In the Moment

What’s wrong right now? What’s the matter in this moment, in this very second? If you’re actually on fire, great! That immediate danger will bring you right into the present — you won’t be capable of being anywhere else. But if you’re not on fire, then it’s likely that nothing is actually wrong right-now.

And if nothing is wrong, you should be feeling great. If you’re not feeling great, then you’re not present — your thinking-mind is taking you on a turbulent ride that you’re not enjoying. You’ve been transported to sometime in the past where you’re ruminating about unpleasant memories OR you’ve been taken into the future where you’re prophesying a doom-filled fate.

You better pump those brakes and get back into right-NOW. Start by breathing: in… out… in… out…. Focus on the breath in order to take focus off your thoughts. Now do a systems-check, starting at the top and working your way down: relax every part of your body — when you feel tension, release it. In that process of relaxing, you should feel some sensation at each spot.

For example, you should feel something as your thighs relax. Keep focus on those sensations as they happen. When all done, feel the sensation as a total-body experience, as an inner-energy pervading through your entire body — like you’re radiating light and joy. Focus on that feeling and know what it’s like to be in the moment — perfectly present.

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Now – Chapter 2

This is my interpretation of the book The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle.

Chapter 2

Misery is mostly manufactured by the thinking-mechanism of the mind. The mind creates a conflict, then maintains it with a series of strife-filled thoughts. And the more engrossed you become with the ongoing mind-based-show, the more uncomfortable you get. Whereas if you remain focused on the present, ignoring the mind’s shenanigans, the better time you’ll have.

In short, the thinking-mechanism of the mind is an attention-whore that’ll do whatever it takes to ensnare your awareness. The world is not the hellhole that the thinking-mechanism portrays it to be. Thoughts paint dour pictures of a woebegone past and a pessimistic future, slandering the actual experience of existence. Silencing these thoughts will drastically improve your experience.

Similarly to the thinking-mechanism, pent-up emotional pain is also diminished through unattached observation. When allowed to run rampant, emotional pain can turn you into a brainless zombie, feeding itself with whatever emotional situation originally created it. But there’s no need to combat this zombie with any technique other than observation and acceptance.

Getting lost in thought is a sedative that puts you to sleep — but while the mind is unconscious, the zombie rampages, driven by whatever negativity lies within. So you must become a protector of the peace by remaining conscious — allow negativity and pain to startle you awake. And through awareness and acceptance of the emotional pain within, it lessens.

Fear is a useless feeling. The thinking-mechanism believes itself under constant threat of danger. Wrong again! Do not fall for these anxiety-inducing thoughts. Remain present. Wake up from the nightmare that the thinking-mechanism of the mind created. Take back your life and start living consciously.

Now – Chapter 1

This is my interpretation of the book The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle.

Chapter 1

Enlightenment is: the enduring enjoyment of existence. The ability to attain this serene state exists within you right now, nothing external need be obtained.

Without enlightenment, you are subject to separateness, strife, and the ills born of fear and frustration.

The highest hurdle you must surmount is the belief that you are your ceasless thoughts. The deluge of deliberation is so dense, that it even forms a pseudo-self, a fake-you formed from rumination. Enlightenment ends the servitude to continuous contemplation and dissolves the faux-you.

The thinking-mechanism just blathers on about life, shouting its constant commentary and criticisms, predicting dire doom, worrying about this and that. The thinking-mechanism is the terrorizer within, the source of all your problems. YOU must strive to disassociate with this fiend — becoming that which masters thoughts.

You are to transform into a neutral observer of the thinking-mechanism. A thought is just a thought, it comes and goes while you watch it drift away. Those are no longer your thoughts, they’re just concoctions of conjecture floating by, worthless byproducts of the creative mind.

As thoughts are no longer invited into your mental abode, a silence develops within that space. And the more often you shut the door on these unwelcome solicitations, the more this silence grows into serenity. And from this serene state, your awareness strengthens and you become present.

You can always reach right-now by focusing on right-now. In whatever activity you find yourself, you can make it into a meditation by performing the requisite action with full focus, eschewing all incoming noise from the thinking-mechanism. You’ll know it’s working when you feel the contentedness flowing through.

As the space between thoughts increases, your degree of consciousness increases. You’re currently driven by an unconscious addiction to the thinking-mechanism, a problem that won’t end without intervention. Thoughts are not who you are, they’re a diversion from who you are, resulting in an existential dissatisfaction.

Your true self exists in this moment only — that’s it. Your consciousness is simply trying to experience existence, but the thinking-mechanism is polluting the process and preventing this from happening. Your goal is to allow the consciousness to experience life without intrusive thoughts getting in the way (leading to enlightenment).

Creativity is also hindered by the turbulent thought stream. Artistry stems from a depth below thought, thus a mind free of thought allows the creative potential to surface.

The thinking-mechanism also incites and inflames your emotions. Fierce emotions are the body’s response to the constant blathering of the thinking-mechanism. In other words: if the mind is a mess, the body and its emotions will manifest the mess. And beyond that, your external environment will even react to your volatility.

When you feel an emotion, you don’t have to be the emotion. Instead of “I am angry”, it becomes “I feel anger”. In this way you remain present, you’re simply an observer who’s sensing the ongoings within. You can even be proactive about it, and regularly query yourself with: “What am I feeling?”. Don’t think about it, just notice it.

