Being Present in the Now

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Felix(our dog) and I took off early this morning to a Pooh Bear adventure. We had a clear sunny morning so we headed out to our favorite walk along a dyke  west of Kamagra Mission, the small town where I live.

I had enjoyed an amazing meditation earlier and I’m neck deep in  Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual EnlightenmentPersonal Transformation Books) so I was intent on being in the present during the walk. I would practice the Thick That Hanh suggestions: “When drinking tea, drink tea.”

I started off well. When you are surrounded by beauty in is fairly easy, at least, at first to stay in the moment.

I enjoyed looking at a world that had exploded into green since the last time I’d been out this way for a walk. Young green leaflets ( not full leaves yet) graced the cottonwood trees giving them a new lively appearance.

The fields boasted a million hues and shades of green a constant changing array. A yellow sea of dandelion blooms swept through the grasses like scattered gold nuggets leaving me wondering why the poor plant is so ill considered in the larger world.

As I pondered on that questions, I experience my first slip out of the present. How easy it is to drift off on some metal tangent leaving the present far behind as you drift through a maze of thought following well worn trails back into the past or forward into future concerns. But I stay faithful and pull myself back to the present.

I again focused on the sheer pleasure of being in the moment with a blue sky and clouds somehow suspended in atmosphere for me to gawked at and wonder at the abundant beauty of our world.

I stopped often to listen to the silence.

Eckhart says ” Listening to the silence immediately creates stillness inside you. Only the stillness in you can preceive the silence outside. And what is stillness other than presence, consciousness freed from thought forms”

I could feel his point. Every time I stopped to allow in the silence I did become stilled by its power to evoke some sense of the eternal majesty of the universe. Somehow the silence transforms our parochial sensibilities into a stunned sense of divine presence on a scale that defies mechanical awareness, and takes us to a place of knowing that stretches beyond our comprehension.

All during the walk I kept bringing myself back to the present, back to the now moment. I began to understand what it must be like to live there in that moment all the time.

I also noticed with amusement that Felix seem to have no trouble staying in the present. Nose down, tail wagging, excitement carried him hither and thither without any stray thoughts disturbing the glory of his now.

When we arrived at the river, he takes off in a mad dash only stopping at the last minute to make sure I’m in on the game too and to make sure I was looking to a stick to toss out for him to retrieve.

Felix is my mentor when it comes to learning to live in the present.

As Felix and I go off to enjoy a well deserved nap, I will leave you with the words of Eckhart once again:

“You cannot find yourself by going into the past. You find yourself by coming into the present.”

Exercise For Staying Present.

I think I found this in Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes LivesLiterature & Fiction Books)

It’s a deceptively easy method of bringing yourself into the now.

Where am I ?

Here.

When am I?

Now.

I am here now.

Use this little exercise when ever you feel the need to bring yourself back or to remind yourself that you are in the “Now”.

Of course you know…you can’t really be anywhere else.

 

With Love

 

Nick

 

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