"When I allow it, it is, when I avoid it, it is." --Tony Parsons
There it was-- a totally serious and earnest post begging for help to be in the now.
Wherever this poster was, the now was not the state they were in.
Maybe Florida, or Oklahoma.
It was a problem. The now was missing, whereabouts unknown.
Yooo hooo…. The noooowwww…
The post was touching in its sincerity. Perhaps that’s why 140 commenters had sage advice to help this person finally get to where they wanted to be.
“Pain is necessary to know the now.” Oh yay! BDSM spirituality.
“Your mind takes you out of it.” Ah. Takes you to where? No info provided.
“Snap a rubber band whenever you leave the now.” Is that like Dorothy clicking her heels? “There’s no place like the now.”
“You need proper training. Message me.” Yep. New-client-scoring opportunity- check.
“Watch your breath.“ This was by far the most popular advice and strategy for proper now-ness.
Though “watching” the breath, a form of meditation that many have at some point attempted, is extremely uninteresting to the mind. The mind is totally bored by presence.
Which is why, seconds after moving focus to the breath, attention shifts to figuring out how to solve life's problems- maybe get more money or a better relationship or a plan for dinner.
This was apparently what this poster above was experiencing. Their mind wandered, as minds do.
The poster took that to mean they’d left the now.
Because for them and so many commenters, the now only happens with human attention. Take eyes off it for a second, and boom! Now is out the door again. So it needs rubber bands and pain and reminders to make it stick around.
As if the human mind, the very same one that skitters quickly away from the now, is the only thing that can actually hold the now in place.
Which of course makes no sense, though it is the common wisdom.
People mistake human attention, focus, for the now. They think they’re the same thing.
Meanwhile, why do people even want to be in the now, anyway? What for?
There are only 3 reasons anyone would care.
They want to feel better.
They want in on some amazing experience they’ve heard about but seem left out of, and/or
They want to do the right thing, be good, live right.
Being in the now has become a requirement, a rule or strategy, for the right way to live.
As if there is such a thing.
And as if focus on the present moment is the only approved option. Focus on anything else is just wrong.
So when existence has the nerve to provide some other focus, like perhaps running thoughts about work or a "bad" feeling, humans say, “No no no, that’s not right.”
Which is peculiar.
Because even the scampering mind is happening now.
No matter what it is attending to, no matter what it is thinking about.
Thinking about the breath, thinking about day to day life, thinking about feelings- same.
All happening now, all included in now.
Though that desired attention on the approved right subjects might actually serve a purpose, too. Since it leaves us more aware of the self, rather than less.
Focus on the breath of the me, the in-the-now of the me, discounts all of existence’s infinite other options.
Which is kind of small. Kind of me-centered. Kind of self-conscious. Kind of all about the self and how it’s doing.
I mean, if one wants to do things right…
that might not be it.
Because clearly the now is already here. All the time. There’s nothing else. It can’t go anywhere. There’s nothing outside it.
The now certainly does not need humans to pay attention to it.
Which is another way of saying, “This is it.” And is as now as it gets.
The poster asking for help above simply hadn't noticed they already had all the now they could ever want.
So... what now?
Laughter. Crying. Dinner. Poverty. Thinking. Meditating. Pain. Desires. Sunshine.
And the cliché-because-it’s-the-only-option-no-matter-what-is-happening
Now. Now. Now.
Click here to get your Mind-Tickled every week.
"The fish, searching for water, can never find it, although it is immersed in it." --Rupert Spira
"Everything is Now." --Alan Watts