Visiting Reality

The present is a nice place. I would give it five stars on TripAdvisor. I visited there recently and hope to return soon.

The casual observer of the inside of my brain might conclude I own a time machine. A quick tour would reveal imagined futures that often affect my life as if they were real: fear about how current projects will turn out, conversations that will never happen, infinite lists of unfinished tasks. And of course a small corner reserved for the chocolate radar.

Driving to work one day, all of that fell away through no particular effort of my own, and for a mile or two, I inhabited the space and time called now. The reality of the same pine trees, the same ocean, the same freeway I see every day suddenly broke through the usual fog I hang over my mind and senses.

My version of the present is narrow, but the actual present is spacious. I tend to see now as a place I’m passing through on the way to somewhere better or somewhere I’m supposed to be, but it is all that is. It is the only thing that’s real.

The future of my own creating is a shadowland. Right now is a force, a power, a beauty that we miss going about our everyday lives trying to get to what comes next.

Of course we have to plan and work toward things. All animals do this. But we tend to focus on the destination to the exclusion of where we are, and the destination we imagine does not exist and never will.

May the present break through for all of us and may we dwell in the spaciousness of the real.

3 thoughts on “Visiting Reality

  1. This is from John Main’s book “The Present Christ”:
    “Above all they have replaced the value of presence with the idea of function – it is not what a person is but what he does that counts.” This reflection along with a Conspire talk of Richard Rohr, impresses the notion that there is also a moral dimension to the spiritual practice of presence. Rohr’s talk was a critique, or rather an indictment of a society that equates human value with monetary accumulation. John Main is pointing to the ultimate truth that puts the lie to this ordering of our world.
    I am aware of how difficult it is to step outside of this societal gestalt, how insidious the manner in which it shapes our evaluation of other human beings. I see the spiritual path and practice of presence as the antidote to this and other ills.

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