A Window is Where the Wall is Absent

The life impulse to express and to connect arises in me and in all of us. This blog is a celebration of these life impulses. Please feel free to join in the conversation or to just visit. There is a Family Photo Album beneath the posts so you can "meet" my family and I. Welcome!

Friday, June 4, 2010

The attraction of the eternal now

There is a natural love of life.  This love of life may also be called an attraction to the now, for life is now.

Here is a passage from The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle that I came across today (p. 71):

" Question:  Even if I completely accept that ultimately time is an illusion, what difference is that going to make in my life?"

"Answer:  Intellectual agreement is just another belief and won't make much difference to your life.  To realize this truth, you need to live it.  When every cell of your body is so present that it feels vibrant with life, and when you can feel that life every moment as the joy of Being, then it can be said that you are free of time."

Life is not primarily about "getting somewhere".  It is about being here.  When I become overly focused on "getting somewhere" something feels off, like a joint out of socket.  This is feedback from an inner thermostat- it is the call or nudge to return to the true vocation of living fully in the eternal now.  As life becomes more about being and less about "getting", I still move toward future goals, but with joy rather than compulsion.

There is a stronger attraction to what is present here right now than to even the most glorious possible future. 

This is always the case even when the attraction to present reality is obscured by longing for imagined future gain.  When I stop running away, sooner or later I feel reeled in by the attraction to the invisible heart of this moment.

When awareness touches the actuality of being alive in this moment there is contentment.  Not a static contentment, but a dynamic contentment that blooms and shimmers.

"What to do

 but draw a little nearer to

 such ubiquity by remaining still."

(R. S. Thomas, excerpt from poem But the silence in the mind in Roger Housden's 2009 anthology)
(Photo is from Flickr public files)



Cindy said...

I like the title of this post because it perfectly describes what you have described. Very inspiring.

Colleen Loehr said...

Hi Cindy- I'm so happy to see you here! Thanks for your comment and I hope you have an ace weekend...maybe you can post some photos of your 17 trees. Love, Colleen

Alton said...

Maybe there is something wrong with me because
getting someplace seems more interesting then being here now. As long as I have a quest I am happy.
When I am no longer working for some goal I feel glum.
Generally I have been questing for some endpoint all my life. I know that the chances of arriving at some endpoint are probably zero, but the progress I make is very rewarding.

MeANderi said...

"When I stop running...I feel reeled in by the attraction to the invisible heart..." Ah, yes - the pull of Presence to ItSelf... Don't you love it! :) I love the picture here too - the fluidity of eternal Awareness...

Heart Smiles - Christine

No One In Particular said...

There's nothing wrong with life feeling "off". If it never feels off, how is life feeling "on" ever known? If life feeling "off" is what's happening - that's the now, as well.

Triza said...

Thank you for sharing these pointers.I enjoy reading them alot.

Colleen Loehr said...

Hi Alton,
Have you read The Power of Now? It helped me to shift from future-focus to present moment-focus. Aloha, Colleen

Colleen Loehr said...

Hi Christine,
My heart smiles to see you here and read your comments :) Thank you!

Colleen Loehr said...

Hi Suzanne,
It's a good point that there's nothing wrong with feeling "off", and that too is the now when it arises. I don't mean to condemn feeling "off" but rather to say that feelings, like all sensations, can be wonderful navigational tools or guides. When touching a hot stove the feeling of pain is not bad, it is letting me know to move my hand. When I get stuck in my head and focused on external grasping after an imagined future, I get this queasy "off" feeling that is telling me to relax and "fall" out of the mind. To me that "off" feeling is almost like a kind and gentle hand giving me a little shake to wake me up from whatever nightmare of thought I'm lost in...Or maybe it's the nudge off the cliff of false security that is described beautifully in the poem and video clip you posted (that I've been meaning to comment on).
I appreciate you visiting and I'm really looking forward to reading your book when it's released this fall! Thanks, Colleen

Colleen Loehr said...

Thank you Triza- it always brightens my day to see you!

Diane AZ said...

Hi Colleen, I like this part the most: "As life becomes more about being and less about "getting", I still move toward future goals, but with joy rather than compulsion."

nothingprofound said...

To me, the eternal now simply means enjoying whatever I'm doing. No need to seek or wish for anything else, if you're fully engaged in the task of the moment.

roseduncan said...

Really nice post Colleen. Being in the now. I think though that sometimes being in the now and moving forward towards a goal can be the same, as with writing, intensely occupied in the now yet moving towards the completion of a project.

Colleen Loehr said...

Hi Naomi,
BTW I just added a few sentences to the beginning of the post. We have a natural love of life, and this love of life could be called an attraction to the now, since life is always now.

It's interesting how being in the now and moving toward a goal can fuse seamlessly, as you point out. This occurs when an activity moves toward a future goal, and yet the activity is enjoyed fully in the present moment. Who says the top of the mountain is any better than any other point on the mountain? We move toward the summit but every step is equally magnificent.

I saw an interesting TED talk video yesterday of coach John Wooden, who died recently. I had never heard of him, but he coached many basketball championships. I was interested to hear him say, "I never coached my players to win. I told my players that this is not about winning. I told my players this is about doing the best you can do." So being in the moment, i.e. the focus is on doing the best you can do in this moment, leads to winning, even when winning is not the primary objective. It's kind of a paradox...

Thanks to blogspot Todd Wright Now, post 6/6/10, for link to John Wooden video.

Thanks for your comments Naomi, it's also good to see you here.


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