BY SATGURU SIVAYA SUBRAMUNIYASWAMI
You only have a minute, only sixty seconds in it. Didn’t want it, didn’t choose it, forced upon you, can’t refuse it. Yet you suffer if you lose it, give account if you abuse it. Just a tiny little minute, but eternity is in it. For not to love is not to live, and not to give is not to live.” That’s an old proverb I was taught when young. There is really very little to be said intellectually about the eternal now. You have to live in it, and in living in it you discover a higher state of consciousness than you have experienced in your life. Because the vibration of the eternal now is so very high, part of your mind and nature does not like to experience the security of the eternal now, which is really the height of security. It takes practice to maintain a continued experience of the eternal now.
Can you visualize yourself, right at this instant, balanced on the top of a tall tree? If the tree were to bend too far forward, you would fall to the ground, or down into time and thought. If it were to bend too far back, you would again fall. Balanced on the top of this tree, you can look out over the countryside and enjoy everything you see. But if you stop to think about one thing of the past, you would become so engrossed in what you are thinking about that you would again fall to the ground. You find that you cannot live in a thinking consciousness balanced so high. Here you live in the eternal now, with great awareness of what is around you and within you, but with no thought on it.
Can you feel like this? Right now you are here. Right now nothing else matters. You are aware. You are alive, and you are in eternity. Finding the eternal now is a vibration even more powerful than that of sound or light, for you are in the consciousness of Being–being intensely aware, being very alive. In that state of consciousness you can see that when you begin to think, it is like climbing down the tree and walking along through the forest. On the ground you cannot see the forest for the trees. On top of the tree you can see the entire forest and enjoy it. In the eternal now you find awareness in every part of your body, every fiber of your consciousness. Your life depends upon your awareness! Here you can enjoy seeing the birds fly by, the waterfall, the countryside.
You can enjoy all that, but you dare not stop to think upon the flight of one bird, because you would become too engrossed in thought and fall into a lower state of consciousness. That bird might remind you of a pet bird you had at home, and the thinking mind would go on and on, landing you on the ground. When you become aware and start living in eternity, in the eternal now, you find that eternity is within you. Then you can see there is no life. Nor is there any death. You have transcended even the laws of reincarnation in that state, holding the consciousness of eternity, for you are beyond the soul which reincarnates and creates a new form around itself.
What is the instant? That is what we have to discover through a moment of concentration. What is the moment? We all know what the past is–many people live in the past, over and over again, and they never catch up with the present. Other people live in the future–but of course when they do, they are really only living in the past, too, and they never find the present either.
Just as an example, how many times have you gone to the temple without being fully there? Part of you was there, part of you was living in the past, part of you was trying to live in the future; and there you were, emoting over the things that happened that should never have happened, and fearful of things that might happen in the future, which probably won’t happen unless you continue being fearful of their happening until you create them!
Do you know that the ability to live right now, in the instant, is a spiritual power, reflecting the awakening of the soul and requiring a subconscious control of the mind? Your soul is never bothered with the things that disturb the rest of the mind! The mind lives in the past, and the mind tries to live in the future. But when you quiet your mind, you live in the present. You are living within your soul, or the higher state of your mind which is undisturbed by the things of time.
Also, when you live in the present, you eliminate fears, worries and doubts. Of course, you might feel a little out of place for a while, as if you weren’t anybody, if for years and years you have been accustomed to making fears, worries and doubts your cherished possessions–more important to you than anything. There are people who just wouldn’t know who they were if you took away their fears, worries and doubts. But if you want to be somebody, something, a state of being, you want to live in the eternal now.
There is a simple formula for attaining the eternal now. If you can remember it, you can center yourself within yourself very quickly and experience living right this instant. Imagine yourself now, worried, bothered and disturbed, and in the midst of your disturbance say to yourself, “I am all right, right now. Just this instant, I am all right.” What a shock to the disturbed part of your mind! It will not only be shocked, it will be shattered out of its disturbance when you declare the truth that you are all right in the eternal now.
It is one thing to say “I am all right, right now,” and it is another thing to feel it. Can you feel that you are all right, right now? Can you really believe it? Can you hold that feeling, so that this affirmation becomes permeated through your subconscious mind? Let this feeling permeate so deeply through your subconscious mind that it begins working within you, the same way your involuntary subconscious keeps your heart beating and the other processes of your body going.
“I’m all right, right now.” Let the feeling of these words vibrate within you. Then every time you abide in the luxury of worry–and the luxury of worry is one luxury you cannot afford–say to yourself, “I’m all right, right now,” and forget about where you are going, forget about where you have been and just be where you are, where your physical body is, in its immediate surroundings.
When you do that, you find that where you were going and what you were worried about has to do with the egotistical you–your pride and the various qualities that you hasten to rid yourself of when you think you should improve yourself. So, it is really very practical to live now and be all right in all the nows. But remember, since living in the eternal now lifts you into a higher state of consciousness than you have been accustomed to, you have to continue to feel that you are all right, right now. When you continue for long periods in the consciousness of the eternal now, something mysterious and wonderful begins to happen–your soul, your superconscious, begins to work out your spiritual destiny. When you quiet your mind, and only when you quiet your mind, you give your soul a chance. What difference does it make if you do have problems? They will work themselves out if you can keep the confusion of your lower states of mind out of the way.
Visualize your soul now as a shaft of light. Visualize your mind as various layers surrounding that soul, covering up the brilliancy of that light. If you live in the layers around the soul, which only cover up the brilliancy of the light, you add to the confusion around the soul. But you can choose to live in that shaft of light. By realizing that you are all right this instant, that light of your soul has a chance to shine through the surrounding layers of the mind just a little, enough to calm your future–for your future is made in the present, in the eternal now.
Announcing Our Daily Web Page: Now you can visit on the Internet our Kauai Aadheenam on the Garden Island of Kauai. Just point your browser to http://www.himalayanacademy.com/taka/ [http://www.himalayanacademy.com/taka/]. Here you’ll enjoy my daily spiritual message in live voice, read today’s newest news and a fresh lesson of the day, see some current digital photos and soon a video. Aadheenam is the South India name for an ashram. It is where 25 of my monks–acharyas, swamis, yogis and sadhakas–serve in creating Hinduism Today month after month after month. This is our 20th year of producing the magazine. For those who do not know, our tropical island is 3,800 miles east of Japan, 4,800 miles north of Australia, 2,200 miles south of Alaska and 2,750 miles west of California.
Come to the ashram in cyberspace for daily darshan. Do it now. Don’t delay. You will be very welcome.