Posts Tagged ‘Present Moment’



Below is this week’s inquiry, questions designed not to make you stop and think, rather to be with it experientially.

Where is the love?

“The great affair, the love affair with life, is to live as variously as possible, to groom one’s curiosity like a high-spirited thoroughbred, climb aboard, and gallop over the thick, sunstruck hills every day.  It began as mystery, and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.”

~ Diane Ackerman


The blue sky opens out farther and farther,
the daily sense of failure goes away,
the damage I have done to myself fades,
a million suns come forward with light,
when I sit firmly in that world.

I hear bells ringing that no one has shaken;
inside “love” there is more joy than we know of;
rain pours down, although the sky is clear of clouds;
there are whole rivers of light.



we call it. As in: wild, or perfect.
We abandon ourselves
to love.

~Kate Knapp Johnson~


This Union you want with the earth and sky
This Union we all need with love

Stay here quivering like a drop of mercury

(combined words of Rumi & Hafiz)



for a

lovely thing

and you


find it…

~ Sara Teasdale ~


I am the one whose love
overcomes you, already with you
when you think to call my name….

~Jane Kenyon~

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This week’s inquiry, designed to be experienced rather than answered at the level of the mind:

What is beautiful just as it is?  

“…beauty is not a need but an ecstasy.
It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth,
But rather a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted.”
~ Kahlil Gibran ~

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I went to see the movie After Earth – not my typical movie fare, but it appeared it may have a metaphysical slant, so it was worth a try.  The main character, portrayed by Jaden Smith, has a life and death mission to carry out, but in order to fulfill that mission he must put himself in danger with predators who will hunt and kill him.  However, these predators can’t actually see him, the only means they have of finding him is by smelling the pheromone he secretes whenever fear is present.

As it happens this flick is actually quite metaphysical in its approach!  Below I have appended some quotes interspersed with my comments.

“Fear is not real.

The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future.

It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist.

That is near insanity.

Do not misunderstand me danger is very real but fear is a choice.

We are all telling ourselves a story and that day mine changed.”

This feels so true to me.  Few of us are in a position where we have to hunt and kill food for our survival any longer.  Few of us reading this blog, live in life or death circumstances on a regular basis.  Yet fear is a visitor in the lives of many of us, and if we pause in the moment that fear, worry, anxiety strikes — we might often find that it is a future based mental process, and has nothing to do with the present moment.

In Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s inaugural address he is quoted as having said: “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  Sorry to disagree with you Mr. President, but no!  That’s just more fear.  You don’t eradicate fear by fearing it.  In fact, eradicating anything from our spiritual development is a useless practice.  Push against it and you’ll potentially get more circumstances to fear and push against.  “What you resist, persists.”

Now, here’s where I love the turn the film takes:  Jaden Smith’s Dad, portrayed by his real-life father Will Smith, tells his son when fear is present: “root yourself in this present moment now to sight, sound, smell”.  Fear, worry, anxiety is a very ungrounded future based place to hang out, so grounding yourself in the present moment and in the body, mindful of all the senses is perfect!

There’s one more oft repeated instruction Will Smith gives Jaden, and that is: “take a knee”.  This literally means drop to one knee.  In that moment that we “take a knee” we are closer to the earth and we have surrendered the control we thought we had, but never did.  The only function most of our day-to-day fears have is the illusion that it somehow will afford protection.   It makes our sphere a little smaller each time we indulge in it.

At the end of the movie, Jaden slays the predator who has stalked him, in true I-too-can-slay-the-Jabberwocky fashion.  He “conquers” his fear.   Yet there is nothing actually to be conquered, most of our Jabberwockies are not real after all.  Fear is not to be feared or conquered.  It’s only to be noticed for what it is — a future based thought process.  As we observe the fear talk, we can turn our attention back to the present moment, mindfully witnessing the sights, the sounds, the smells.  What does this present moment feel like when we drop the story, and drop into this moment now?

For more tips on grounding yourself to the present moment, read The Care & Feeding of YourSelf.  

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Can I accept this moment exactly as it is?

Really taking a moment to stop and breathe, amidst thoughts and feelings and sensations in my body …

Can I accept this moment exactly as it is?

Inherently, what I am really asking:

Can I accept myself in this moment exactly as I am?

It’s not something I answer with a literal yes or a no.  I lean into it with a breath, a release, a letting go.

My new practice is to ask it again and again as I move about my day, as I sense the familiar habit of judging, labeling, and pushing against, creeping back in.  It’s not that old habits die hard; it’s that new ones need nourishment to take root and thrive.  Mindful, compassionate awareness is that nourishment.

Can I accept this moment exactly as it is?

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When you completely accept this moment,

when you completely accept what is,

the compulsion to think, lessens.

And, is replaced by an alert stillness.

You are fully conscious, yet the mind

is not labeling this moment in any way.

This state of inner non-resistance

opens you to the unconditioned consciousness

that is infinitely greater than the human mind.

This vast intelligence can then express itself through you

and assist you both from within and without.

That is why, by letting go of inner resistance,

you often find circumstances change for the better.

Am I saying – enjoy this moment, be happy?


Allow the such-ness of this moment, that’s enough.

Surrender is surrender to this moment, not to a story

through which you interpret this moment,

and then try to resign yourself to.

Can you accept the is-ness of this moment, and

not confuse it with a story the mind has created around it?

~Eckhart Tolle~

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