Friday, May 6, 2005 this thing on

"Do not wait for Life. Do not Long for it.
Be aware, Always and at every moment,
that the Miracle is in the here and now"
--Marcel Proust

In the corporate news today: Britain's Labour Party has won an unprescedented third term; the Pentagon says that satellite photos may indicate that North Korea may be preparing to test a nuclear weapon; an astronomer may have taken a picture showing the wreckage of NASA's Mars Polar Lander which was lost six years ago.

The sun is done for the day, and what a warm sunny day it was. At this moment the house is silent except for the clicking and tapping of my fingers on the keyboard.

Well, unfortunately I missed my weekly Buddhist meeting this week after having gotten off to a 16-straight start. On the other hand, now I don't have to feel pressure over maintaining "the streak". But it does call to mind an issue I have wondered about since before I even started attending a weekly Buddhist practice. I have read many books by deep spiritualists and mystics, from a variety of traditions within Buddhism as well as outisde of Buddhism. The Dalai Lama, Thich Nat Hahn, Koshin Ogui, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Eckhart Tolle, and Brother Wayne Teasdale, just to name a few. I have read again and again about the importance of deep awareness, surrender to the eternal now, living in the moment not for the moment, and on and on. I am familiar with the variety of ways which are recommended for reaching this state, not by doing but by being. That's all well and good. And now I have been regularly practicing in a spiritual tradition for about four months. Now that's not really that long, but it's a good chunk for a novice.

So then, why is it I haven't experienced even a slight encounter with the kind of presence of moment I keep reading about? I deliberately chose the word experienced to recognize that the "moment" is always there whether I am able to appreciate it or not. I've read so many descriptions from so many traditions of people who have, even briefly, experienced such a mystical unity with their world. It typically is described in terms of being amazed at how real everything becomes, as if a new depth or dimension had been revealed. Everything appears new--it's as if the people who have such an experience are seeing the world for the first time as it really is. It is, by all accounts, quite a powerful and unmistakeable experience. I'm very sure I have no conscious memory of such an experience.

Is it possible that some people are just not capable of such awareness?

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