It is amazing how the “keywords” are more important than the experience itself.
“You have to live in the now.” “Women want a sexual partner who has presence, who is fully present in the act.”
Those phrases sound amazingly good. Knowledgeable stuff. Best seller material, but…. what is presence and what living in the now mean?
Do you know? Do you practice it?
There is no definition. There is no practice.
Do we need steps or methods to get there?
How can we explain something which defies our language?
Through a common Life scenario.
When we drive a car, as we become familiar with its operation, things become “second nature,” that is “automatic.”
We are driving for some time and our thoughts will appear and process some incident of the past or fantasize about something in the future, or even create a story out of some current Life episode. Have you noticed that?
If we haven’t noticed that, we are not ready to live in the “now.” We don’t know what that is, even if we repeat the latest definitions and use the more hip-hop terminology. At that point, we need to read “best sellers” on how to practice “presence,” and how to live in the “now.”
We need definitions, we need “how-to’s” and ideas to make this practice permanent in our everyday life.
However, a time will come when we notice our fantasizing, our dream world or tele-transportation into a remote past… then we are AWARE. No more “best seller” material needed.
When the mind is full of thoughts, we are not living in the “now.” When we drive the car in the “now,” we are automatically alert, even though it is the same avenue that we drive every day to work. Thanks to our mind, we can remember the familiar sight. But, thanks to our mind, we will snooze into unconsciousness due to the familiarity of the sight. It is the same old thing. No need to be alert.
When the mind is empty of thoughts, we are alert, aware, conscious. When we add content thanks to the conditioned mind; that pristine moment is not. Then, we do things in “automatic mode,” thoughts take over and we forget what we did 10 seconds ago.
After hearing this “revealing” explanation, some will say: “From now on, I will practice to empty my mind of thoughts, so I can live in the now.”
Please don’t put yourself in that stressful situation. Observe that there is no practice whatsoever. AWARENESS is not a practice. Emptiness of thoughts is not a practice. As our consciousness and state of BEING are in a tranquil state, the necessary space to separate ourselves from the mind will appear, then we could observe the mind.
Ahnanda is not saying “my mind,” but just the mind.
At that point, we will become AWARE on how we have obeyed the dictates of the conditioned mind for so long, thinking that THAT was ME.
No wonder, the greatest teaching of all time to remember is “Know thyself.”
Paradoxically, it is not a “Best seller.” 🙂
Since we live in the mind, our connection with the Universe is based on it.
For example, we see the Sun.
Rather than appreciating it, feeling it, enjoying it, letting ourselves be melt in pleasure by sensing the nurturing heat, the caressing light… we ask questions.
How far is the Sun from us? How big it is? How long it will last? Is it good or bad? Is it true that it causes cancer?
Those questions will have answers, which we may believe to be true or false.
At the end of the day, our answers do not matter at all, they are dry information.
You may suffer from prostate problems. You want to “fix it.” Trying all the drugs available and “breakthrough” therapies may not solve the problem, if it has an emotional cause. What kind of emotions?
Stress and fear. Those emotions will have an effect on your suprarenal glands which in turn will create a prostate inflammation.
Because we are not AWARE of the stress and inner fears, we believe those to be “normal.” Our minds are used to that “normal” state and cannot catch the relationship of emotions with bodily sensations.
A belief system. It is all conceptual. It is about the future, not now. It is using fear as motivation to DO something “now,” but not to BE in the “now.”
A law is another example. It is conceptual “black or white.”
All of those concepts and mind things are “reality” for most of us. But those things are not allowing us to perceive the reality of feeling, of enjoying, of becoming open to new experiences and to let go of the “same old thing,” when it is no longer necessary.
The mind cannot live in the “now.” It will not let us. It will always move to the past or the future, never allowing us to be in the “now.”
“Living in the now,” is a cute catchy phrase for those who are only capable of living in the mind.
No-mind is the “now.” That is a Life without concepts, philosophy, analysis, comparative charts and beliefs, second hand information, “knowledge.” Our connection to the Universe is through feelings, through our senses whether physical or beyond.
Sooner or later, a seeker will move away from the mind, for that is the sure way to get into the heart; which means fulfillment, contentment, joy. The mind may search for it, but those things are not of the mind.
That is why “No-mind” is to taste Life in the “now.”