Tag Archives: present

Stepping into Our Tomorrows

“The use of time determines, at all levels, what you will experience in your tomorrows. . . .[L]ong after the body dies, you will indeed be continually stepping into your tomorrows.”  (“The Way of Transformation,” WOM, Chapter 14, Page 172)

This quotation is a poignant reminder of our eternal life, “stepping into your tomorrows.”  We need to know that we are preparing for the future always, even as we try with all our might to live in the Now (as Tolle says).  If we stay close to God, we will know how to make the best use of all of the Now times.  We will thereby be doing all that we can to ensure a good future.

We must not live in the past.  It is true that we can learn from the past, but we don’t want to get “stuck” in it.  The best preparation for the future is today well lived.  I read that a long time ago, too long to give a footnote.  It is something that we need as a constant reminder of what we are doing and where we are heading.

We don’t often think of the “use” of time.  We may rue our present, and that is not the way to live well.  Time is an illusion, it is true, but it seems real enough for us in our present environment.  So we can’t just ignore it.

Make today count.  Make all our days count.

The life well lived starts with today.

Make the Decision to Be Alive

“Surrender, then, is the process in which you finally relent; you give up resisting the fact of your very existence. You stop whining about it. You stop lamenting it. You stop worrying about it. You make the decision to get on with being alive! And what is alive about you is going to be alive forever. There is no place to hide and nowhere to go.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 8, Page 99)

We need to drop the past, with its laments, and march steadfastly into the future, pausing in moment-to-moment awareness of what “is.” This will get us where we want to go, which is deep in the heart of God. Our surrender to Him makes all the difference. It is the mechanism of healing. It is the way home.

All too often we do “whine,” as Jesus says. We regret that we don’t always feel chipper; we have our aches and pains that take us from thankfulness for the lives that we have been given.

But there is a way out, and this quotation gives it. We just get on with being alive; we just get on with living! We deemphasize the parts of our lives that we find undesirable, and we walk into the sunshine of a new day with emphasis on what is right.

That is all. We have the panacea for all life’s ills, here in this one quotation. We do live eternally, and the best place to start our eternal life is always and only Now.

Live Moment by Moment

We ought to resist the temptation to make grandiose resolutions of how we will act in the future. This is the ego trying to get in the act. The walk with the Holy Spirit is a moment-by-moment experience, even though we usually perceive those moments as blocks of time rather than discrete moments. As we open our hearts and minds once more to the Holy Spirit, we will observe our power flowing back in. But now is the time for us to tread softly, because we are still in a weakened state because of our attention to the ego.

Let the past go. Do not dwell on the words or actions that were a part of any attack. And do not wallow in guilt brought on by self-pity. All such actions are insanity that we would leave behind.

Walk forth in the sunlight, and know that Jesus is ready to take our hand at the very moment that we reach out.

Live Fully in the Present

“How is being present different than being? Are they not the same thing? Should they not be? And yet how seldom are you fully present for your own life, your own Self, your own being. If you were fully aware of your own being, you would be in oneness with Your Father.” (ACOL, C:30.1)

We have long heard the good advice: Live in the present. But how few times have we actually been able to do this! Our minds scurry ahead and behind, caught in fantasies of the future and the past, and we don’t realize how to live in the present.

This is tragic, for here, in this quotation for today, Jesus tells us that being in the present is actually “being.” If we knew our own selves, we would know the oneness that we actually enjoy with the Father. We would be in oneness with God.

How to accomplish this! First and most importantly, we don’t need to see this shift in perspective as something to be accomplished. If we do this, our egos will arise again, and we will surely fail. We need to see being present, and being, as one and the same. We need consciously to stop our idle fantasies from reaching ahead and reaching back, and we need to rest right where we are, being conscious of the sights and sounds of what life is giving is right now.

When we live in the present, we live in God, for the only time in eternity is the present. Only time, which is an illusion, separates into past, present, and future. Eternity is the ever-present now.

Ask our Christ Self to guide us to rest in the moment that is before us—right now, always and forever. If there are plans that need to be made, our guidance will reveal those to us, in the time and moment that action and thought are needed. Until then, we need be satisfied that living in the present is the best and only way to experience our being, the being that is a part of God Himself. And the Christ Self will lead the way for us, poised in the surroundings that engulf us in each segmented part of the present.

We can live our moments in the present. We don’t have to let our minds scurry ahead to the future or muse about the past. Give the Christ Self a chance to root us in being, to root us in the present.

Dear Father/Mother,

It seems so hard to live always in the present. I don’t really know how, and that is the problem. But the solution is always with the problem, and you have told me the solution. Focus on being, just being the Christ Self. How I long to do this consistently!

Help me to live through this day without making foolish mistakes. Help me to support my brothers and sisters in their endeavors. I can sometimes get too self-centered, and this is an invitation to the ego to rise again. And I would not have the ego rise again.

