Living in the Now
The Sacrament of the Present Moment
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other”
doesn’t make any sense.
Unitive, non-dual consciousness opens our hearts, minds, and bodies to actually experience God in the now. Ultimate Reality cannot be seen with any dualistic operation of the mind, where we divide the field of the moment and eliminate anything mysterious, confusing, unfamiliar, or outside our comfort zone. Dualistic thinking is highly controlled and permits only limited seeing. It protects the status quo and allows the ego to feel like it’s in control. This way of filtering reality is the opposite of pure presence.
We learn the dualistic pattern of thinking at an early age, and it helps us survive and succeed in practical ways. But it can get us only so far. That’s why all religions at the more mature levels have discovered another “software” for processing the really big questions like death, love, infinity, suffering, the mysterious nature of sexuality, and whoever God or the Divine is. Many of us call this access “contemplation” or simply “prayer.” It is a non-dualistic way of living in the moment. Don’t think, just look (contemplata).
Non-dual knowing is learning how to live satisfied in the naked now, “the sacrament of the present moment” as Jean Pierre de Caussade called it. This consciousness will teach us how to actually experience our experiences, whether good, bad, or ugly, and how to let them transform us. Words by themselves divide and judge the moment; pure presence lets it be what it is, as it is. Words and thoughts are invariably dualistic; pure experience is always non-dualistic.
As long as you can deal with life as a set of universal abstractions, you can pretend that the binary system is true. But once you deal with concrete reality—with yourself, with someone you love, with actual moments—you find that reality is a mixture of good and bad, dark and light, life and death. Reality requires more a both/and approach than either/or differentiation. The non-dual mind is open to everything. It is capable of listening to the other, to the body, to the heart, to all the senses. It begins with a radical yes to each moment.
When you can be present in this way, you will know the Real Presence. I promise you this is true. You will still need and use your dualistic mind, but now it is in service to the greater whole rather than just the small self.
Gateway to Silence:
God is right here right now.
 The Essential Rumi, trans. Coleman Barks (HarperOne: 2004), 36. Used with permission.
Adapted from Richard Rohr, The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See (The Crossroad Publishing Company: 2009), 12, 50, 56, 74; and
A New Way of Seeing . . . A New Way of Being: Jesus and Paul, disc 1 (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2007), CD, MP3 download.