Many years ago, while vacationing with my family at Lake Tahoe, I sat in the sun and read Ram Dass' book about being here now. It changed my life. It is one of the treasured books of my life that have precipitated great ahhas and deep changes.
I have counseled many people over the years about this moment is the only moment you have, and here is the only place you can act. What time is it? NOW. Where are you? HERE. Neither the past nor the future are here. There is this moment in this place.
Yesterday I had a rather cosmic experience at a deeper level of the here and now. I don't know if I can put it into words so that it can be comprehended by others. I'm going to try to at least hint at it.
First of all, it was Mother's Day, so lots of emotions can run amok. However, I was in an observational mode. Some of the moments of my children's and my life bubbled up - times of vacations, our homes, church, school, costumes, performances, tears and kisses, teaching skills to them, warm hugs, laughter, games, fun, being firm and being playful - it was a range of things that made up our lives together. None of it is going on now. None of it has seemed to play a part in where we are today in our relationships with one another in this moment in time. It was what it was, and it is not going on now. In so many ways, I am no longer Mom. Mom is a memory of another time and place. It is not going on now.
For some reason, we decided to visit a local church of a denomination in which I was once a leader. It was fascinating. Only a few knew me and greeted me warmly. None of my past prominence had any part to play in the now. Most people were busy with their friends and did not bother to say hello or inquire about us. What was once my ministry, is not going on now. It is merely echoes in my mind and has given lessons for my soul.
It doesn't matter much what we did, it matters what it did to us - how it sculpted us, who we became because of it. Its influence has done its work. It's about consciousness.
I see that not only is there only NOW, and HERE is the only place we can be, all the gyrations of life are merely to develop our spiritual inner strength and strip away all that seems to stand between us and living in the Presence. Historical value is naught. What the ingredients of the past have added or subtracted to move us onward on our spiritual journey have done their job, and here and now new ingredients add and subtract to move us onward. Ever onward. God is Infinite. We cannot arrive at Infinite. Ever onward. Each step taken in the eternal now and always and only here.
When we are not here, now, we miss the great Cosmic Dance going on in our lives. Nothing is as it seems. It is even more wonderful than we ever imagined.