Happy New NOW!!!

Salvador Dali’s Persistence of Memory

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year

—Seasons of Love, from Rent!

Time is once again slipping in grand fashion as we mark another end of a year. It seems so long, a whole year. Yet, when we tally the hours—one third of a year spent sleeping, another third working, the rest spent in front of the TV or just whiling away the time—it doesn’t seem long at all.

And think of the state of mind we have while spending the hours. There are happy, loving moments—fun times, quality bonding times with loved ones. Some of us spend it complaining about this and that, some of us seething in anger, frustration, regret, hate, worrying about health, finances, politics and other negative concerns. When we look at it this way, it’s hard to believe that a year is short.

Time is the one thing that constantly reminds us that we are earthbound. It tells us that there is a time to be green and young, ripe and mature and crumpled as we begin to age. To live in the world of time is to be subject to birth and death, to be mortal.

And yet, even as we are mere mortals, we are capable of timeless experiences. It is the way God wired us to be. When we can jettison the inertia and pains of the past and come into the now while totally present with all faculties and total being, we live under the grace of the eternal. And it is eternal as long as we wish it so.

What about the past, the future? Don’t we have to worry about them? Sure. There are things to take care off in the future. And there are errors that must be corrected in the past. But we don’t have to live there in place of the moment. Spending our time in past regrets or in anticipative worrying about the future will surely make us totally unhappy, and missing out on the gifts of the moment. The present we live in is not the present at all but the continuation of the past, or worse nothing more than just its sum total.

But if we constantly choose to focus on the ever renewing present, we learn soon enough that we are actually always capable of coming into a freshly independent and creative ‘now’ free from past and future. Yes, seriously. That’s how miraculous life turn-arounds happen. Jesus puts it so well, ’Go and sin no more.’ Finished. The past is erased. That was yesterday. This is now. It’s a new day.

Problems originate in the past or future. Think about it. What is there to worry about NOW? If you can find one, it’s probably linked to some past or future concern that you are projecting to the moment. NOW is free, spotless, spacious and eternal! It is always a good starting moment. That’s why it is so redemptive!

..free, spotless, spacious and redemptive.

When I give workshops, I notice that people readily share intimate secrets with strangers. Why? Because they are people they have just met. No past shared. No future projected. No room for judgments of any kind. Just acceptance. Forgiveness of oneself and others cannot happen by dwelling on the past. It only happens when we decide to live in the present.

The past and the future are part of time. But we can live them as parts of a series of now points, if we choose to be present. And every moment spent in now is eternal. The present, when not contaminated by the past and future is all there is. This is as good as it gets. Think of what it’s like when you are totally, wonderfully spontaneous. Isn’t that a magical moment—a moment without worry or fear? It’s a moment when we forget the past and catch ourselves marveling at our own natural greatness, at who we REALLY are. And it happens only because we are free of time a.k.a past and future. That’s why great performances, or moments when we are real to ourselves, and others are indeed timeless ones. We defy the inertia of being mortal. We forget our being earthbound. We are creatures of eternity basking in our original nature. I’m not talking here of some pie-in-the-sky pollyanna escape to life’s problems. Living in the moment can be a vital part of spiritual practice.

a timeless moment..

A year doesn’t actually have to start on the 1st day of January and end on the last day of December. It starts when we decide that we will begin to live, really live—in the present! In place of greeting you the usual Happy New Year, I wish you a Happy New Now! may you have a good moment RIGHT NOW and may you live in it eternally!