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Re: here and now

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  • dietlclaudia
    Hi Martin, this is a very good point and I totally agree with you. I also came to the point where I am becoming more and more the observer of situations and
    Message 1 of 10 , Apr 3, 2006
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      Hi Martin,

      this is a very good point and I totally agree with you. I also came
      to the point where I am becoming more and more the observer of
      situations and not the judge. And I really like to approach people
      without any other thought in mind that they are good and divine.
      Sometimes this is easy, sometimes I am totally back in my old
      preconceptions...

      I know the book of Dan Millman too. It is one of the best I have read
      and it is good to be reminded of this inspiration.
      The movie I do not know, but maybe soon ;-)

      So, even if it is difficult to be in the present it is worth trying
      and trying and trying and doing and doing.

      I put a note on my shrine and keep reminding myself of it: just do it!
      This prevents me from thinking too much if or what I shall do. And I
      am happy with myself when I manage to just do things and accomplish
      much much more.

      Gratefully
      Claudia




      --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, martin_the_dude
      <no_reply@...> wrote:
      >
      > There are no ordinary moments...
      >
      > My approach to spirituality has been the desire to be aware of
      myself
      > and of my environment- to live the Now, to live the moment.
      > Theoretically it sounds easy, but as soon as we try to but it in
      action
      > we discover all the obstacles within ourselves that keep us roam
      forth
      > and back through time and space. Thoughts only deal with the past
      and
      > future. To be in the present moment we only have to stop the
      continuous
      > flow of thoughts. :-) It's always easy on the paper... Recently a
      book
      > and a movie gave me new inspiration to work on my awareness. The
      book
      > was 'The Way of the Peaceful Warrior' by Dan Millman- and although
      I
      > read it for the 4th or maybe 5th time it keeps inspiring me.
      Socrates,
      > Dan's master and teacher, in very funny ways points out his
      > unawareness and his unspontaneous reaction in his day to day life.
      The
      > movie 'What the Bleep do we know' ( If you haven't seen it- Go for
      > it... ) continues on this topic. - It shows how over the years we've
      > lost our ability to react on thoughts, emotions or situations in a
      > spontaneous way. We react according to our preconceptions which
      > actually belong to a decision we made in the past. We are so
      > conditioned, because we compare everything that happens with
      something
      > similar that happened to us in the past, that we are not able to
      even
      > observe what's really going on in the moment we are acting. AND
      here's
      > the point: OBSERVE ! To be an observer means to be aware of what
      > influences me, to be aware of how I'm dealed with during the day and
      > according to this I consciously decide about my reaction. By
      sincerely
      > observing myself for a while I found out that many of my opinions
      and
      > my believes are actually expired. They do no longer have a
      relationship
      > to what is considered to be 'my' reality. It's a little painful
      > sometimes to find out that what has been your point of view for
      years,
      > which of course was defended against others when needed, no longer
      > serves any purpose. Now I seek to be more flexible, more
      spontaneous in
      > my daily decisions. I try to stay in the moment as good as possible
      by
      > consciously breathing and observing my inner and outer reaction. I'd
      > like to end with a poem by Sri Chinmoy that rounds up perfectly
      what I
      > feel...
      >
      > Every thought can be a prayer. Every action can be a meditation.
      >
      > That's it...
      >
      > Martin
      >
    • doriscott20002000
      Thank you for your post, Martin and Claudia. It s similar to my observations. I d like to watch the movie you mentioned below. May I add a poem: -unofficial
      Message 2 of 10 , Apr 4, 2006
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        Thank you for your post, Martin and Claudia. It's similar to my
        observations. I'd like to watch the movie you mentioned below. May I
        add a poem:

        -unofficial

        "May each thought of mine
        Comes from the sunshine
        Of my heart's love."

        -Sri Chinmoy

        It sticks on the left side of my monitor and always helps when
        needed.

