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Be here now

Be here now

The present moment is all there is

As this inquiry has progressed, I have more and more found that an essential element, perhaps the essential element of living from love is the ability to inhabit the present moment, to live in the here and now.

Aha you say, he’s a Buddhist. Well yes and no. ‘Buddhist’ is a category, a name, which takes us away from the present moment into other universes, away from this text, me writing, and you reading.

To be here now means staying present to the moment to moment unfolding of life in ourselves and others. This includes listening, touching and looking at the outside world, coupled with the inner real-ization that everything we remember of the past and all we can imagine of the future are present time embodied, electro-chemical events in our bodyminds*; that ‘future’ and ‘past’ exist only as features of our present time imaginal life.

How does being here now contribute to living from love? Experiencing ourselves and others in the present moment means that we are both available to, and aware of, each other as persons, and so are more likely to be able to accurately respond to others, and declare ourselves. The quality of presence that emerges, of being present for, and to each other, can hugely aid negotiation, it builds trust and coherence and nourishes love.

What does being here now, living in the present, mean in practice?

Living in the present moment is a continuing task. A coming to focus, as I write this, of the sound of the computer cooling fan, the traffic in the street outside, the sound of fingers on the keys and the dark image of these words as they emerge from my moments in the present to be available to you in your moment of reading them. (And now I return to the present from being engaged in anxieties about what the rain will mean for today’s planned outings). If lovingly cared for, young children live comprehensively in the present moment. At seven and eight months, my grandchildren appear to be present to themselves and others in every waking moment.

Living in the present is a state which continually slips away, to be recovered, effortlessly, without criticism or complaint. It implies learning to constantly return from thoughts, plans, opinions and ideas of the future or past, to what we are experiencing in this moment.

Putting a high value on being in the present moment doesn’t deny the value of memory, or of imagining possibilities to come, or of intensely exploring the contents of our imagination, these are necessary and inescapable, rather it grounds and anchors us in what is actual, what is happening in us and around us, what we are experiencing.

When this capacity is installed, or even if it is still only a desire, an ambition, love is more likely to take root and flourish.

*(while there is no reason to suppose that science is complete, some as yet undiscovered extra-sensory dimension isn’t likely to change this embodiment of experience).

Comments

Jim Robinson 2006-01-11 15:27:14

How to be able to be here now is the question I have lived with for so long. I think we have an instinctive call to live in this way but so much gets in the way, has got in my way. After eighteen years of therapy I feel today as if I can allow the effects of my past traumas to dominate me only for hours at a time rather than days and weeks and months. I feel so much freer to return to here now and the love that is always waiting for me, here, now.

To be here, now, I need to be relatively free in my heart, head and body. Each energised, responsive and uncommitted. I'm really appreciating at the moment my yoga and meditation as support to my body and heart. My wife and my therapy as support to my heart and my training as support and challenge to my head. Jim Robinson Jan 06

Jim Robinson 2006-01-11 15:28:46

How to be able to be here now is the question I have lived with for so long. I think we have an instinctive call to live in this way but so much gets in the way, has got in my way. After eighteen years of therapy I feel today as if I can allow the effects of my past traumas to dominate me only for hours at a time rather than days and weeks and months. I feel so much freer to return to here now and the love that is always waiting for me, here, now.

To be here, now, I need to be relatively free in my heart, head and body. Each energised, responsive and uncommitted. I'm really appreciating at the moment my yoga and meditation as support to my body and heart. My wife and my therapy as support to my heart and my training as support and challenge to my head.

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This document was last modified on 2005-10-27 08:32:52.