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Does “now” really exist?

What happens in “the now” doesn’t stay in the now. Our ever illusive search for right this moment has spanned civilizations, cultures and time itself. In our faster and ever-hurried lives, we endlessly count linear time through the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, years, decades... and yet, we are fascinated by the now. And it struck me one day while I was trying to meditate and just not settling into the usual groove of stillness that I have become accustomed to when I sit to quiet my mind.

I was thinking about things that I used to do as a child, the playing, the games, the people that impacted my life. I had found a little tickle-trunk of treasures tucked away in a back corner of my mind... and I wasn’t going to let these synaptic glimpses into the past pass me by. But as I was wandering down memory lane, my present mind (and the always present ego) popped in and was reminding me about “getting back to the moment”. Stop reminiscing, that was then and this is NOW, and you are meditating in this NOW. This back and forth tug-of-war ensued and I found that I was locked in a battle of the brain...

“Get out of your head.”

“But I can’t get out of my head, you’re in it.”

“You know that you’re not meditating when you’re thinking.”

“Why are you being so bossy today?”

“I’m only keeping you on track and keep you in THE NOW.”

“What is THE NOW anyway, and why do I HAVE to be here?”

...brain pause...

Okay... so this glimpse into what goes on in my upstairs might seem a bit silly, but hey, my mind does has these internal dialogues that offer a sort of self-regulation and check-in, so to speak. And I this “internal conversation” really felt like I was touching on something. What REALLY is the now? And as I pondered and rolled it around a bit between the walls of my cranium... is this the now, no, this is the now, but that now is gone, and here is a new now, but here is the now again, ooops, it’s gone again.

So the next query was, “does NOW really exist”? There have been books written on this subject, championing the “being present in the now” and we even talk about it in yoga practices and “returning back to the now”. As one moment passes into the next and micro-nano-super-de-dooper-nano seconds pass... the now is transitioned into the past and all I’m feeling that I’m left with are my thoughts of pondering this presence of the now and how it truly affects me as a person.

I’ll tell you, my ego had a great check-in that day and it, and I, had a great discussion about it even further with other moments of meditation in the days that followed. I (my ego and the questioning “I”) and we (as a human culture based in linear time) may never really grasp “the now” as a thing. But it does offer a wonderful way to offer something to think about the next time we are guided to bring ourselves back to the now.

Post script...

And this ongoing relationship with my egoic mind and myself... well, it is an ongoing friendly game of the minds. And going back once in a while to those childhood treasures or moments of the past is a treat... remember-ies (remembering and memories) of the journey that has brought us to the present moment... or is it now... no, I think it’s the right now... wait, it’s this now. Oh heck... happy meditating in your own collective moments of self discovery and see what inspires you to ponder your “now moments”.

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