You have probably already read and heard a lot about living in the Now. You understand what it means. yet. You don’t live in the Now. You keep impressing yourself in thinking. You just can’t get out, even if you sit on a cushion and meditate twice a day .
Because how do you actually get into the Now? What do you have to do for that? Most people are like a sleepwalker in their daily lives. From morning to night there is no moment when there is consciousness. One completely coincides with thinking and doing.
You are in the Now when you are aware of yourself and your thoughts . When you are lost in thought, every thought seems important. Only when you step out of that do you see how 90% of your thoughts are about nothing at all.
They are repetitions of thoughts that you have already thought countless times. Plus, they’re certainly not all constructive thoughts you think, not to mention whether they’re positive.
Thoughts can often be compared to an overtired child who desperately wants your attention. It just keeps on whining, without stopping. And let you be the only one who can intervene and say: ‘Now that’s enough, shut up!’
That’s how you get into the now
So to get into the Now, you have to get out of your mind. This sounds very simple, but on the one hand it is not and on the other hand it is. Once you understand how it works, it goes faster and faster.
I invite you to close your eyes again. Go in with your attention and take a few deep breaths. Ask yourself what you are thinking about right now. Don’t judge, let the thought be there. Note that the thought will disappear by itself, you don’t have to do anything for it. Then you wait for the next thought to present itself. Be curious about this thought. Ask yourself: what would he be about? Let it arise.
Notice that – when you wait – you are in a consciousness greater than you. You look at the thought. There is space between the thought and yourself. This greater dimension than your thought can be called the dimension of your soul.The coincidence with thoughts can be called the dimension of the ego.
Waiting for a thought is the way to come into the Now. If you notice that your head is too full and that there seems to be no space between your thoughts, slow down your breathing. Make it as slow as possible and follow your breathing as completely as possible with your attention. Notice how the chatter in your head subsides.
Don’t identify with your thoughts
If you perceive a thought, name it, “There is a thought about that meeting just now.” Don’t make the thought personal. Don’t label the thought as, “I have a thought about that meeting just now.” If you make it a personal ‘I have’ thought, there is a danger that you will think about the content of the meeting.
If you distantly label the thought as ‘There is a thought.’ this creates space and you will identify with it less.
Time for the dishes
Another tool you can use to stay in the Now is to use your senses. Train yourself as often as you can, preferably throughout the day. For example, when you are washing the dishes or doing some other boring household chore, do this with your full attention. Use your senses, feel the warm water, the plate, the dish brush. Smell the smell of the detergent. Breathe slowly into your stomach.
Be aware of where your attention is. Keep bringing it back to this moment. You and the dishes. Notice that there is an awareness, you are looking, as it were, at the ‘person you’ washing dishes. You are aware of it. Feel how much peace and space this new dimension gives.Everything seems to fall away. Anxiety or worrying thoughts slowly settle down. Washing up has never been so pleasant.
Watching a thought
When you are present in the Now you are aware. Not only from where your attention is, but also from the consciousness that perceives this.
If you look so intently at your thoughts and let yourself be surprised by what thought presents itself, you are in the dimension of your soul, of consciousness. That dimension is aware and holding.
In this awareness you encounter feelings that, if you are entangled in the mind, you are unlikely to encounter. From awareness there is tranquility, there is peace and you may even glimpse love. Not the conditionally earthly love but the love that is already present in you.
In this awareness there are no thoughts of yesterday or tomorrow. In the Now you are free from that. Do you feel what a freedom there is in this? In the absolute Now there is no problem – unless a fire breaks out right in front of you at that moment.
then you don’t have a problem either; after all, you immediately jump into action to extinguish the fire. You don’t have to think about that. So many of the thoughts you think are unnecessary. They make you disappear into a dense fog, making you miss the sparkle of life.
now or never
What are you waiting for to wake up? What can wake you up from your sleep? When will you put into practice what you already know? The world is dying for people who are aware. There is no time for procrastination. If you don’t do it now, it won’t happen tomorrow. Or as a Zen master once put it: “If not now, then when?”
Put reminders in your phone, post-its on your laptop, use all available tools.
Even if you only start with a few deep, calm abdominal breaths once an hour and wonder where your attention is, that is already a big gain. This is a long-term project (literally and figuratively) that requires all the effort from you. Commit yourself to this.Not for a day or a month, no, for the rest of your life.
Are you ready for transformation?
By waking up from the mind, you transform your life in unprecedented ways. You notice that all the problems you thought you had are disappearing. The suffering disappears and the more awake you become, the more powerful the feeling: you feel peace, tranquility and love from within. Even a sense of bliss completely detached from your living conditions is possible.
By stepping out of the mind and arriving in the Now, you are breaking through thousands of years of human conditioning. You go beyond ego and live from your soul. And yes, this takes effort, but what you get in return is worth all the effort. Are you ready to wake up and start living life for real? Then start now!