79 days to go: Aquí y Ahora

  Here and Now  

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery,
today is a gift from God,
which is why we call it
the present.”

Bil Keane

Have you ever found yourself in a situation or place that you’ve always wanted to be? Or perhaps with a certain thing that you’ve always wanted, only to find that it wasn’t as great as you imagined it would be?

Why is that?

Let’s back up a little to take a look.

First of all, why do we look forward to things at all?

It is usually because we are not all that thrilled with how things are going in the present moment.

Think about it.

Do you look forward to, and wish for things when you are having an awesome time and loving life in the moment?

No

You are enjoying the moment.

If anything, you may wish it never ends.

So you can see how we look forward to something better when we are not happy – or not fully present –  in the moment.

But WHY are we not happy in the moment?

This is a common human condition that has inspired many spiritual discourses. And there may not be one single – or simple – answer for all.

I would venture to say that the reason many are not happy in the moment, is due to all of the things we carry around with us. Negative thoughts and feelings that we hold onto in our bodies (stress), our hearts (pain & fear) and our mind (disappointment and regret). Of course the list goes on to include sadness, anger, guilt, shame, etc. Things that build up over a lifetime, most of us carry with us without even realizing. These are the infamous “100 layers”.

Most of us have so many layers that weigh so heavily upon our consciousness, that if we are not constantly distracted by entertainment and other stimulation, then those negative thoughts and feelings creep into our awareness. And they are not pretty.

It can show up as fear, sadness, confusion, anger, depression or a myriad of other conditions. It can also be projected upon others, such as our family, our workplace and all of our relationships.

You can see then, why we are not so thrilled about being present (in the moment) to such unpleasant and uncomfortable thoughts and feelings.

The traditional solution to such states of unhappiness is a wish or desire to change ones situation in life. Get a new job, a new house, a new car, a new spouse and/or move to a new place.

Money is the big answer most people seek to solve their problems. Certainly, more money can provide plenty of entertainment and a great deal of distraction, as can a new home or car. A new love can be the best of all!

As I write this, I feel that it is important for me to state that I am not immune to, or above this very common condition. There are many times that I wallow in the muck of my layers as much (or more) than everyone else.

That brings us back to the point we began with: Attaining a goal, dream or desire, only to find that it was not the solution you had hoped for. After the novelty and excitement wear off, you find that you still have the same fears, doubts, sadness and pain that you had before.

So what is one to do then?

If a new job, home & car won’t fix it. More money won’t fix it. Even new/more love won’t make things better, then what in the world can we do to get some relief?

An answer can be found, among other places, in the ancient teachings of Tantra, where we are told that the answer is to become present to the moment, and all that exists within us and without us.

Central to the teachings of Tantra, is the philosophy of complete and total acceptance of all that is. It is a knowing that there is a reason and a purpose for everything in all of existence. Only if you accept something and stop resisting it, can you discover what that reason and purpose may be, and gain the priceless gifts (or presents) that they hold.

What does that look like for you and I? 

It means that we can stop running from our pain and fears. Stop trying to avoid the uncomfortable thoughts and feelings that lurk in the dark corners of our heart, and let them be. Let them come out and express themselves.

It is not an easy path, but it is a way to be free from the constant yearning for something else. Something better.

If we can reach that place of acceptance of all we hold and all we are, then perhaps we can find that everything we ever want or need exists right here and now, in this moment.

All of our wildest dreams have already come true.

Aquí y Ahora

1 Thought.

  1. Peter I am impressed with your blog. You have eloquently spoken the basis of what I have believed and practiced for the past 38 of my 68 years. Having you verbalize what has been part of my heart and soul makes me very very proud to be your father. It is 7 AM and I am here in my basement room on Diamond Street in San Francisco. Tomorrow I leave for New Jersey for my Verona High School 50th Class Reunion. Those years in Verona shaped me into the man I am today–sometimes for the better and sometimes not so much. Keep your faith and beliefs, they will serve you better than all the material possessions in the world!

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