Lunch is a wonderful time for me to write. I wondered if I could drop the many thoughts about the tribulations of the morning and bring myself not only present, but clearheaded for writing. Many, many people in spiritual circles are talking about this sought-after present moment. It’s almost become a cliché. What’s so special about this moment, and why is it getting so much attention?
Pause, and contemplate this: We have thoughts of the past, but when are those thoughts happening? Now. We have thoughts of the future, but when are those thoughts happening? Also now. But even that description is not the truth. Thoughts always lag a split second behind, the amount of time it takes the synapses to fire. But life occurs NOW. The eternal present is the only moment when life actually happens. So if I am interpreting, or judging, or labeling, or even simply thinking about the crazy morning, I miss the juicy actuality of life as it occurs.
Most people are bored by—or terrified of—the pace of life, one eternal moment at a time. The bored people think that nothing is happening, but actually, billions of activities are taking place just to keep our bodies alive, not to mention the breath of wind in the trees if we are outside, or the pulsation of the electric light if we are inside.
The terrified people–when they stop and experience the current moment–are faced with what feels like a void of activity, or emptiness. It feels like a bottomless pit. So the terrified mind leaps in to fill that void by sorting, or comparing, or by grabbing for what they think will be the next better moment—warmer, or tastier, or more loving, or safer. This habit of the mind to leap into activity is deeply engrained in all of us, terrified or not. But the present moment is actually the tastiest, safest place to be—because only out of the present can action arise that is wholly spontaneous, wholly responsive. The present moment has true texture—the translucent wrinkles of a grandmother’s hand, the first flash of gold finches on the thistle feeder in early spring, the hum of my little laptop that use to I write.
© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2012