Help me to reach out and sense Your Presence in my life today. Today, all through the day, and every day.

Amen.

Akin to Eckhart Tolle

claude-monet-poplars-on-the-epte-81679“In the sense of time described by the word present, there is no infinitude, but only a vague concept of now.  This is the key concept that I not only knew but demonstrated.  This is the legacy, the inheritance, I left to you.  (A Course of Love, 30.8)”

Affirmation:  “I would live in the Now today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Now

This passage from Jesus is well-described by Eckhart Tolle in his book, The Power of Now.  But our minds are like runaway puppies, eager to explore past and future, seemingly impossible to pin down to the present.  Yet the Now is Jesus’s legacy to us.  He lived in the Now, and he wants us also to do so.  It will not come to us by trying, but only by the grace of God.  And we will not lose anything thereby.  We can and should ask now for the experience of living in the present, the present that is eternity.  All moments that we experience are always Now.

2 – A Richness of Life

Why do many spiritual leaders stress living in the Now, if it is so difficult to do?  They do not choose to encourage us in such a practice because it is difficult, but because it works in our lives.  Living in the now allows a richness of life that nothing else can satisfy.

3 – People’s Choices

Many people choose daring adventures that force themselves in the Now.  They report that at such times of such peak experiences, they, for once, felt really alive.  And that is what living in the present will do for us.  It will make us feel truly alive, truly grateful for the opportunity of a life spent on earth.

4 – Just Stop

How do we slow down and stop enough to experience the Now?  The only way to stop is to stop.  Give a few moments to prayer, contemplation, meditation, and the like.  Let the mind become still.  Do not fret.  If we are especially fortunate, then the experience that we have at such moments of stillness will give us a hunger for more times like this.  We will be hooked on the Now.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would recognize eternity.  This is the idea that Jesus is truly getting across.  I would understand eternity by living in the Now.  And all will be well.

I can practice living in the Now by being mindful as I go about routine tasks during the day.  Help me to follow Your way as I go through this day.

Thank You for the revelations that You have given to Eckhart.  

Amen.

Glimpses of Awakening

pissarro- street scene - city“Living in love in every instance is what occurs when the whole Self is involved in the love of life.  There are no ‘parts’ of the Self fractioned off and holding resentments.  There are no ‘parts’ of Self living in the past or the future.  (A Course of Love, 25.17)”

Affirmation:  “I would live my Self today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Present

How can we fail to live, somewhat, in the past and the future?  It is always so hard to keep constantly focused in the present, though this is perennial advice which so many of us fail to follow.

2 – Live in Love and Be in the Present

When we live in love, living in the present becomes easy.  We love life.  We love our brothers and sisters.  And we, appropriately, love ourselves.  But most of all, we love God.

3 – Plans

We will be guided to know when to make plans for the future.  This guidance will occur at the time that thought or action is needed.  (These are paraphrases from A Course in Miracles.)  Otherwise, we are bade not to make plans against contingencies to come.  So simple, and yet so hard to live consistently.

4 – Forget Personal Self

If we love life, we will be so immersed in it that we will forget the personal self in favor of the Self/Christ.  This Self is the one that we really want to live within.  And we can do so, when God knows that we are ready for Christ-consciousness.  He will reach down and lift us up, and the change in us will be magnificent.

5 – Personal Experience

Twice I have had glimpses of this revelation; one lasted three months, the other, six months.  I was living in love both times, and so I do know that this admonition of Jesus’s is true.  Living in love makes such a difference.  I would live in love all the time, and this will, I think, hasten God’s action toward to lift me up to Christ-consciousness (i.e., Awakening).  I will eagerly seek, but I will not dictate to God what I want Him to do.  He knows already.

6 – Living in Love

This way of living in love is magical, but not in the sense that Jesus uses the term “magic” in A Course in Miracles.  It is an unbelievable immersion in joy and harmony.  All seems right with the world, and that is because we are, however, briefly, right with ourselves.

7 – Revelation

May we so live today that this revelation will come to us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

The fact that twice a long time ago I lived in love enough to experience glimpses of Awakening is motivating to me, hopeful that Awakening will come again.  But I try not to pester God with my request; He knows best.  It is enough to know that Awakening awaits all of us, when we are fully ready.

Be with me today for another good day.  If I stay active, I do have good days.  And when You make my agenda for the day, I have good days.  Open me to guidance today in all respects.  That is the only way that I want to live.

Help me to reach out to my brothers and sisters in need.  We all are in need at various times, and we are meant to help each other out.  When one is strong, the other is weak.  We take turns.  And this is as You intended us to live–in unity and relationship with ourselves, with You, and with others.

Amen.