        Doris

        P.S.: The worst case of unawareness I have to face when I become
        aware that I am locking my bike TWICE and try to start. ;-)(giggling)



        --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, martin_the_dude
        <no_reply@...> wrote:
        >
        > There are no ordinary moments...
        >
        > My approach to spirituality has been the desire to be aware of
        myself
        > and of my environment- to live the Now, to live the moment.
        > Theoretically it sounds easy, but as soon as we try to but it in
        action
        > we discover all the obstacles within ourselves that keep us roam
        forth
        > and back through time and space. Thoughts only deal with the past
        and
        > future. To be in the present moment we only have to stop the
        continuous
        > flow of thoughts. :-) It's always easy on the paper... Recently a
        book
        > and a movie gave me new inspiration to work on my awareness. The
        book
        > was 'The Way of the Peaceful Warrior' by Dan Millman- and
        although I
        > read it for the 4th or maybe 5th time it keeps inspiring me.
        Socrates,
        > Dan's master and teacher, in very funny ways points out his
        > unawareness and his unspontaneous reaction in his day to day life.
        The
        > movie 'What the Bleep do we know' ( If you haven't seen it- Go for
        > it... ) continues on this topic. - It shows how over the years
        we've
        > lost our ability to react on thoughts, emotions or situations in a
        > spontaneous way. We react according to our preconceptions which
        > actually belong to a decision we made in the past. We are so
        > conditioned, because we compare everything that happens with
        something
        > similar that happened to us in the past, that we are not able to
        even
        > observe what's really going on in the moment we are acting. AND
        here's
        > the point: OBSERVE ! To be an observer means to be aware of what
        > influences me, to be aware of how I'm dealed with during the day
        and
        > according to this I consciously decide about my reaction. By
        sincerely
        > observing myself for a while I found out that many of my opinions
        and
        > my believes are actually expired. They do no longer have a
        relationship
        > to what is considered to be 'my' reality. It's a little painful
        > sometimes to find out that what has been your point of view for
        years,
        > which of course was defended against others when needed, no longer
        > serves any purpose. Now I seek to be more flexible, more
        spontaneous in
        > my daily decisions. I try to stay in the moment as good as
        possible by
        > consciously breathing and observing my inner and outer reaction.
        I'd
        > like to end with a poem by Sri Chinmoy that rounds up perfectly
        what I
        > feel...
        >
        > Every thought can be a prayer. Every action can be a meditation.
        >
        > That's it...
        >
        > Martin
        >
      • carr_terri
        Hi Claudia, and Martin, I was taking a break at work the other day and thinking about all the things I have to do before I leave for NY. It seems that every
        Message 3 of 10 , Apr 5, 2006
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          Hi Claudia, and Martin,

          I was taking a break at work the other day and thinking about all the
          things I have to do before I leave for NY. It seems that every hour
          is packed and there is so little time to waste.

          Anyway, I opened up Sri Chinmoy's "My Life's Soul-Journey" book of
          daily meditations and the first thing I read was:

          "Think less and meditate more. Plan less and act more."

          Ahh! Such a soothing message for my hurrying and worrying mind!

          Even though I know from my own life experience that meditation keeps
          me more in the flow of life, still I get caught up in the swirl of
          activity and find too little time to meditate.

