By Patty de Llosa.
Be Here Now. A message that can change our lives!
When we hear these three little words from our teachers or read them in books, it sounds so simple. But when we try, the act is not easy. That’s because three worlds have to come together simultaneously in us. First, to focus on the body, the house of our Being. To do this, bring the mind’s attention to follow the sensation of your physical self, the breath that comes and goes, the blood that flows, the muscles that tense and relax, and the energy that moves through you.
What to call that experience? Perhaps ‘sensation’ or ‘energy’ or chi, but a quick thought or a word isn’t enough. It is a three-dimensional experience that brings a continuing dialogue between the body and the brain! It includes awareness of nerve cell messages, the blood coursing in its channels through muscle and around bone, and—at the center of all this activity—the breathing being that you are. Everything moves with the breathing. Even the head moves gently at the top, like a tourist in a howdah on an elephant’s back.
So you can access two worlds as your body and mind come together in the sensation of yourself. Now it’s time to be Here. Perhaps you are sitting in this awakened body/mind, in your living room where you can see your small world reflected in possessions and memories. Beyond it, the other rooms in your apartment. Perhaps above it, other floors, other rooms, other people. This is your own personal world. But perhaps you live in a street full of houses, a neighborhood, a city, state, country, world. And all of it, along with you, is cradled in the arms of the cosmos.
But wait! Your mind may become so busy reflecting on Here, you lose the place you occupy. That often happens to me. So now return to the sensation of yourself, Being Here. And at this point you can bring your attention to the only reality there is: this moment in time. Now.
Life often seems like a horizontal race (or sometimes crawl) over barriers, to a perceived wish or need, or to a more mysterious goal. Success? Happiness? But that vision misleads us. How to digest the stressful situations we often suffer and the sometimes unrealistic aims we set before ourselves? There’s the illusion that we have a whole life to live, while, in fact, none of us knows when our visit on planet Earth will end.
Put another way, Now is not a horizontal line, not a time-line. Its most accurate symbol is the cross, which represents this one vertical moment; my only connection with eternity. I am here now because I choose to be here, to experience my whole self at this moment in time: my body/mind/feeling self. At this point, I move beyond time to the timeless present. I am here now.
Patty de Llosa is the author of Taming Your Inner Tyrant (A Spiritual Evolution Press; 2011) and The Practice of Presence (Morning Light Press, 2006). She is a writer and a contributing editor of Parabola Magazine and teaches Tai Chi and the Alexander Technique. She was managing editor of American Fabrics & Fashions magazine, then associate editor of Leisure magazine, a Time, Inc. startup, moving on to Fortune magazine, where she became deputy chief of reporters. For more information, please visit tamingyourinnertyrant.com.