How do I experience present moment awareness or living in the now?

After you finish reading this sentence, close your eyes and watch your next thought very carefully. Did it take a while to come? For that moment, you were fully in the now. No thoughts, only awareness.

Everyone has experienced the present moment, but few have fully experienced the now as a continual state of existence. Today, we go deeply into presence. Stop entirely what you were doing. Savor these words, pausing to look around the room, observing every detail: the colors, textures, movement, sounds. Don’t label or interpret anything, just observe. If thoughts enter, accept and release.

Now we go beyond what can be seen or heard. Notice the inner essence behind everything. Feel the life of this moment, notice how everything slows down. Here time expands. Just like when you were a child—you feel so much quiet energy in just noticing a common moment. You have awakened.

One more suggestion: get The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle on audiobook. Next time you take a long road trip, just let it play. Remain focused entirely on the words, notice the trees zooming by, the birds, the sun, the rain, the clouds. Embrace the constant change within the stillness. You can drive all day in this state and you will experience bliss rather than fatigue.

This same state of existence is reached after days on a quiet beach. It is available always, even as we are cooking, brushing our teeth, talking with our children, or at the grocery store.

This is you as truly yourself. In the flow of the now, you are at your most effective, most powerful, and most beautiful. We continue tomorrow and each day after that.

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The only thing that is ultimately real about your journey is the step you are taking at this moment. (Eckhart Tolle)

It’s not what you are doing or where you are going—but how. Of course it is helpful to have some sense of where you are going or what you are trying to accomplish—but success depends upon your state of being during this step, this moment.

“He who rushes ahead doesn’t go far.” Tao Te Ching: A New English Version

If you are sacrificing the present moment in a race toward some imagined future destination, then the quality of your doing cannot be great. You may be getting more done than others, you are sacrificing everything, certain that you deserve results, but true success is not possible because you are miscreating from the ego.

To truly create, to achieve any form of great success, you will have to go back and start again—this time in spirit, which exists in the now. Better to stop any doing. Go meditate. Relax. Get yourself to a place of feeling good, find peace, feel inspiration. Notice everything about the present moment. Now, follow your intuition and let it flow without much thought. Your mind follows what feels like divine inspiration and creation is effortless. This is called being in the zone—the state of being that gives birth to all forms of beauty and greatness.

“This one step becomes transformed into an expression of perfection, an act of great beauty and quality. The light of being will shine through it.” The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

We continue to learn to live from this place tomorrow and each day after that.

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Truth is beyond your ability to destroy, but entirely within your ability to accept. (A Course in Miracles)

If it can be threatened or destroyed, then it wasn’t true to begin with. Despite this, the world has taught us the ways of the ego. We have been good students and have been quite complicit in this attempt to destroy truth. Here, lives are wasted because ultimate failure is inevitable.

Know this and instantly let go of all fear: nothing can threaten truth. Fear, if justified, implies that there is something of value that can be destroyed or lost. To live in truth is to realize there is nothing real to fear because nothing real can be taken from you.

Fear is just one emotion that goes by many names: worry, shame, guilt, jealousy, depression and all other negative emotions. From these emotions flow errors like theft, attack, greed, judgement, anger, abuse, murder and all other errors.

Belief in fear is belief in separation—the illusion that there is a “you” which is special and different from the rest of the universe. Live according to the world’s attempt to destroy truth and risk sacrificing your entire life in service to a lie. But acceptance of truth is the release from all fear, the undoing of all error, the end of all suffering and the fulfillment of your life purpose.

The opposite of fear is love. Love is bliss, happiness, creativity, giving, caring, inspiration, laughter, beauty, lightness and all other positive states of being. There is no miracle beyond love, because only love is powerful enough to end all suffering. Acceptance of love is the embrace of spirit and the awareness of life.

“Only what is loving is true.” A Course in Miracles

Love is what you are. All other identities are illusions that breed error. We continue this undoing of error tomorrow and each day after that.

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What do I want? This question must be answered, and you are answering it each moment.

Can the answer to such a simple question be difficult? Spirit and the ego are the only choices open to you. To seek other options is to choose ego. If you are skeptical or unsure, then you have already made the decision and are living it right now.

What does it mean to choose ego? Belief in ego is belief in separation. You believe you are your thoughts. You are cynical, sarcastic, argumentative, competitive, and want to be right. You believe you are special and get frustrated because few seem to see it. You fear the opinions and decisions of others and obey authority even as you claim to rebel.

