An Emotional Fortress
I know this guy…he's a bhagwan. He has ideas about lots of things, some of them are good, some of them are obtuse and some are just so much pop psychology. One thing I do admire about the bhagwan is he has the ability to take his ideas from the fifty-thousand-foot level and helicopter down to the weeds. For example, I like what the bhagwan has to say about mindfulness.
Oh man—that word mindfulness. Used to bug the living snot out of me. Ask fifteen people what mindfulness is you'll get fifteen different answers. The common thread among them being the assertion that mindfulness is a good thing.
Good thing, where have you gone?
The bhagwan doesn't get caught up in talking about the definition of mindfulness. He takes mindfulness down to the second. And that's it. In one stroke, he delineates the complex and convoluted structure of the concept, renders it comprehensible. You don't need metaphors or similes, just a grip on that one thing: The Essential Moment.
That's what makes mindfulness real for me. The simple requirement isn't always easy to engage. Just. Stay. Here. In this second. Not a second earlier or one yet to pass. Just this one.
It is, after all, the only place you can be. We're such clever little creatures, we have to have a whole system of beliefs to give our lives meaning, especially when it comes to time. We think about time in grandiose terms, when really it's not all that complex. The only second there is is this one.
If you can wrap your head around that, things begin to become clearer. All I have to comprehend about reality is this second. All experience flows through this one point, an endless chain of decisions and judgments to be made. The requirement is to make decisions, all of which are geared toward one objective: survival.
The only problem is, if you look at the flow as a matter of survival, it's tempting to focus on that—and drag yourself off the Essential Moment. There's a compulsion to consider risks, do threat assessment, both legit pursuits, but invariably tempt us to look at time as a line, or even a landscape, as it has bearing on survival. We say avoidance of death is the prime directive.
If you want to see reality, you got to be real. If you are considering the past as a resource, someplace you can go and find answers, you are unreal. Totally. None of the environment from the past is accessible, none of the conditions, the situations…all of that is irretrievably in the rear-view mirror, and that's the only place it exists. Go the other direction, project into the future and justify the visit by considering possibilities, to brainstorm what-if's,oh yes, quite necessary to spend some time away from the Moment while we do these vital analyses—and you're in lala land! The future does not exist any more than the past.
It's my experience that settling down on the current second does something totally counterintuitive: it opens up my vision. I can see things more clearly. That's a nice benefit. Especially now, when the world
is about to get its ass kicked for its failed design. I've discovered that, ensconced on the Essential Moment, what I need comes to me. Information. The raw material for all those decisions to be made. Insight. The blueprint for behavior. Ingenuity. The ability to observe and then craft a solution to a challenge. All that stuff just…flows. If you let it.
There's another benefit to staying in the moment. This is really my whole reason for bringing The Essential Moment up today.
Stay on the EM…and you can effectively wrestle your fear.
I'm tellin' ya, this shit with the virus is big time! Everything is about to change. People are going to see their possessions become worthless, they're going to see cherished beliefs about life dashed to pieces. There's going to be real suffering for hundreds of millions of people. It's easy to get a whiff of that in your consciousness and go into defense mode.
Easy to be afraid.
This mornin', I had a bolt of fear go through me. There's just no way around it, there's a good chance the balance of my time on this planet is going to evaporate. I don't know for sure, but it feels like fear of death is programmed at the most fundamental levels of our existence. How do you get over that?
Stay. Stay at home. Stay away from others. And, more important than anything else, stay in the Essential Moment. Nobody and nothing can get at you when you're there! It's your virtual fortress.
Try, anyway. If you're getting' knocked around by fear, try to focus on this moment. I don't use the m-word (meditation), just stop. Everything. For a second. Look around, be wholly familiar with your EM…then go back to what you were doing.
Absent the fear.