          Terri





          --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, dietlclaudia
          <no_reply@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi Martin,
          >
          > this is a very good point and I totally agree with you. I also came
          > to the point where I am becoming more and more the observer of
          > situations and not the judge. And I really like to approach people
          > without any other thought in mind that they are good and divine.
          > Sometimes this is easy, sometimes I am totally back in my old
          > preconceptions...
          >
          > I know the book of Dan Millman too. It is one of the best I have
          read
          > and it is good to be reminded of this inspiration.
          > The movie I do not know, but maybe soon ;-)
          >
          > So, even if it is difficult to be in the present it is worth trying
          > and trying and trying and doing and doing.
          >
          > I put a note on my shrine and keep reminding myself of it: just do
          it!
          > This prevents me from thinking too much if or what I shall do. And
          I
          > am happy with myself when I manage to just do things and accomplish
          > much much more.
          >
          > Gratefully
          > Claudia
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, martin_the_dude
          > <no_reply@> wrote:
          > >
          > > There are no ordinary moments...
          > >
          > > My approach to spirituality has been the desire to be aware of
          > myself
          > > and of my environment- to live the Now, to live the moment.
          > > Theoretically it sounds easy, but as soon as we try to but it in
          > action
          > > we discover all the obstacles within ourselves that keep us roam
          > forth
          > > and back through time and space. Thoughts only deal with the past
          > and
          > > future. To be in the present moment we only have to stop the
          > continuous
          > > flow of thoughts. :-) It's always easy on the paper... Recently
          a
          > book
          > > and a movie gave me new inspiration to work on my awareness. The
          > book
          > > was 'The Way of the Peaceful Warrior' by Dan Millman- and
          although
          > I
          > > read it for the 4th or maybe 5th time it keeps inspiring me.
          > Socrates,
          > > Dan's master and teacher, in very funny ways points out his
          > > unawareness and his unspontaneous reaction in his day to day
          life.
          > The
          > > movie 'What the Bleep do we know' ( If you haven't seen it- Go for
          > > it... ) continues on this topic. - It shows how over the years
          we've
          > > lost our ability to react on thoughts, emotions or situations in a
          > > spontaneous way. We react according to our preconceptions which
          > > actually belong to a decision we made in the past. We are so
          > > conditioned, because we compare everything that happens with
          > something
          > > similar that happened to us in the past, that we are not able to
          > even
          > > observe what's really going on in the moment we are acting. AND
          > here's
          > > the point: OBSERVE ! To be an observer means to be aware of what
          > > influences me, to be aware of how I'm dealed with during the day
          and
          > > according to this I consciously decide about my reaction. By
          > sincerely
          > > observing myself for a while I found out that many of my opinions
          > and
          > > my believes are actually expired. They do no longer have a
          > relationship
          > > to what is considered to be 'my' reality. It's a little painful
          > > sometimes to find out that what has been your point of view for
          > years,
          > > which of course was defended against others when needed, no longer
          > > serves any purpose. Now I seek to be more flexible, more
          > spontaneous in
          > > my daily decisions. I try to stay in the moment as good as
          possible
          > by
          > > consciously breathing and observing my inner and outer reaction.
          I'd
          > > like to end with a poem by Sri Chinmoy that rounds up perfectly
          > what I
          > > feel...
          > >
          > > Every thought can be a prayer. Every action can be a meditation.
          > >
          > > That's it...
          > >
          > > Martin
          > >
          >
        • mrinalicc
          Hi Claudia, I am definitely another case! This is something similar to a situation I am becoming aware of recently. I find myself not only being elsewhere
          Message 4 of 10 , Apr 5, 2006
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            Hi Claudia, I am definitely another case! This is something similar
            to a situation I am becoming aware of recently. I find myself not
            only being elsewhere with my roaming mind, but also when I become
            aware of this, I find my whole body is tense. There is tension in
            my head, my jaw, and my neck and shoulders, and the way I walk -
            even in my feet, as though my body is saying to me "I wish I was
            standing somewhere else"! Can you believe it?
            For me the worst time is when I am driving, so I have actually
            started to sing more while I am driving.
            It is like my in-most being has decided to step back and show me the
            results of living in the wayward mind. As soon as I center myself
            in my heart again, all the tension, thoughts and worries just melt
            away, and after some time of continually doing this, as Sri Chinmoy
            says [unofficial],
            "Relax, just relax,
            and all your cruel difficulties will relax with you."
            I even feel that my mood and outlook takes a leap forward.
            I guess recently, it is the added responsibility of having my Mum
            stay with me, and her delicate state of health, but if I am honest,
            I am a worrier, (as well as a warrior) and it is a lifetime project
            to get on top of this.
            I shall focus my reading and see what I come up with from Guru's
            books. If you find anything, let us know!
            Mrinali

