A few weeks ago, something happened that changed completely my understanding of the famous present moment. I find the whole thing quite intriguing and maybe you can relate?
I always understood the present moment to be this one moment in time, the here and now.
I thought that reaching this present moment meant to kind of “isolate it” from everything else. This is what all these practices help you do, right? Mindfulness, Yoga, Meditation, Reiki. Everything else falls into the background and you zoom in to the here-and-now: no past, no future, no attachment, no worries, no fears.
So, to me, the present moment, has always been the result of a process of “stripping away” everything else to get to the core. The idea was always to “shrink it” down, reduce it, to the here-and now.
And honestly, I thought I had a good grasp of it and knew all there is to know about the subject. What the present moment is, how to get there, what are the benefits.
Then the following happens. And I love it, because it is Life again, keeping me up to date to the fact that I know nothing, really.
It is a very ordinary summer evening. I am sitting on my porch because there is a nice breeze outside and because it is about the time our neighborhood owl flies in on the trees in front of the house and if I am lucky, I get to see it.
Suddenly, just like that, while I am sitting there, feeling the breeze, looking up at the blue sky and the top of the trees, I meet my Present Moment.
And it is not like I experienced it before.
All the elements necessary to be in the Present Moment are there, I can see that: I am not doing anything in particular, I am relaxed, my senses are engaged. But what I meet completely surprises me.
This here-and-now is EXPANSIVE, it is huge, without boundaries.
I know this kind of expansiveness, but I always experience it as a something related to “space”. For example, there is a point in a Reiki session – or during meditation – where the body seems to melt into everything else, the physical boundaries disappear and I feel One with everything. I always perceive this to be a physical sensation of my body in relation to the space around it and beyond.
But this, on my porch is different. Or deeper? Or just another aspect of the same experience? Or one more layer to this Oneness idea?
In this Present Moment on the porch, nothing is “stripped away” to get to it, on the contrary. In a split second – even less, really, it was a glimpse! – I “see” flowing before me, the decisions I made in the past that led me here and now, on this summer evening, on my porch in Montreal, Canada, waiting for the owl.
The present mixes with the past in a continuum that is not chronological but that somehow makes sense. And I do feel at peace with it all: no attachment, no worries, no fears. Just what is, and gratitude.
My Present Moment, as I understand it now after this unexpected experience, is not isolated from everything else, instead, it encompasses everything that led to it.
And I wonder: does it also encompass the future that stems from it?
Because really, it feels like being One with Time, here and now.