Excerpts from Chapter 5: Present Moment Awareness

Excerpt 1: “The present is real simply because it is the only time that your total being (i.e., mind and body) actually experiences. Ponder on this for a moment: “Is your body ever physically in the past or the future when you’re thinking about either of them?” The answer is of course a resounding NO, which makes it very obvious, that any time other than the present exists solely within your mind.”

Excerpt 2: “The truth is that the past is merely an illusion, as it is only what your mind is able to selectively remember. Moreover, the longer something remains in the mind, the more it changes and the less it reflects what may have actually occurred. The bottom line is that all you really have is your perception of what happened, and it is not necessarily clear, since the lens you are looking through may actually be clouded by the emotions associated with that memory.”

Excerpt 3: “The past only has an impact on the present when you continue to waste your powerful thought and feeling energies on something that no longer exists at all, other than in your own mind. Whatever it was that happened is finished now, and no matter how uncomfortable it was for you, you need to come to the understanding that at some level you chose it, and that it helped to build your character and make you a stronger individual.”

Excerpt 4: “To varying degrees, every single one of us is apprehensive about the future (i.e., the unknown), and so we burn amazing amounts of energy trying to get a hold on something that quite simply is impossible to grasp. According to Fr. Anthony DeMello:

So why are you anxious? Can you, for all your anxieties, add a single moment to your life? Why bother about tomorrow? Is there a life after death? Why bother about tomorrow? Get into today. Someone once said, “Life is what happens to us while we’re busy making other plans.” That’s pathetic.59

These certainly are powerful words, and yet it is really tough to challenge DeMello’s observations. Think about it carefully for a moment or two. What possible benefit can be derived from feeling anxious about the future? The answer is none, unless of course you happen to enjoy experiencing the feeling of anxiety.”
[59 Anthony DeMello, Awareness, (New York, NY: Image Books/Doubleday, 1992) p. 114]

Excerpt 5: “Learning to be fully in the present is a skill that requires constant practice, because as you well know, your mind has strong tendencies to migrate both forward and backward. The key to mastering this skill is to regularly remind yourself of the importance of truly focusing on what you are doing or experiencing ‘right now’. As Dan Millman so eloquently says in his book The Laws of Spirit:

Embrace this moment, put one foot in front of the other, and handle what’s in front of you. Because no matter where your mind may roam, you body always remains here and now. When in haste, rest in the present. Take a deep breath, and come back to here and now.63

[63 Dan Millman, The Laws of Spirit, (Tiburon, CA: H.J. Kramer, Inc., 1995) p. 40]

Read Excerpts from Chapter 6: Oneness