Where is all the fun, loving, sexy, exciting, reward and REAL stuff happening? In the Now moment of course.
Once Ram Dass’s book Be Here Now came out in 1971 we all at least intellectually knew this. Since then millions of people have started meditating, doing yoga and practicing mindfulness in an attempt to spend more time in the awareness of Now.
One reason we love babies and animals is that they live in the Now moment all the time. Being with them reminds us to also be there more.
So then, why is it so darn hard for us to stay in present time? Why is there such a huge epidemic of anxiety, depression and PTSD in our culture? These experiences mainly come from reliving or regretting the past, or being fearful about the future. Why don’t we just Be Here Now and enjoy the thrill of our life force filling our bodies? On one level the answer to this question is complex and different for each person. But there is a deeper pattern common to most people.
That pattern is grasping for that which we believe makes us feel good, and resisting, or pushing away that which we believe makes us feel bad.
It makes sense to do that, right? Animals do it, plants do it, even amoebas do it! If you put an electrical probe into a dish with an amoeba, it swims away from it.
If I put two plates of food in front of you, and one contained some of your favorite foods prepared just right, and the other contained foods you hate, it would seem normal and understandable for you to push the disgusting plate away and reach for the one with the goodies you love.
Understandable, but when we do that with our experience of life it tends to take us out of the Now moment.
Our lives are an intensive seminar in learning to love ourselves and to trust our higher Source. We are always in the classroom, so we may as well get busy learning the lesson.
What about me? Lately I’ve been seeing how much I have been grasping the “good” and resisting “the bad”, thus missing much of the deeper, more luscious beauty of my life.
I want to feel the peace and endless love of my Divine, fifth dimensional self. As a healer, it is vital for me to stay consciously connected with my Source so I can flow that energy to my clients. All that sounds good, right? But here’s the rub. I so much want to have the inner peace and love of being with God that I have often pushed away those pesky, inconvenient feelings of loneliness, alienation and fear coming up inside of me.
My ego self wants to be in love and live in my higher consciousness, and sees my human fears and frailties as the booby prize. I now see how I have grasped for fulfillment and tried to push away pain and limitation. Makes sense but just don’t work.
The real victory is to love whatever arises in your consciousness. That’s right folks, each experience is a chance to relax and love. The real booby prize is staying lost in duality through the habit of grasping and resisting.
All this may seem very familiar, like “sure, this is nothing new, I’ve known this for ages”. True, but fully realizing the truth of loving all that arises is of more importance than ever. I know quite a few people who are considered to be advanced spiritual teachers and healers, or very successful in other ways. When being honest, every one of them will admit that they all could stand to love and accept themselves a heck of a lot more. In fact, increasing self-love for the painful, uncomfortable parts of ourselves is much more important now than any other form of so-called enlightenment or ascension.
Student: Master, what is the most important path for me now?
Teacher: Love yourself and know yourself
Student: Great, and after I do that, what is next?
Teacher: Love and know yourself more
When I visited Sathya Sai Baba’s center in India in 2000 I saw messages written all over the place saying “Love All, Serve All”. At that time I figured that was some kind of social service ethic – love and serve each person who crosses my path. While that is an outer expression of “Love All Serve All” this message also illuminates our inner path. Love and serve both that which we crave and that which we would want to push away.
Love those beautiful, pleasurable experiences of the good things in our life and equally love the pained inner voices of our wounded, traumatized self. It takes determination and persistence to Love All Serve All but it is so worth it.
How to Practice:
I’m not going to leave you hanging with just a cool sounding philosophy about this. Here are some ways to practice.
Repeating mantras can be a powerful support. Here are some that I use:
I love you God, I love myself
Love All Serve All
I AM holy, perfect and pure
I AM sorry, I forgive you, I love you, thank you
Become conscious of how you grasp for what you want and resist that which you don’t want. Know that continuing this pattern keeps you in the box of duality. Find the love and urge to be free of duality. Be mindful of your inner dialogue and replace grasping and resisting with mantra and unconditional self-love for All.
By doing this you are awakening and bringing Heaven into your world.