December 20, 2009
The Gift of Being Present
The bestseller Remember Be Here Now by Ram Dass was a gift my dad gave my mom Christmas of 1971. I felt like an elementary school beginner hippie/mystic, reading it in our home in Eugene, Oregon. I would get one of my father's ties and wear it as a headband while thumbing through the natural looking brown unbleached pages. Not far away, on campus, U of O students vigorously demonstrated against the Vietnam War, occasionally with small explosive devices.
Ram Dass introduced me to eastern thought early. Coming to fully embrace that "everyone is a manifestation of God and that every moment is of infinite significance" has been a goal since.
Many people spend less than 1% of their time living in the present. Our fast pace and busy minds have us dwelling in memories of the past, or anticipating future events. But the present is where everything is happening. It is where you can be the authentic you and experience life at its fullest, unencumbered by regret or anticipation.
When we observe our thoughts we can see by their content which time frame we are living in. Living fully now is the goal. Always gently bring yourself back to the moment. When washing the dishes, wash the dishes. Being mindful of the moment has many benefits.
Time slows down, and you feel calm. You are sharp, clear, and ready for any scenario. You are open and energetic. As a good friend says, "Life is fun."
There is more. You become less responsive to emotional triggers, and feel in control of yourself. You connect easily with others. Your interactions are meaningful and sincere. You respond to situations in a logical, fair manner. You have confidence. You are you, genuine and unafraid.
First we have to recognize we are trapped. Then we can work on becoming free. When you live in the moment, everything changes.
Be here now.