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April, 2002


Introduction by Paula Peterson

If you're keeping current with the latest in the consciousness movement of the past few years, the "buzz" words you'll likely hear the most are probably something like, "be in the moment", "stay present" or "the only reality is now". Even though it seems new, it's not. These are modern phrases and new age terms for old, ancient wisdoms - deep truths that serve us today.

What we often think is a new idea is actually very old knowledge re-modeled, re-packaged and delivered in a style that is more appealing to the new age culture. Philosophies and anecdotes for living a good, meaningful life existed within all primitive cultures, more or less, and were usually taught in the form of a parable. Even though the content of these stories differed with each culture, the basic teaching within the message was often the same.

It was somewhere in the early 70's when I first heard the following story that I can only para-phrase from memory:

A simple monk was traveling a desolate mountain path from one monastery to another when a huge tiger leaped from the thicket and began to chase him. With the tiger nipping and snapping at his heels, the monk ran as fast as he could on the path that led high up along the edge of a steep, precarious canyon pass.

He skidded on loose stones which sent him flying over the edge and straight down until the fabric of his robe snared a protruding root of an old vine that clung to the shear wall of the cliff. There he dangled, a hundred feet above a canyon floor of razor sharp rocks.

He looked up and saw certain death in the snarling, drooling face of the tiger that stood waiting for him. He looked down at certain death to the rocky bottom far below. He looked up at the old root beyond his reach that snagged his robe and it began to break. There was nothing else to grab on to.

As the monk fully realized his fate, he suddenly noticed that there, amid the few leaves of foliage that grew scant across the nearly barren wall of the cliff, was a single, large, juicy red berry clinging to the tip of a feeble branch. He reached out, plucked it and as his grateful mouth swallowed up the luscious berry, he closed his eyes in ecstasy while a smile of deep contentment rose across his face.

End of story.

It's is a story about being present in the moment - being in the "now". It's an ancient story, but an effective one. Basically, it is a teaching about being fully aware of and fully paying attention to whatever is in the present moment with you - the "now." And no matter what the circumstances may be, you will reap the rewards of contentment and peace of mind.

To achieve greater contentment and peace of mind, we must let go of the past (the hungry tiger that chases us) and we must not worry about the future nor fret about our eventual death (falling to the rocks below). We cannot let the challenges of daily life distract us from noticing the beauty and enjoyment of life that is available in each and every moment. For whenever we are fully present, we experience greater calmness, a much clearer mind and a more open heart - so much so that the beauty, wisdom, peace and power of Spirit can enter in.

Later, but still in the 70's, I came across the classic "Be Here Now" by Ram Dass which I believe he wrote in the 60's. As far as I know, Ram Dass was the first in our culture to popularize being "in the now" moment. "Be Here Now" was a simple book, yet so powerful. It made so much sense to me. I began to put the principles to work in my daily life. Not easy at first - nay, naaay - for the past and the future would often have their way with me.

A "Master of Now", I am not yet! However, it has become easier and more rewarding as I continue taking the practice to deeper levels in a more consistent fashion. The increasing liberation and freedom it brings is worth the diligence of paying closer attention.

There will always be deeper levels of "the now" to experience. The now - this present moment - can be as deep as you wish to go with it. And just when you think you've mastered being in the present moment, there is even more - it just keeps getting deeper, bigger and richer. Then you will find that time shifts radically - the deeper we go into the "now" moment the more we alter our experience of time. We show less signs of aging and feel younger, we achieve greater peace of mind, personal contentment and greater grace and ease in dealing with life challenges - and we get more real. It's a true liberation for the soul. Read more about it in the following excerpt from an excellent book I highly recommend reading. Namaste' - Paula Peterson.


by Eckhart Tolle


"To meet everything and everyone through stillness instead of mental noise is the greatest gift you can offer to the universe."

The following is an excerpt from the best seller, The Power of Now - A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment.

Since ancient times, spiritual masters of all traditions have pointed to the Now as the key to the spiritual dimension. Despite this, it seems to have remained a secret. It is certainly not taught in churches and temples. If you go to a church, you may hear readings from the Gospels, such as, "Take no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for things of itself" or "Nobody who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the Kingdom of heaven".

Or you may hear the passage about the beautiful flowers who are not anxious about tomorrow, but live with ease in the timeless now and are provided for abundantly by God. The true nature of these teachings is not recognized. No one seems to realize that they were meant to be lived and thereby bring about profound inner transformation.

Having access to that formless realm is truly liberating. It frees you from bondage to form and identification with form. It is life in its undifferentiated state prior to its fragmentation into multiplicity. We may call it the Unmanifested, the invisible Source of all things, the Being within all beings. It is a realm of deep stillness and peace, but also of joy and intense aliveness.

Whenever you are present, you become "transparent" to some extent to the light, the pure consciousness that emanates from this Source. You also realize that the light is not separate from who you are but constitutes your very essence.

Humanity is under great pressure to evolve because it is our only chance of survival as a race. This will affect every aspect of your life and close relationships in particular. Never before have relationships been as problematic and conflict ridden as they are now. As you may continue to pursue the goal of salvation through a relationship, you will be disillusioned again and again.

But if you accept that the relationship is here to make you conscious instead of happy, then the relationship will offer you salvation, and you will be aligning yourself with the higher consciousness that wants to be born into this world. For those who hold to the old patterns, there will be increasing pain, violence, confusion, and madness.

To offer no resistance to life is to be in a state of grace, ease, and lightness. This state is then no longer dependent upon things being in a certain way, good or bad. It seems almost paradoxical, yet when your inner dependency on form is gone, the general conditions of your life, the outer forms, tend to improve greatly.

Things, people, or conditions that you thought you needed for your happiness now come to you with no struggle or effort on your part, and you are free to enjoy and appreciate them - while they last. All those things, of course, will still pass away, cycles will come and go, but with dependency gone there is no fear of loss anymore. Life flows with ease.

Have a great day !!

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