A Brief Visit to the Now

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Mondays I babysit for my grand-daughter Lilian; every Monday teaches me something.

This Monday, having just started Eckhard Tolle’s The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, an intriguing passage from the book came to me while Lilian played:

Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life. Whereas before you dwelt in time and paid brief visits to the Now, have your dwelling place in the Now and pay brief visits to past and future when required to deal with the practical aspects of your life situation.

So what does it look like when you’re totally focused in the Now? I decided to watch Lilian to find out. Here’s what I observed:

It looks totally engaged and absorbing and sounds happy—lots of humming and non-verbally-expressed delight.

It looks haphazard, random, even a little dopey although, perhaps, undetected by older, rational, linear eyes, some sort of complicated problem-solving’s going on.

It looks experiential. The surrounding world to be worked upon, discovered, or arranged is stroked, smelled, sucked on, chewed,  i.e. all senses are more relied upon.

It looks pure. And holy.

It looks like a place I would like to visit more often.

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  1. The Now, yes. I’ve been reading Thich Nhat Hanh (as you have done?) and
    practicing with a Sangha.
    Thay: “Present moment, wonderful moment.”
    That gets me back to the here and now. At FMC worship, anywhere.
    Focusing on the beautiful planet, not on the damage we humans have done.
    As I get older, I tend to focus on the memories, good and bad. Get back, get back.
    Thanks, for your writing and thoughts,


  2. What I’m learning from Lilian is how much it takes to learn to put everything together — she’s now practicing putting things into containers and taking them out and putting them into other containers. It’s very absorbing and fun! She can go on for hours on end. We adults, future- and past-oriented, think that reading a book or listening to a sermon will teach us what we need to know. Lilian knows different — you have to practice!

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