my health will get better as I age. I may become one of those retired people who are busier than they have ever been. Life is uncertain so tomorrow's dreams may never happen. The point is that we cannot relive the past and the future is uncertain. What we can do is live well now. Make the most of every moment. Live life as fully as the moment allows. Grab on to the joy of the moment. Today, for example, is about as beautiful as a day can be. I went outside earlier to feel the coolness of the wind and the warmth of the sun. It energized me and I felt one with the moment and with life. As the author Ram Dass says, "Be here now"! Today will be tomorrow's yesterday and we can then let it go. The Now is inexhaustible and will continuously replenish itself. By living in the moment our joy may also be inexhaustible and continuously replenished.

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