You are up, then you are down. You try then fail. You “would be happy if”. You are often jealous, angry, and even lose control. You think teaching can occur through attack (shaming, blaming, reward and punishment). You see suffering and illness as inevitable. You seek temporary escape from the torture of your own mind. You fear. The choice of ego is normal, and it is insane. Most people don’t know that there is another option.

The other choice is spirit. To say “I want spirit” is to learn to exist fully in the present moment, to know that you are not the voice in your head, and that love is the only way. Love is unconditional acceptance, forgiveness, helpfulness and understanding. In love, there is no confusion, no drama, no good and bad, no suffering, no sacrifice, no struggle. Real love (not what the ego calls love) is always the right response to everything. Choose love, choose the eternal now, and align with the spirit which is already within you.

Spirit offers everything, but first the ego must be undone. That is what we are doing here now, tomorrow, and each day after that.

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The only aspect of time that is eternal is now. (A Course in Miracles)

What the mind perceives as time is only the movement of matter in the eternal present moment. The Earth spins around once and we call that a day. It revolves around the sun once and we call that a year. All the while, form is unstable and constantly changing. Some changes are visible, others take place on a scale of smallness that we cannot perceive, and still others on a universal scale so large that we cannot comprehend. But all things change and this we perceive as time.

When we throw ourselves into time, the realm of the ego, we align with this constant change and turmoil. We sacrifice the eternal now only to become like any other form of matter—just stuff that is always striving, colliding, and waring over nothing. Here there is no truth because there is no permanence.

Men have seized power, conquered countries, and put up monuments only to be completely forgotten after this planet spins around the sun a few more times. If you are looking to the future or holding on to the past for meaning, you will never find it. In time, nothing can be gained, nothing is eternal, and there is nothing of value.

But when we awaken to the now, we align not with form but with spirit—which is non-matter (nothing). Our spirit is connected to the vast, unchanging empty space between the stars. This invisible spaciousness within us has no form and cannot be threatened because it cannot be changed. It is, always was, and always will be. This is “I am”—formless existence which cannot be seen, described, or measured in time. Spirit can only be perceived in eternity, which is the same thing as now.

Science, which is the study of matter, is useless here. Senses fail. Logic fails. But on a level beneath this, spirit is real indeed. It is love, it is feeling good, it is energy, it is inspiration, it is everything that matters. Live here, create here, and exist eternally in peace with God. Live in time and align with the dust.

“Eternity and peace are as closely related as time and war.” A Course in Miracles

This is all rather simple. We continue tomorrow and each day after that.

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Happiness is found not in getting, but in giving through creation.

Having is impossible and nothing can be possessed. Yet we are taught consumerism. Many still believe that getting, taking, receiving brings happiness. Most of us know that this doesn’t work. What truly makes us happy is to use these minds and bodies for what they were designed to do—to create.

The mind is always creating or making something—even if it comes in the form of egoic miscreations like scheming or attack. Even in sleep, our minds create in the form of dream images. Awake, our hands can give shape to matter—whether in the form of the written word, works of art, or something practical or useful. Our voices give form to consciousness—allowing us language to share this dream of life. It is self-evident that these beautiful bodies are perfect tools for creation.

Happiness is found not in getting, but in giving through creation. Realize fully that you are not your mind; rather, the observer of the mind. Now the mind serves spirit, it becomes a tool for spirit. Now you can channel true inspiration directly from God and everything you create is perfect. There is nothing we can have, but everything we can give.

Now how to create? First, know that nothing created from fear or ego is real. While ambitious and requiring great effort, egoic creations don’t matter over the long-term. Yet that which is created from love cannot fail. When consciousness is brought into existence it may change form but is never lost.

Love all and do everything from love. This is making, doing, experiencing, creating with the joy and energy of life itself. This is how we change the world. Consciousness wants to come into this world and that is why you are here. Create from this place of inspiration and of love. Do what excites you to align with all the power in the universe. We continue tomorrow and each day after that.

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Minimalism

There is nothing that the soul can possess. Perhaps more interesting—there is nothing that even the body can possess. This pursuit of “getting” is a phantom and an impossibility from the start.

What can the body receive other than visions, sounds, food and water? The body is not designed to “have” anything because there is nowhere inside of us to put it or keep it. The body can receive only that which is experienced in the now. Sensory perception is the full extent of our capacity to get, receive, possess.

