Awareness of the Present Moment

Reading Eckhart Tolle’s work lately has been a reminder for me to “live in the now.” So how does this “Power of Now” apply to my life?

Last month I drove 7250 km on a 19-day road trip through the western United States. The first couple days were long: about 12 hours to my first overnight stop in Montana, followed by another 8-hour drive to Denver. As I drove, I watched for destination boards, so I could update how much further it was to the next city, and I kept an eye on my GPS, which told me exactly when I was supposed to arrive at my destination.

With one eye on the time of arrival, and my thoughts drifting through what I would do when I got there, I had little mental space left for Eckhart Tolle’s words of wisdom, which were playing on my car’s stereo. “Live in the now,” he says, as I catch a glimpse of a destination board and wonder if there are any good restaurants in that city, and then wonder what I’d like to eat for lunch, and how that will affect my arrival time. “Live in the now,” he says.

And then the words hit me, and it’s as if the blinders come off. Instead of burying my mind in some imagined destination, suddenly the beauty of my surroundings come out from behind the mental curtain and stare me straight in the eye. Suddenly, I see beautiful rolling hills covered with snow, where before I had only seen the miles between me and my lunch. I see golden beams of sunlight coming through breaks in the clouds. I see a herd of deer grazing at the roadside. I see nature’s beauty. I feel my breath in my body. I am grateful for my life.

I am here. Now. This moment is irreplaceable. I live it.

There will be time to worry about my destination later, when I get there. For now, this moment is all there is.


About Craig

Craig lives in Calgary, Alberta.
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