The Sacrament of the Present Moment
Sunday, August 14, 2016
Only unitive, nondual consciousness can open our hearts, minds, and bodies to actually experience God. 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 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 naked presence to 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, and God. Many of us call this access “contemplation” or “prayer.” It is a nondualistic way of seeing the moment.
Nondual knowing is living in the naked now, the “sacrament of the present moment.” 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 will invariably divide and judge the moment; pure presence lets it be what it is, as it is. Words and thoughts are invariably dualistic; but pure experience is always nondualistic.
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 always a mixture of good and bad, dark and light, life and death. Reality requires more a both/and approach than either/or differentiation. The nondual 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:
Be here now.
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 (CAC: 2007), disc 1 (CD, MP3 download).