Life is sensory perception—a state of being, not having. Any illusion of having requires external protection of something that forever remains external to us. Property must be locked-up and is never entirely secure. Money must be stored somewhere, and its value is unstable. Status, success, physical appearances—all completely unstable and impermanent. We never possess a single thing—not even on the level of the body and not even for a day.

It is untrue that having more makes us happier. Everything we attempt to have requires some degree of effort, sacrifice or struggle. Large houses must be cleaned. Cars must be safely parked somewhere. New clothes must be stored. Gadgets unpackaged. Career or status requires great sacrifice.

Even “having children” or “having a spouse” can cause worry, struggle, and frustration if you believe that it is possible to “have” another person. This is jealousy. To end the feeling of jealousy, know only that having is impossible.

This pursuit of having, this chasing of an eternally-elusive phantom, is the root of our worldly frustration. Minimalism is not a sacrifice—it is the only possibility of happiness. Anything that exists in our life situation on the level of external form is only valuable to the extent that it enhances our state of being.

Go even deeper and realize that you are not body; rather soul. It is impossible for the body to possess—and you do not possess your body. We exist, together, in the eternal present moment on the level of the soul. We continue tomorrow and each day after that.

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It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole lives waiting to start living. (Eckhart Tolle)

Maybe you believe you will be happy someday. You may be beautiful, young, single and free…yet somehow you are miserable because you are waiting to get married and have children. Someday you will have a beautiful family, plenty of money, maybe a great career. Then maybe you will put off living your dreams until after retirement. Always waiting for the future to start living.

Waiting means this: you want the future. You don’t want the present.

I know so many people who live this way. I want nothing more than to be present with these people, to experience bliss, to try something new, to laugh, to grow, to come alive. But they are out of reach—too busy planning for the future, hiding from the present, resisting what is, rejecting love, wealth and abundance now, where it exists.

Alright, I’ll be patient. I can wait for you another day, another month, another 10 years—but I suspect that despite your strong belief in the future, when I check back you will still be waiting. You will still be cut-off from the present, still unsatisfied, still unwilling to connect, to accept, to trust, to try, to let go of fear and to enter presence.

Hey, I’m right here, in the present moment. I see you, I get you, I know what you want. I might even know how to provide it or help you get it. But you are cutting of the possibility of everything you want by resisting and rejecting everything that is. You are dreaming, and dreams never come true until they are fully shared. This sharing must happen between us, in the present moment, the field where everything is, has always been, and always will be.

“Give up waiting as a state of mind. Snap out of it. Come into the present moment.” We continue, in this present moment, tomorrow and each day after that.

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Stop thinking and end your problems (Tao Te Ching)

Problems arise from the realm of perception—which is the need to judge, the impulse to evaluate good days and bad days or good news and bad news. But these mental evaluations don’t mean anything.

To label, judge, or evaluate reality is to place faith in the ego even as the ego does not know what it wants or how to get it. Sometimes you encounter a challenge which turns out later to be the best thing that could ever have happened. Take another example, you might celebrate getting a job you wanted. Then, months later, you realize that your boss or colleague is making your life miserable.

In truth, there is no way to know what is good or bad. There are too many variables, too many unknowns, too many factors that lie beyond the realm of perception. Most of us are lost in hopes and fears even as we are blind to what is. “Hope and fear are both phantoms that arise from thinking of the self.” Tao Te Ching: A New English Version (13)  

The master learns not to evaluate reality. You are present. You accept everything that is happening as just something that is happening. You stop the mind from judging, complaining, or even celebrating. Just say yes to life and follow the signs. What is just is. This is being fully-conscious. We continue tomorrow and each day after that.

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Spirit is now, while ego is delay.

Spirit offers everything you want. It is instantly accessible within you. It has the power to release you from suffering and to inspire others. But keep spirit to yourself and it won’t be strong enough to do much of anything.

Your soul wants to be free, it wants to be shared. The same can be said of your ideas, your creations, your love, your true beauty—all of which are of spirit. Spirit is strengthened by being shared, by being given away.

So why do we hold back? Why the delay? “Delay is of the ego because time is its concept. Both time and delay are meaningless in eternity.” A Course in Miracles

The purpose of our lives is to take this journey. Yet we delay by attempting to take a spiritual journey with the ego. Spirit is foreign to the ego and the ego is fearful. Smile at the ego. It is not so tough (or useful) after all.  

Spirit is now, while ego is delay. Know this and feel your energy shift already. Live in that energy and do what inspires you now or sink back into the discomfort zone of paralysis and delay. We continue tomorrow and each day after that.

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