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Mike
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Posts: 4,533


Nice article on "Now" - long but worth reading if you only read one thing today
« on: 30 August 2006 »

From the mindpowernews.com newsletter - many of the paras are from Tolle's books - but like most of his stuff can be read and reread and reread (and in fact needs to be as human beings/society designed not to live in the Now!)
___________________________________________________________________________________________

Mind Power News
Issue No. 138 / Friday, August 25, 2006
Edited by Andreas Ohrt / www.MindPowerNews.com
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

How to Experience Total Freedom

By Eckhart Tolle

Are you stressed? Are you so busy getting to the future that the present is reduced to a means of getting there? Stress is caused by being "here" but wanting to be "there," or being in the present but wanting to be in the future. It's a split that tears you apart inside.

Does the past take up a great deal of your attention? Do you frequently talk and think about it, either positively or negatively? The great things that you have achieved, your adventures or experiences, or your victim story and the dreadful things that were done to you, or maybe what you did to someone else?

Are your thought processes creating guilt, pride, resentment, anger, regret, or self-pity? Then you are not only reinforcing a false sense of self but also helping to accelerate your body's aging process by creating an accumulation of past in your psyche. Verify this for yourself by observing those around you who have a strong tendency to hold on to the past.

Die To The Past Every Moment

You don't need it. Only refer to it when it is absolutely relevant to the present. Feel the power of this moment and the fullness of Being. Feel your presence.

Are you worried? Do you have many "what if" thoughts? You are identified with your mind, which is projecting itself into an imaginary future situation and creating fear. There is no way that you can cope with such a situation, because it doesn't exist. It's a mental phantom.

You can stop this health- and life-corroding insanity simply by acknowledging the present moment.

Become Aware Of Your Breathing

Feel the air flowing in and out of your body. Feel your inner energy field. All that you ever have to deal with, cope with, in real life -- as opposed to imaginary mind projections -- is this moment. Ask yourself what "problem" you have right now, not next year, tomorrow, or five minutes from nw. What is wrong with this moment?

You can always cope with the Now, but you can never cope with the future -- nor do you have to. The answer, the strength, the right action, or the resource will be there when you need it, not before, not after.

Are you a habitual "waiter"? How much of your life do you spend waiting? What I call "small-scale waiting" is waiting in line at the post office, in a traffc jam, at the airport, or waiting for someone to arrive, to finish work, and so on. "Large-scale waiting" is waiting for the next vacation, for a better job, for the children to grow up, for a truly meaningful relationship, for success, to make mony, to be important, to become enlightened. It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living.

Waiting is a state of mind. Basically, it means that you want the future; you don't want the present. You don't want what you've got, and you want what you haven't got. With every kind of waiting, you unconsciously create inner conflict between your here and now, where you don't want to be, and the projected future, where you want to be. This greatly reduces the quality of your life by making you lose the present.

For example, many people are waiting for prosperity. It cannot come in the future. When you honor, acknowledge, and fully accept your present reality -- where you are, who you are, what you are doing right nw -- when you fully accept what you have got, you are grateful for what you have got, grateful for what is, grateful for Being. Gratitude for the present moment and the fullness of life now is true prosperity. It cannot come in the future. Then, in time, that prosperity manifests for you in various ways.

If you are dissatisfied with what you have got, or even frustrated or angry about your present lack, that may motivate you to become rich, but even if you do make millons, you will continue to experience the inner condition of lack, and deep down you will continue to feel unfulfilled. You may have many exciting experiences that mony can buy, but they will come and go and always leave you with an empty feeling and the need for further physical or psychological gratification. You won't abide in Being and so feel the fullness of life nw that alone is true prosperity.

Give Up Waiting As A State Of Mind

When you catch yourself slipping into waiting... snap out of it. Come into the present moment. Just be, and enjoy being. If you are present, there is never any need for you to wait for anything.

So next time somebody says, "Sorry to have kept you waiting," you can reply, "That's all right, I wasn't waiting. I was just standing here enjoying myself -- in joy in my self."

These are just a few of the habitual mind strategies for denying the present moment that are part of ordinary unconsciousness. They are easy to overlook because they are so much a part of normal living: the background static of perpetual discontent. But the more you practice monitoring your inner mental-emotional state, the easier it will be to know when you have been trapped in past or future, which is to say unconscious, and to awaken out of the dream of time into the present. But beware: The false, unhappy self, based on mind identification, lives on time. It knows that the present moment is its own death and so feels very threatened by it. It will do all it can to take you out of it. It will try to keep you trapped in time.

In a sense, the state of presence could be compared to waiting. It is a qualitatively different kind of waiting, one that requires your total alertness. Something could happen at any moment, and if you are not absolutely awake, absolutely still, you will miss it. In that state, all your attention is in the Now. There is none left for daydreaming, thinking, remembering, anticipating. There is no tension in it, no fear, just alert presence. You are present with your whole Being, with every cell of your body.

In that state, the "you" that has a past and a future, the personality if you like, is hardly there anymore. And yet nothing of value is lost. You are still essentially yourself. In fact, you are more fully yourself than you ever were before, or rather it is only now that you are truly yourself.

The past cannot survive in your presence. Whatever you need to know about the unconscious past in you, the challenges of the present will bring it out. If you delve into the past, it will become a bottomless pit: There is always more. You may think that you need more time to understand the past or become free of it, in other words, that the future will eventually free you of the past. This is a delusion. Only the present can free you of the past. More time cannot free you of time.

Access the power of Now. That is the key. The power of Now is none other than the power of your presence, your consciousness liberated from thought forms. So deal with the past on the level of the present. The more attention you give to the past, the more you energize it, and the more likely you are to make a "self" out of it.

Don't misunderstand: Attention is essential, but not to the past as past. Give attention to the present; give attention to your behavior, to your reactions, moods, thoughts, emotions, fears, and desires as they occur in the present. There's the past in you. If you can be present enough to watch all those things, not critically or analytically but nonjudgmentally, then you are dealing with the past and dissolving it through the power of your presence.

You cannot find yourself by going into the past. You find yourself by coming into the present.
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VALUE CLEAR SPACE...





Barry
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Posts: 561


Re: Nice article on "Now" - long but worth reading if you only read one thing today
« Reply #1 on: 30 August 2006 »

Mike,

Always useful to be reminded. I like what he says about giving attention to yourself in the present and there you notice the past in you.

I like also what he says about being "absolutely awake, absolutely still", alive to whatever arises in the present. I got off the train tonight at about 20:00 after a long tiring day at the hospital, having been absorbed in my book on the train journey. As I got off I looked up into the sky and became aware of everything going on - a few birds still singing, the wind brushing over me, my footsteps on the concrete, a bicycle coming up behind me. As I walked through an avenue of trees it was like they got taller and I got taller with them. My heart really soared as I felt a wave of joy rush up.

An hour later I was sitting with my son going through some violin practice he is struggling with. I began to notice then the parts of me that wanted to be in the future when his and my struggle would have ended and I would have a nice cup of tea. I remember a similar incident from my childhood when my mum suddenly said "Oh shut that bloody noise up and go to bed". Now, this time I didn't say a word but did notice the frustration in me - I still don't always do that well with noticing without self-criticism or judgement.

It's much easier to stay with the present when everything is great isn't it  smiley.

When I was little my dad used to say to me "Do you know the secret of happiness?". "No", I would sullenly reply. "Being grateful for what you've got rather than wanting what you haven't". I used to think he was a silly old sod. grin

Metta,

Barry
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