Monday, February 27, 2023

Falling Into the Eternal Moment

 The bad news is you are falling through the air; 
Nothing to hang on to, no parachute. 
The good news is there is no ground.

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

How can we remain present throughout our day, living in the moment? 

We die to ourselves, moment by moment. We refuse to identify with our histories, our accumulated stories. We let each moment present itself anew. With no judgment based on our past stories and no projections of historical events into the future, we can fully embrace each moment 'with fresh eyes.' One moment gives birth to the next, unclouded by ego. After all, the ego is simply our interpretation of and identification with our stories.

Try it. See if it's true. For a moment, refuse to entertain any thought based on your history. Die to your past. Let your mind become blank. You'll find each moment presenting itself anew, with unlimited possibilities. One eternal moment, giving birth to itself over and over again. How radical.

It can be intimidating. We lose a sense of who we think we are. We are not our stories; we are more than our plans. Our thoughts do not define us. Scary stuff but ripe with potential. If we can give ourselves unconditionally to the moment as it is, we experience an unparalleled present-moment awareness.

One anonymous mystic Christian called this 'The Cloud of Unknowing' (pdf here). The apostle Paul described dying to himself daily. Jesus taught of taking no thought of the morrow, of being born anew, of becoming like children. Small children haven't become identified with their histories. Fighting one minute, they play the next as if nothing happened.

Lao Tse Tung wrote about the profound, fathomless 'Tao' (Tao Te Ching here). Without clinging to our expectations, we sense 'mystery.' The wonder is lost when viewed through preconceived notions, and we see 'things.' We've become anchored, even bound, in our own minds. Buddhists talk of the 'void'; Hindus of the Brahman. Some modern theologians call it "The Ground of Our Being."

Whatever it's called, there is no sense of a separate self when we give ourselves unconditionally to the NowWithout the anchor of our stories, each moment is born anew. There are no limitations and no expectations. There is only This to be experienced Now. We are indeed falling, with nothing to hold onto, no parachute. But all we are falling into is another newborn Moment, the eternal beginning of the Now.

Let Go and Relax
Alan Watts

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