The now moment gets great billing. Books about living in the now populate every seeker's bookshelf, but actually living in the now is a cozy concept that most people plan to get to in the future.
What is it about the now that is so elusive? What is more important than what’s happening in the present? It’s our thoughts. We love our thoughts. They are the Legos of our reality. We build our beliefs, thought by thought, and then play them relentlessly in our heads. These structures are our foundation, and everything we see, feel, and hear, filters through our belief systems before they are accepted as reality. These filters are the veil. They are the illusion of life. They fashion our reality and spit it out. It’s a virtual reality, not reality itself. We are not awake to reality; we are asleep. Even though the present seems boring, it is this moment that holds the key to enlightenment. Enlightenment is an elusive idea, but enlightenment is simply freedom from the mental and emotional tangles caused by speculative thinking.
In some way, everything in our lives points home. The twists and turns of daily life move us in the direction of peace, harmony, and freedom. The egoic mind eagerly jumps in and creates a detour. It guards each moment, creating content that knocks us off center and back into variations of panic, depression, or anger.
The egoic mind delays our freedom and, while this is not a problem when we look into eternity, it is a problem in our day to day lives. Living in our heads, following the horror stories, judgments, and fears, places us in the dust of life, not in the rich soil of our being.
In 1997 I met Gangaji. I attended a small gathering in Nashville, Tennessee. I was fascinated with this woman. She was a southern woman; she was a cheerleader in high school, was married and divorced from a doctor, the consummate success for a southern woman; and she was enlightened. She was free. Her life was no longer dominated by a recount of the horror stories of the past, nor was she slave to the promises of the future. She was present and at peace. It was in that meeting that I discovered the immanence of peace. It is now. Peace is ongoing and, regardless of anything happening in the world, peace lives now. This peace is connected. It is woven together by the warp and weave of love and compassion.
Enlightenment is freedom, but it is also the ongoing knowing that the kingdom is at hand, not in the future. This is the food of the mystic, a deep knowing that everything is okay and it will always be okay. The egoic mind lives on creating panic, urgency, emergency, and struggle. It is an emotional entertainer, but deeper than these amateur distractions, is the Source, the real professional, and we are a part of that Source.
The greatest contribution we can make to our lives is to reclaim our inheritance. It seems as if we never hear the reading of the will, Source’s will, which bequeaths peace to everyone. We can start on the path by making an ongoing, continual commitment to give up our ego driven suffering and to tune into the ongoing presence of peace.
The following agreement is one you make with yourself.
My Commitment to Peace
Click here to download a printable and frameable pdf of this Commitment.