Eckhart: To recognize there never is a problem in the present moment is a very revolutionary realization. Sometimes that is misinterpreted by the mind. It says you are denying reality by not focusing on these problems. Of course it is not that at all. There will always be challenges in life. The ability to deal with challenges is far greater when the attention is fully in the Now than in the state of resistance. You can then ask, “In this moment is there anything I can do?” If so, then doing happens, action is taken. Or maybe there is nothing you can do in the moment and this moment is accepted the way it is. It enormously simplifies life. Challenges no longer turn into problems and the heaviness goes out of life.
Mary: Another thing that helped immensely in my awakening is to not resist what is happening.
Eckhart: To welcome whatever arises in this moment is the ultimate spiritual practice. If you practice just this one thing you won’t need to read any more books or learn any other meditation techniques. To welcome whatever arises in this moment outside or inside of you brings freedom. The conditioned mind will tell you don’t do this for it believes that by resisting, it will become free. The opposite is true. By resisting you become even more stuck. When you no longer believe what the mind is saying, you realize the quickest way for transformation to happen is to welcome what “is”. In that moment life is free to move through you. The conditioned mind is no longer obstructing life.
Mary: When speaking about cultivating the Now, it is easy to think that we are putting down the mind and its belief in the past and the future. It is not that at all. It is an exquisite tool that is needed to maneuver through life. But for most of us it has taken over our life.
Eckhart: It is just self-identification with the mind that causes suffering. When this happens, the mind has a compulsive quality. When that goes then the mind is a wonderful tool that can give expression to what arises from the deeper levels. And in daily life you need the past and the future but your identity does not need to come from them. The illusion is to seek identity in the past, to identify with the past as “me”. The other illusion is seeking fulfillment in the future – I need to become something; become more complete; one day I will get there. Even enlightenment can become an illusion – to seek it as some future state.
When cultivating the Now you still remember things from the past but the self-seeking has gone out of this remembering. And you still use the future for practical matters. The grasping and clinging, which is a recipe for non-fulfillment, isn’t there anymore.
Mary: The more I cultivate the Now, the more joy I feel. My whole body experiences radiance as I soften and open back into life.
Eckhart: I call what you are experiencing the inner body. Some people call it the light body. It is a general sense of aliveness throughout every cell of the body. The state of presence is not a head state. Your entire being participates in it.
Mary: At your workshop in Vancouver last summer I let go of listening to your words and opened to this light body.
Eckhart: When speaking from stillness, the words carry an energy transmission, a vibration. It is as if the words are secondary. It is the energy that comes with the words, or rather the stillness beneath the words that is the greatest teaching.
Mary: Would you like to leave us with a last thought?
Eckhart: People say living in the Now is hard. The opposite is true. The normal way is hard, not living in the Now. To welcome the Now is to welcome life itself, for the Now is inseparable from life. So don’t make the Now into an enemy. Make friends with it. In other words: accept each moment and whatever it contains as if you had chosen it. Immediately life will begin to work “for” you, rather than against you. Then watch the miracle of life unfold.