Living in the present moment is the essential spiritual practice one would undertake to get a glimpse of the joy and peace that comes by letting go of the past and future. This is the beginning of the journey into the formless world that exists within us and through which everything emerges.
Even during the course of the journey, this one practice sees us through the ups and downs that come as we let go of identification with the various layers that we take on during lifetimes and finally establish a constant connection with the Source.
As a continuous practice, living in the present moment would mean giving complete undivided attention to whatever comes up at that moment- without engaging in thoughts arising in the mind. It would mean taking each breath deeply and feeling it. It would mean being totally aware of how your child looks and feels as she comes to you for a hug. It would mean being aware of the temperature of the running water, the touch of the dishes and the smell of the soap while washing dishes. It would mean listening to the person talking to you, through every pore of your body. Many of us do it unconsciously when we are living the moment from our heart, when we are engaged in an activity we love doing -like singing, or painting or gardening or just looking at a beautiful rose, a waterfall or the starry night sky. If you could take a moment and experience the peace and joy that particular moment brings unconsciously, you can carry it to all activities that you do.
The following book review of the phenomenal book by the luminary Eckhart Tolle, ‘THE POWER OF NOW’, is intended to remind us of this basic truth. I have given a few excerpts (in quotes) from the book so the readers can feel the power of those words for themselves and get a glimpse into what priceless wisdom they can gather from the book.
The book explains the concept of Beingness, which we so often forget in this world of form and activity, explains the illusion that prevents us from Being, and then takes us through the practice of Living in the Now as the one main path to that Beingness, Oneness, or the Source. Understanding the perception of mind and time- that has come from the conditioning throughout our lives , is very important to know the barriers to present moment awareness. Once, we are free of this illusion, the Beingness just shines forth.
The book begins with a beautiful story, which reminds us that looking within is the only direction we need to take in our spiritual journeys to discover who we truly are. Discovering who we are directs us to the steps we can take to fulfill our highest purpose.
“A beggar had been sitting by the side of a road for over thirty years. One day, a stranger walked by. “Spare some change?” mumbled the beggar, mechanically holding out his old baseball cap. “I have nothing to give you.” said the stranger. Then he asked:”What’s that you are sitting on?” “Nothing,” replied the beggar.”Just an old box as far as I can remember.” “Ever looked inside?” asked the stranger.”No,” said the beggar. ”What’s the point?There’s nothing in there.” “Have a look inside,” insisted the stranger. The beggar managed to pry open the lid. With astonishment, disbelief, and elation, he saw that the box was filled with gold. “
I am that stranger who has nothing to give you and who is telling you to look inside. Not inside any box, as in the parable, but somewhere even closer: inside yourself.