            In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, dietlclaudia
            <no_reply@...> wrote:
            >
            > what does it mean to live in the present? I mean, what does it
            really
            > mean? O o , it seems I am getting confused right from the start ;-)
            > So, hope you can follow me...
            >
            > Last week I had a very interesting experience. I was walking along
            a
            > street in the city thinking about this and that - like usual,
            > planning worrying and so on, when suddenly it came to my mind to
            just
            > be in the present. I immediately realised that I was every where
            else
            > but not in the street where I was walking. So, I tried to change
            my
            > attitude and although the street was not very nice and inspiring
            and
            > there was a lot of traffic I now tried to see where I was walking
            > more consciously.
            > The effect was that I was not tired any more and had much more
            energy
            > than before, and I even found nice spots in this street.
            >
            > I am often tired and exhausted, not only in the evenings but also
            in
            > the mornings, and this could be a reason - I am just not here - I
            am
            > elsewhere with my thoughts.
            > Worries and plans in my mind take energy, much more than I thought
            > before.
            >
            > I wonder how many problems can be solved by just being more
            conscious
            > of this fact.
            > Indeed, I have known about this for a long time, but to REALLY
            live
            > in the present I only manage when I am with Guru or in a very good
            > mood. It is really difficult to stop the mind from roaming and
            > sometimes trying hard to escape makes it even worse.
            >
            > There is a whole book Guru has written about "here and now" and I
            am
            > more inspired to try again and again to be more aware of what I am
            > doing, especially after that experience one week ago.
            >
            > So, what about you? Is there some advice that would help - I am
            eager
            > to hear it
            >
            > Claudia
            >
          • carr_terri
            Hi Mrinali, The transformative effects of singing Sri Chinmoy s songs cannot be overstated. In my case, the effects on the physical are more subtle, but for my
            Message 5 of 10 , Apr 7, 2006
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              Hi Mrinali,

              The transformative effects of singing Sri Chinmoy's songs cannot be
              overstated. In my case, the effects on the physical are more subtle,
              but for my mental attitude, the change is profound.

              On the days when I sing for half an hour before I go to work, my
              attitude is completely different! It is as if I am walking on
              clouds!

              Sadly, I find it easier to find time for singing in the evenings.
              Probably need to change that! ;-)

              see you soon, I hope?

              Terri



              --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, mrinalicc
              <no_reply@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi Claudia, I am definitely another case! This is something
              similar
              > to a situation I am becoming aware of recently. I find myself not
              > only being elsewhere with my roaming mind, but also when I become
              > aware of this, I find my whole body is tense. There is tension in
              > my head, my jaw, and my neck and shoulders, and the way I walk -
              > even in my feet, as though my body is saying to me "I wish I was
              > standing somewhere else"! Can you believe it?
              > For me the worst time is when I am driving, so I have actually
              > started to sing more while I am driving.
              > It is like my in-most being has decided to step back and show me
              the
              > results of living in the wayward mind. As soon as I center myself
              > in my heart again, all the tension, thoughts and worries just melt
              > away, and after some time of continually doing this, as Sri
              Chinmoy
              > says [unofficial],
              > "Relax, just relax,
              > and all your cruel difficulties will relax with you."
              > I even feel that my mood and outlook takes a leap forward.
              > I guess recently, it is the added responsibility of having my Mum
              > stay with me, and her delicate state of health, but if I am
              honest,
              > I am a worrier, (as well as a warrior) and it is a lifetime
              project
              > to get on top of this.
              > I shall focus my reading and see what I come up with from Guru's
              > books. If you find anything, let us know!
              > Mrinali
              >
              > In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, dietlclaudia
              > <no_reply@> wrote:
              > >
              > > what does it mean to live in the present? I mean, what does it
              > really
              > > mean? O o , it seems I am getting confused right from the
              start ;-)
              > > So, hope you can follow me...
              > >
              > > Last week I had a very interesting experience. I was walking
              along
              > a
              > > street in the city thinking about this and that - like usual,
              > > planning worrying and so on, when suddenly it came to my mind to
              > just
              > > be in the present. I immediately realised that I was every where
              > else
              > > but not in the street where I was walking. So, I tried to change
              > my
              > > attitude and although the street was not very nice and inspiring
              > and
              > > there was a lot of traffic I now tried to see where I was
              walking
              > > more consciously.
              > > The effect was that I was not tired any more and had much more
              > energy
              > > than before, and I even found nice spots in this street.
              > >
              > > I am often tired and exhausted, not only in the evenings but
              also
              > in
              > > the mornings, and this could be a reason - I am just not here -
              I
              > am
              > > elsewhere with my thoughts.
              > > Worries and plans in my mind take energy, much more than I
              thought
              > > before.
              > >
              > > I wonder how many problems can be solved by just being more
              > conscious
              > > of this fact.
              > > Indeed, I have known about this for a long time, but to REALLY
              > live
              > > in the present I only manage when I am with Guru or in a very
              good
              > > mood. It is really difficult to stop the mind from roaming and
              > > sometimes trying hard to escape makes it even worse.
              > >
              > > There is a whole book Guru has written about "here and now" and
              I
              > am
              > > more inspired to try again and again to be more aware of what I
              am
              > > doing, especially after that experience one week ago.
              > >
              > > So, what about you? Is there some advice that would help - I am
              > eager
              > > to hear it
              > >
              > > Claudia
              > >
              >
            • palyati
              Dear Claudia, I would like to share with you a book I found to be very helpful in being in the present. It is The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. It remains
              Message 6 of 10 , Apr 19, 2006
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                Dear Claudia,

