Commit to the Present

My friend Jessica has this tattoo emblazoned on her wrist and it’s brilliant. What a high spiritual commitment, to park one’s presence firmly in the moment.

But damn, it’s hard to do. My brain is well-trained in rumination and future-tripping and getting to right now feels like taming a spastic monkey. But with practice, it becomes more natural.

I first encountered this notion of present moment awareness when a friend was bitching about how much he loathed Eckhart Tolle’s book, The Power of Now. His couple’s therapist forced him to listen to it on CD and, then single, he was tossing them out. His descriptive complain-a-thon piqued my interest and I took the CDs off his hands, popped them in my car’s stereo, and became completely entranced by that little German guru who calmly opened with, “I have little use for the past and rarely think about it.”

“No use for the past?! But how can I properly punish those people and events that have wronged me if I’m not busy hating them for it?” That was my mindset. But I listened on because something about Eckhart’s words resonated on a level below my incredulity. My inner knower wanted to hear more.

Those who have not found their true wealth, which is the radiant joy of Being and the deep, unshakable peace that comes with it, are beggars, even if they have great material wealth. They are looking outside for scraps of pleasure or fulfillment, for validation, security, or love, while they have a treasure within that not only includes all those things but is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer.

The notion that the present moment, the “radiant joy of Being,” has everything I need, every resource and happiness, was and is a magnificent realization. To me, Being is the only place I can connect with divine presence within me and around me, the only place where I find that “inner OK-ness” I’ve sought so many other ways in vain (men, money, shopping, alcohol, friendships, work, approval-seeking, family…). It’s my true treasure, available to me any time I pause, redirect my monkey brain, and commit to the present.



One thought on “Commit to the Present

  1. Part of your title plays into the article so well, “the manual.” Reading this reminds me that we all must write some of the manual ourselves. So many things only we can work out, help is good but it won’t lead to the “unshakable peace,” without the willingness to act or be. Thank you for this, the title caught my eye and the content helped me open my heart.

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