There are many great authors and teachers who have taught us how to come back to the transcendent beauty of the present moment: Eckhart Tolle, through The Power of Now; Jon Kabbat Zinn, through Coming to Our Senses; Rupert Spira, through The Nature of Consciousness–to name only a few. For persons (egos) who are unconsciously obsessed with their doings, this may seem an absolutely absurd and useless subject. “What do you mean, I should be still and appreciate the beauty around me! I have business meetings to attend to, major transactions to conclude, and a 12:15 appointment to summit Mount Everest!”
Consider, if you will, what many of us have previously valued:
- Multi-Tasking: The highly revered ability to accomplish not only one task at a time, but three or–better yet–five! Productivity at any expense, whether personal or professional, has been praised as the crowning glory of humankind. A sidebar should be added: Once started, this self-driven habit must be continued until the first shovelfuls of dirt are splattering upon the top of our coffin. Job well done!
- Earning Money: The ability to earn money–not just enough to provide for the necessities of life and to tuck away some savings–is often the little-g god that we worship. Many of us may have wanted to earn enough of the stuff to impress the neighbours to our left. Won’t they be envious when we tell them our story of our wonderful travels, or show up in our new (insert the brand of the nuts-and-bolts thing here). In all likelihood, however, the neighbour to our left doesn’t give a damn about our life story because their too busy trying to impress the neighbour two doors to their right.
- Personal Goals: A topic near–and now not-so-dear–to my heart. A short sentence sums up my sentiments now: “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” All of us are created to pursue our goals; because the drive to create is encoded into our DNA. We are creators. Setting out to achieve our goals is still worthwhile, but wouldn’t our goals–and the quality of our lives–be enhanced by deliberately bringing balance and harmony to whatever we do?
The short list above could have been much longer; but the number of points doesn’t matter, only the underlying message. How can an article about present-moment living be of any assistance right now, especially given the current focus of a virus in the world? It can be of great value, if we will slow down–even a little–and consider the following point: Fear and doom and gloom are not present in the current moment. “Nonsense!” readers may cry. Are you implying that there isn’t a very important situation occurring in the world right now? Not at all; that’s not the point. The intended message is this: When we deliberately bring our attention back to the present moment, we escape so much of the mind-created torment. If we will Be Still–even for a few moments–we can realize that the fear we may be experiencing is a creation of the mind. In the present moment, before any negative information is analyzed or repeated ad nauseam, fear does not exist. It can’t.
The call of this article is to awaken to what is actually occurring before the mind intrudes and shouts: Wake up Johnny and Jane, it’s time to be afraid again! That doesn’t imply that we should not act in responsible ways that are sensible and a benefit to ourselves and our neighbours. We wash our hands; we respectfully keep our distance; we wait in line; and we consciously direct our attention to even one aspect of our life for which we can be grateful.
This article is not intended as Pollyanna mumbo-jumbo. It’s purpose is to help guide persons out of their mind-induced fear, and into the beauty that is here and now, despite all that is happening in the world. There’s an even greater realization that can occur by practicing present-moment living: We can discover What–not who–we truly are. When the mind is stilled, we can realize that fear is no longer generated. We will also notice that the little self who was so fearful (the one made from personality and form) has faded into the background, or gone missing all together. When this dawns upon our awareness, we realize that we don’t have to think to exist! What is it that knows this to be the case? Our true identity, which is beyond the mind: Consciousness itself.
Many of you will be familiar with Earth Hour; a period of sixty minutes when we collectively turn off our lights to decrease the demand for electricity in the world. As human beings committed to caring for one another, please consider this: Let’s all power down our mind for at least one hour each day, especially if our mind isn’t generating anything positive or worthwhile. In doing so, we will save ourselves and the collective consciousness a whole lot of grief. (If you feel that “Soul Hour” is an idea worth sharing, please pass this article along to our brothers and sisters.) Namaste.
Dare to dream (and care for one another).
With heartfelt regards,
Copyright © – 2020 – R. Arthur Russell