                I would like to share with you a book I found to be very helpful in
                being in the present. It is "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle. It
                remains fascinating that a simple concept can be so complex to the
                human mind and is so difficult to implement and live.

                Love,
                Palyati

                --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, dietlclaudia
                <no_reply@...> wrote:
                >
                > what does it mean to live in the present? I mean, what does it really
                > mean? O o , it seems I am getting confused right from the start ;-)
                > So, hope you can follow me...
                >
                > Last week I had a very interesting experience. I was walking along a
                > street in the city thinking about this and that - like usual,
                > planning worrying and so on, when suddenly it came to my mind to just
                > be in the present. I immediately realised that I was every where else
                > but not in the street where I was walking. So, I tried to change my
                > attitude and although the street was not very nice and inspiring and
                > there was a lot of traffic I now tried to see where I was walking
                > more consciously.
                > The effect was that I was not tired any more and had much more energy
                > than before, and I even found nice spots in this street.
                >
                > I am often tired and exhausted, not only in the evenings but also in
                > the mornings, and this could be a reason - I am just not here - I am
                > elsewhere with my thoughts.
                > Worries and plans in my mind take energy, much more than I thought
                > before.
                >
                > I wonder how many problems can be solved by just being more conscious
                > of this fact.
                > Indeed, I have known about this for a long time, but to REALLY live
                > in the present I only manage when I am with Guru or in a very good
                > mood. It is really difficult to stop the mind from roaming and
                > sometimes trying hard to escape makes it even worse.
                >
                > There is a whole book Guru has written about "here and now" and I am
                > more inspired to try again and again to be more aware of what I am
                > doing, especially after that experience one week ago.
                >
                > So, what about you? Is there some advice that would help - I am eager
                > to hear it
                >
                > Claudia
                >
              • sharani_sharani
                Palyati I m glad you wrote mentioning this book. I also instantly thought of this book as an interesting in-depth treatment of the concept. I meant to post
                Message 7 of 10 , Apr 21, 2006
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                  Palyati I'm glad you wrote mentioning this book. I also instantly
                  thought of this book as an interesting in-depth treatment of the
                  concept. I meant to post about it, obviously didn't and guess it means
                  I wasn't living in the "now" at that particular moment because it
                  slipped away without me writing about it. :-)

                  On several occasions I have been blessed with glimpses of how powerful
                  living in the now can be. I tend to refer to it using Sri Chinmoy's
                  phrase "the eternal now." One Christmas trip in Solo, Indonesia this
                  concept particularly resonated for me. I used to go out jogging and
                  walking on the hotel grounds early in the morning in Solo and
                  concentrate on trying to be exactly in the moment forgetting about the
                  past or future.