The thinking-mechanism cannot solve problems, it is their source. And when silenced, affection and enjoyment and serenity bloom from within. Believing oneself to be the thinking-mechanism, is a source of suffering. The way out of suffering is by being present.

Entering Now

Your thoughts act as a smoke-screen obscuring the entrance to awareness. The only way to enter, is through pure presence. As you focus on nothing, it comes into focus.

Why should you even care to come in? It’s the treasure that treasure-seekers seek. Everything your heart desires, everything you’re looking for — it’s here, now. And the only cost to you, is complete and absolute dedication — a bargain to be sure!

Give up your thoughts. ALL of them. No more past, no more future — only present. What have your thoughts done for you? Frighted, intimidated, hindered — they’ve only served to torment you as you tried to live your life. Well there’s a remedy for that poison-of-the-mind — a simple fix: cut them out!

Thought targeted, thought terminated. Sitting watch with constant vigilance, you are now a hunter whose prey is each and every thought attempting to settle in your mind. The longer you remain thought-free, the more the door to right-now opens.

Imagine it, a paradise on Earth. Better yet, don’t imagine it and you’ll actually experience it. A simple choice to make, yes? At each moment that you notice yourself lost in thought, acknowledge it. Then as long as you dare, remain aware — and soon, you’ll be there.

Kindness for Consciousness

What have you done for your consciousness lately? You haven’t been smothering it with the worst thoughts possible, right? The poor unsuspecting consciousness came here to experience life-on-Earth and you’ve been presenting it with a slide-show consisting of complaints… haven’t you! What kind of host are you?

“Welcome consciousness, so you’re here to see what embodied existence is like? How exciting! Now, instead of all that, can I just get you to take a seat over here while I show you a decades-long presentation about how existence actually sucks and you shouldn’t waste your time trying to participate because it’s pretty horrible? Great! Let’s begin!”

Yikes. In case you’re not aware, that’s actually the WRONG approach to take. Your job is to take the consciousness on a ride through life — showing it a FUN time. It doesn’t want to hear about all your criticisms and critiques — it’s simply here to experience existence — the commentary is intrusive and distracting and frankly it’s rude.

Okay, now let’s do this the right way. The consciousness cares only about what’s happening right now. Anything from the past is an arbitrary selection of old remembrances drudged up by your thoughts — please don’t clutter the consciousness’s experience with that stuff. And any future-predicting is mere conjecture conjured up by your thoughts — again, don’t include it.

Whatever you’re physically doing doesn’t really matter, just let the consciousness take it all in, unimpeded by thought. Remember, the consciousness gets its fun through the act of unhindered observation — it’s not fussy. If you’re tying a shoe, that’s fine as long as your thoughts aren’t blathering away. Eating a carrot? Great, just shut up about it and let the consciousness soak it in.

If you think YOU’RE bored, imagine the poor consciousness that had to listen to you complain for all those years. It could have been experiencing life BUT nooo, you had to run your yapper nonstop. Besides, once you see the consciousness having a good time, your boredom will fade — don’t worry about it, you’ll get rewarded by being kind to your consciousness.

Becoming Present

Anything worth doing, is worth doing while aware. In other words, whatever you’re doing in the moment while fully present is STILL better than getting lost in thought and subject to the whims of the wandering mind. Whether it’s showering, or tidying up, or walking up stairs, or just sitting around — even a seemingly mundane activity beats stress-inducing thought.

Or so I’ve heard. I’ll be experimenting with staying in the now for now, and see how it goes. I don’t think staying in the now is totally obvious though. For example, imagine you’re running and you’re trying to remain present — so you focus on the pounding of your feet, the shortness of your breath, the twinge of pain in your left knee — that can’t be right.

So instead of all that, you’d probably want to experience the movement and the rushing air, perhaps the beauty in the surrounding scenery. I think the goal is: NOT to get lost in thought — THEN let the circumstance happen however it will. You’re not trying to specifically focus on anything — or direct a particular outcome — you’re just letting the scene unfold, unhindered by thought.

Additionally, throughout the day I keep asking myself “How are you?”. Whenever I do this, I notice that there’s a bit of tension in my body, usually in my chest area, so I relax and stop thinking about whatever I was thinking about. I come back to now and reset my tension to zero. I’m then aware of the activity I’m currently involved in, experiencing it from a first-hand perspective.

Consider it this way: say your friend made an animated-short-film and wanted you to see it. You sit down to watch. The film starts playing and you’re already lost in thought. “Hm, I wonder what I’ll have for lunch today. Maybe some tacos! Yeah! Oh, I just remembered it’s laundry day, gotta get that done later.” The film ends and your friend asks you if you liked it.

But of course you were too busy being lost-in-thought to experience the short-film that your friend made. She’s actually upset now, because it turned out that she made the film as a celebration of your friendship — it was a gift to you. You apologize and ask if you can watch it again, but this time while fully present, with your attention ready to receive whatever’s happening right in front of you.

Now apply that to life. Say there’s this awesome extravaganza called life going on all around you. There’s sights, sounds — sensations of all sorts — a buffet of experiences — all ready for the experiencing. Are you present, engaging with the world before you? Or are you lost-in-thought? Not actually participating? When it’s over, what are you gonna say? Oops my bad, can I see that again?