A lot of meditative practice goes all the way over my head, but I know many people to whom it provides great value, and I, still, in my life feel so unsettled most of the time, that I'm taking it fairly seriously right now.
Eckhart Tolle is an interesting man with an interesting story. He found presence in the NOW on a night that he was prepared to commit suicide. He had an ah-ha moment of self-awareness, realized that he could disassociate his identity from his emotions, and has become a more sane and present person by riding that wave.
One of the most encouraging and inspiring ideas that I take away from The Power of Now is the concept that we all are already complete beings. This is one of the reasons why being present is the way to relieve yourself from suffering. Because you aren't attaining something like enlightenment or freedom. It's not coming to you. It's already inside of you. It's just been covered with layers and layers of experiences and layers of conditioning, so it might be a really dim but perfect light. He writes,
"You see time as the means to salvation, whereas in truth it is the greatest obstacle to salvation. You think that you can't get there from where and who you are at this moment because you are not yet complete, but the truth is that here and now is the only point from where you can get there. You 'get' there by realizing that you are there already."
I am so wrapped up in time. Someday I will be successful, someday I will be complete, someday I will be happy... Someday I will have a job that fulfills me, someday I will just play music all the time, someday I will be a good musician. Even just, I can't wait to see what happens.
This is also coming from allowing external things define me. For example,
I want to be personable: I am personable. I like people, and I like talking to people and learning about them. But sometimes I'm not. That doesn't mean I, Sydney, have a new definition and it would be, "Sydney is so unfriendly." It means that I am and am not personable in every moment.
But outside of internalizing the external, I just am and to be present is everything, and the reactions and the "what if"s are just waves that exist in the mind. (Took that from Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind.)
Would love to hear your thoughts,