I just returned from my silent meditation retreat in the high desert, refreshed and re-energized. My wonderful experience affirmed a truth shared by many spiritual traditions (and education), that is, the importance of being fully present. In education we call it “student engagement.” It’s that magical zone where students lose track of time, where they look up and ask, “can I work on this at home?”, where their challenge just slightly exceeds their skills so that they are in FLOW and learning happens. I wish it were possible to be in this state more often.
“Be” means to exist, not to plan for the future, not to act or to move, not to reflect on the past, not even to think. It actually encompasses all the senses as well as the mind.
“Here” refers to this exact place. Once again, not somewhere in the future (like the college you want to attend) or in the past (that year when you were the best on the team), not another place (a different classroom or home or city), not another spot (closer to the stage or further from a noxious smell). THIS place is what “is” real as opposed to imagined or desired.
“Now” refers, of course, to the present moment, not longing or yearning for the past, not expecting or projecting into the future. It’s stopping to smell the roses instead of focusing on earning a ticket to get another ticket to that perfect experience that society has told you to desire. “Now” is our reality at every moment. “Before” is over, and “later” may never come.
That’s it. I have no treatise on the meaning of life. I have no concrete activities to share or research to cite. Just a statement on this day following this experience — a reminder always to: