This I Believe

James - Snohomish, Washington
Entered on April 12, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65

I believe in the Now – the present moment. I believe in the now

because for 50-some years I had led my life as if the past & future

were more important than the present moment – the Now: I was usually pre-

occupied with past regrets or past memories or with future concerns

or hopes.

This past & future pre-occupation can be compared to

reflected moonlight as opposed to the direct sunlight of the Now – the present moment.

Like many people I had things reversed – I was mostly ignoring the

sunlight of the Now. I was lost in the pale moonlight of past &

future pre-occupation.

For me this past & future pre-occupation was a set-up for addictions:

severe nicotine addiction; mild to moderate caffeine and sexual

addictions; and worst of all a thinking addiction.I couldn’t find the

off switch for thought. I didn’t realize that there’s a higher level

of awareness than thought. And I was hurting others and myself with

these addictions.

There’s an old parable from the Middle East about a beggar sitting

on an old locked wooden box by the side of the road where he begged.

Finally one day when goaded by a stranger, the beggar opens up the box

and is astonished to find that the box is filled with gold. Well I’ve

come to realize that the present moment is that gold. Consider that

nothing really exists outside of the present moment – the Now. Did

Socrates live in the past? No, Socrates lived in the Now. Does anything

really exist outside of the Now?

I believe in the Now because there are rarely problems in the Now?

I’ve come to realize that the vast majority of my so-called problems were

just mind projections into the past or future.

The importance of the Now – the present moment is rapidly becoming the

the Next Big Thing in modern psychology. Psychologists call it ‘mind-

fullness’ or ‘presence.’ It’s becoming huge. Psychologists contrast mindfulness

with it’s opposite: mindlessness or ‘Monkey Mind.’ The comparison

helps clarify what ‘mindfulness’ is. ‘Monkey Mind’ refers to a monkey

going from tree to tree, tasting a piece of fruit from each tree and

then dropping it and moving on to the next tree.

And so it was with me: jumping from thought to thought while rarely

being in the present; missing so many moments of my so-called life.

I’d likely still be lost in the wilderness of thought had I not

stumbled upon Eckhart Tolle’s phenomenol book: ‘The Power of Now.’

Also helpful was Michael Brown’s book: ‘The Presence Process.’

So to all of you I say – let’s honor the Now with presence, with

mindfulness and with the lightness and ease and joy that accompany

being present and awake.

Let’s honor the Now – Now!! …and now…and now…and now.