                  As someone prone to perfectionism and self-criticism, it felt so
                  freeing to forget about the future - all the goals and things that I
                  felt I had yet to become. I tried to (and did) believe that there was
                  perfection in the present moment - that I didn't have to be or become
                  somebody different than what I was in order to feel real happiness or
                  be complete in the eyes of God. Then I ran along the beautiful grounds
                  of the hotel (where we even had our races while we were there) carried
                  along by a wave of happiness. Indeed in the moments that I find and
                  stay with "the eternal now", I feel as if a giant heavy weight has
                  been removed from my shoulders

                  More recently, my nascent love of photography rests firmly on the way
                  it fosters intense observation and immediacy in the moment and with
                  one's surroundings. Through the lens of a camera, the mind's wandering
                  thoughts silence quickly and stillness and concentration prevail. I
                  definitely recommend taking photographs as a tool to stay in the
                  present. You'll probably find (like I do) that you are more present in
                  each moment even when you don't have your camera around your neck.

                  Savoring each moment is a precious gift. As Palyati states, it is
                  easier said than done. Given life's inherent impermanence, this is one
                  goal worth hanging onto. (As an example of impermanence, the very next
                  time I went back to the woods I almost didn't find the wood sprite
                  tree trunk when I was right in front of it because pieces of bark had
                  already sloughed off and it looked completely different from the day I
                  captured its face on camera.) I think perhaps there is a close
                  relationship to gratitude and the here and now. What do you think?

                  Sharani




                  --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, palyati
                  <no_reply@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Dear Claudia,
                  >
                  > I would like to share with you a book I found to be very helpful in
                  > being in the present. It is "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle. It
                  > remains fascinating that a simple concept can be so complex to the
                  > human mind and is so difficult to implement and live.
                  >
                  > Love,
                  > Palyati
                  >
                  > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, dietlclaudia
                  > <no_reply@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > what does it mean to live in the present? I mean, what does it really
                  > > mean? O o , it seems I am getting confused right from the start ;-)
                  > > So, hope you can follow me...
                  > >
                  > > Last week I had a very interesting experience. I was walking along a
                  > > street in the city thinking about this and that - like usual,
                  > > planning worrying and so on, when suddenly it came to my mind to just
                  > > be in the present. I immediately realised that I was every where else
                  > > but not in the street where I was walking. So, I tried to change my
                  > > attitude and although the street was not very nice and inspiring and
                  > > there was a lot of traffic I now tried to see where I was walking
                  > > more consciously.
                  > > The effect was that I was not tired any more and had much more energy
                  > > than before, and I even found nice spots in this street.
                  > >
                  > > I am often tired and exhausted, not only in the evenings but also in
                  > > the mornings, and this could be a reason - I am just not here - I am
                  > > elsewhere with my thoughts.
                  > > Worries and plans in my mind take energy, much more than I thought
                  > > before.
                  > >
                  > > I wonder how many problems can be solved by just being more conscious
                  > > of this fact.
                  > > Indeed, I have known about this for a long time, but to REALLY live
                  > > in the present I only manage when I am with Guru or in a very good
                  > > mood. It is really difficult to stop the mind from roaming and
                  > > sometimes trying hard to escape makes it even worse.
                  > >
                  > > There is a whole book Guru has written about "here and now" and I am
                  > > more inspired to try again and again to be more aware of what I am
                  > > doing, especially after that experience one week ago.
                  > >
                  > > So, what about you? Is there some advice that would help - I am eager
                  > > to hear it
                  > >
                  > > Claudia
                  > >
                  >
                • sarah_inseattle
                  Hi Claudia, Palyati, Sharani, and all, One of our spiritual brothers is most enthusiastic about this book, *The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual
                  Message 8 of 10 , Sep 15, 2007
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                    Hi Claudia, Palyati, Sharani, and all,

                    One of our spiritual brothers is most enthusiastic about this book,
                    *The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment*. I have to
                    admit an initial skepticism, with its somewhat new-agey title.
                    HOWEVER, fortunately, I kept an open enough mind, on the strength of
                    our respected spiritual brother's recommendation, and ordered this
                    book from the library.

                    It just arrived last night, and I am so excited about it that I am
                    enthusiastic to post and ask if others have read it, and what are
                    their reactions? This book seems to have tremendous depth without
                    being something to "wade through." It is written in a simple question-
                    and-answer format but is touching me deeply.