Let’s Play Today

“This is not a test and you cannot fail.  You are merely playing:  Play at observing yourself from above.  Can you look down upon yourself?  And can you skip along and get in front to see your body coming toward you?  (A Course of Love, 10.28)”

Affirmation:  “Let’s play today.”

Reflections:

1 – Skip Ahead

The deeper meaning of the passage for today is that time is an illusion (an interpretation, not stated in A Course of Love).  If we can skip ahead of ourselves, and see ourselves coming ahead, then we are in a fantasy about the future, that we are that future, and that we ourselves are coming along on the pathway just as we ought to come.

2 – A Glorious Play

What a glorious play this is!  Can we be sure that we are following along on the pathway that we ought to take?  But is there even a choice?  How much is preordained?  A Course in Miracles says (as does this passage in A Course of Love) that we are merely reliving the past, that the past is like a carpet that will roll up when the end is reached.  If so, it is obvious, at least to me, that Jesus is here playing with this idea a bit further, and encouraging us to do the same.

3 – The End Is Sure

If we can imagine that the end is sure, and that we are caught in an illusion that does not have to be  painful in the least (we choose), then perhaps today is the time to affirm this understanding in the depths of our being.

4 – In a Joyous Frame of Mind

If we skip ahead, and then look back, we are in a joyous frame of mind and spirit and heart.  May we imagine this game for ourselves today.  May we imagine that we see tomorrow and that it is better than today–even if today is pretty good already.  Is this not where Jesus is leading us in A Course of Love?  He would have us, in the third volume of the trilogy (The Dialogues of A Course of Love), join him on the mountaintop, where we will finally know Christ-consciousness in a sustained and elevated Self of form.  This is where we are headed.  Let us take care that the individual steps on our pathway are well-chosen, so that we will be ready for the mountaintop when that time comes.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for this playful exercise today.  May we imagine ourselves ahead of the time which we are in now, and enjoy the pleasures of a future time.  We will help to make those pleasures real.  Be with me today and always, present and future.

Help me to lighten the mood of those with whom I interact.  Your way is always best, and You are not the solemn God that so many of us may have thought in the past.  Help me to lighten up, even as I seek to help others to do the same.

Amen.

Live in the Moment

ACIM Workbook Lesson 193 – for Thursday, July 12, 2012

Affirmation:  “All things are lessons God would have me learn.”

“Each hour, spend a little time today, and in the days to come, in practicing the lesson in forgiveness in the form established for the day.  And try to give it application to the happenings the hour brought, so that the next one is free of the one before.  The chains of time are easily unloosened in this way.  Let no one hour cast its shadow on the one that follows, and when that one goes, let everything that happened in its course go with it.  Thus will you remain unbound, in peace eternal  in the world of time.  (WB369)”

Reflections:

1 – “Chains of Time Are Easily Unloosened”

This is a comprehensive statement of the dictate of A Course in Miracles that we live in the moment.  We don’t often do that, though.  We are more familiar with trying to live one day at a time.

2 – Relinquish What Just Happened

Here, though, ACIM goes a step farther, and asks us to relinquish what has happened just a moment ago.  This allows grievances no time to build up.  We offer forgiveness virtually simultaneously to the offending word or deed.  And this puts us squarely on the path toward home in God.

3 – Hour by Hour

So, here it is “hour by hour,” rather than day by day.  A challenging thought!  But we know that the teacher of God, according to the Manual, does not know challenges, for he/she lets guidance direct the way, always.  It is highly unlikely that we can sustain this degree of flexibility in following guidance, though.  What we must do is to accept the guidance just as soon as we are emotionally able.

4 – Having a Good Day

There are a few stunning pages in the Text that tell us how to have a good day.  And in the midst of these words we see that we frequently don’t like how we feel when we have put ourselves squarely in control.  Our lives seem to be spinning out of control, even with our best efforts.  This is because the ego is insane (an ACIM tenet), and the ego does not wish us well (also an ACIM tenet).  If we don’t like how we feel, we can turn to guidance at any time, and with good results.  And the sooner we readjust our priority in thinking, the sooner we will walk a green earth again.

5 – Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the central lesson of A Course in Miracles.  God does not need to forgive us, because He has never condemned us (an ACIM tenet).  But we need to forgive ourselves, and, if we have wandered amiss, we may need to ask forgiveness of certain of our brothers and sisters.  Given this willingness to forgive, we will understand:  “to understand all, forgive all” (an aphorism from my reading of many years ago, not ACIM).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I live moment by moment, not jumping ahead to even the next hour.  If there are plans to be made for my day, I will receive a prompting from the Holy Spirit of what to plan, and also how to “plan” the planning.  We are never left bereft.

Be with me throughout this day, and especially help me to practice the lesson for today.  I have the feeling that my life will improve dramatically to the extent that I can fulfill what this workbook lesson says.

Amen.