What time is it? It's now. Always has been, always will be. It's never not been now, nor will it ever not be now. Think about it.
So what? What now? It's easy to read some of these spiritual teachings, understand them intellectually, and then 5 minutes later find ourselves right back in a state of anxiety about the future, longing for the past, or one of the myriad of other tricks our minds use to prevent us from being present - from being totally focussed on the now and connected to our fundamental nature.
We are not our minds. Phew. That is one of the central tenets of this book, The Power of Now. I read it in one sitting yesterday, and I think it changed my life. Don't get me wrong, there's no quick fix in life. Any meaningful change in behavior and/or thinking takes dedication, patience, and experience. I didn't have an epiphany, an out-of-body-experience, or enter into a trance. I didn't find God nor see a bright shining light. I didn't transcend into another realm or hear voices.
So what happened? Honestly, it just made sense. It was True. And one of the most magical conditions about being human is that when we encounter truth we can't deny it. Sure, our minds will find all types of way to deflect truth if it is potentially harmful to our sense of identity and our comfort, but our bodies don't have the luxury of that defense mechanism. We always know the truth because we can feel it. So the question becomes how long are we going to let our minds control our lives, how long are we going to block the pain of truth?
That's a second core teaching of this book - that we all have a pain-body that has been created throughout our lives. All the the times we were shamed; all the embarrassments; all the failures, rejections, sorrows, losses; all the repressed emotions and all the things left unsaid. These stay stored in our body if we don't work through them and they cause us to build higher and higher fences to protect ourselves from being hurt again. The pain body, in partnership with the mind, creates anxiety, depression, and fear. And then we build our lives around not feeling these forms of suffering - usually through quick fixes from external means.
The ultimate cure for the pain body is of course simple: To surrender. To stop resisting truth and relinquish suffering. To be fully conscious, which is to understand that we are actually human souls, not merely human minds and bodies. This, of course, is extremely difficult. Why? Because our minds serve our egos, not our souls. Our minds protect our egos from harm. Our minds tells us to be scared of new things because the ego doesn't like uncertainty. Our minds keep us in current habits and patterns because change requires vulnerability. Our minds strengthen our egos so we can protect an identity of who we are - an identity that is defined by our external achievements, labels, and classifications as opposed to our truest identity of our souls.
Freedom from the mind is found in a connection to our souls. This is hard. It takes time, dedication, belief, desire, pain, and loss. It requires a new level of consciousness - one rooted in a belief in a universal energy and not in the rationale mind. Such freedom does not require a relinquishing of the mind - for it is one of the most powerful tools humans have - but rather a recalibration of how we utilize and connect to the mind. This is difficult. Probably because it is True.
Yes, I'm an emerging believer in that thing we call Soul. To believe in the Soul is to believe in the Self, which is to believe in the eternal energy within everything. To believe in this is to believe that nothing ever dies. Whoa. What if nothing ever truly dies? What if bodies come and go and energies are transformed and transmuted, but never extinguished? What if we actually believed this? Not with our minds, but with our souls? I'm not there yet, but what if I do get there? What if that's what this life is all about? What would life be like then? What would life be like Now?
To believe in these ideas is not to go off the deep end. It is not to live an isolated life with no connection to the mind and the real world. To believe in these ideas is to do the work of finding our way back to our natural state of joy, creativity, and love. If you just rolled your eyes, I feel you. I've rolled my eyes many of times before at sayings like that one - the mind is a powerful tool.
A change in consciousness is difficult - it takes time, dedication, belief, desire, pain, and loss. But suffering is worse, and it doesn't end without a change in consciousness.
If you would like to practice yoga with me and/or support my trip to India you can purchase items here: Swans Nest Yoga