                    Here is an excerpt from the introduction that stopped me in my
                    tracks. The author is explaining how he came to write the book, and
                    how until his 30th year of life he lived "in a state of almost
                    continuous anxiety, interspersed with periods of suicidal
                    depression." One night, he awakens with a feeling of absolute dread,
                    more intense than he had ever felt before:

                    ***
                    The most loathsome thing of all, however, was my own existence. What
                    was the point in continuing to live with this burden of misery? Why
                    carry on with this continous struggle? I could feel that a deep
                    longing for annihilation, for nonexistence, was now becoming much
                    stronger than the instinctive desire to continue to live.

                    "I cannot live with myself any longer." This was the thought that
                    kept repeating itself in my mind. Then suddenly I became aware of
                    what a peculiar thought it was. "Am I one or two? If I cannot live
                    with myself, there must be two of me: the 'I' and the 'self' that 'I'
                    cannot live with." "Maybe," I thought, "only one of them is real."

                    I was so stunned by this strange realization that my mind stopped. I
                    was fully conscious but there were no more thoughts.
                    ***

                    He continues to describe a significant experience which followed and
                    a profound change in himself, then explains:

                    ***
                    I understood that the intense pressure of suffering that night must
                    have forced my consciousness to withdraw from its identification with
                    the unhappy and deeply fearful self, which is ultimately a fiction of
                    the mind. This withdrawal must have been so complete that this
                    false, suffering self immediately collapsed, just as if a plug had
                    been pulled out of an inflatable toy. What was left then was my true
                    nature as the ever present *I am*: consciousness in its pure state
                    prior to identification with form..."
                    ***

                    What really resonates with me--- just in the introduction alone-- is
                    this idea of one versus two selves. In trying to recover from
                    illness, I myself have struggled with feeling, "I don't know how to
                    take care of myself." I am considering this feeling in a whole new
                    light!

                    One place (at least) this concept is reinforced is in
                    the "Enlightened Realtionships" chapter:
                    ***
                    Q: Is it not true that you need to have a good relationship with
                    yourself and love yourself before you can have a fulfilling
                    relationship with another person?

                    A: If you cannot be at ease with yourself when you are alone, you
                    will seek a relationship to cover up your unease. You can be sure
                    that the unease will then reappear in some other form within the
                    relationship, and you will probably hold your partner responsible for
                    it.

                    All you really need to do is accept this moment fully. You are then
                    at ease in the here and now and at ease with yourself.

                    But do you need to have a relationship with yourself at all? Why
                    can't you just *be* yourself? When you have a relationship with
                    yourself you have split yourself into two: "I" and "myself," subject
                    and object. That mind-created duality is the root cause of all
                    unnecessary complexity, of all problems and conflict in your life.
                    In the state of enlightenment, you *are* yourself --- "you"
                    and "yourself" merge into one. You do not judge yourself, you do not
                    love yourself, you do not hate yourslef, and so on. The split
                    caused by self-reflective consciousness is healed, its curse
                    removed. There is no "self" that you need to protect, defend, or feed
                    anymore. When you are enlightened, there is one relationship that
                    you no longer have: the relationship with yourself. Once you have
                    given that up, all your other relationships will be love
                    relationships.
                    ***

                    Well, I don't want to say too much, since so far I have only flipped
                    through the book (!) and I am finding it hard to find words to
                    describe why I am excited; at the same time I don't know that I will
                    agree with everything in the book. But I will eagerly take what is
                    useful and leave anything else.

                    Victory to our Souls!
                    Sarah
                    Seattle

                    P.S. The chapter titles in the book are:

                    1) You Are Not Your Mind
                    2) Consciousness: The Way Out of Pain
                    3) Moving Deeply into the Now
                    4) Mind Strategies for Avoiding the Now
                    5) The State of Presence
                    6) The Inner Body
                    7) Portals into the Unmanifested
                    8) Enlightened Relationships
                    9) Beyond Happiness and Unhappiness There is Peace
                    10)The Meaning of Surrender
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