Any persons ability to focus all of their attention on the moment they are now experiencing allows the action and feeling of that moment to be appropriate to that experience. With training (self or otherwise), many capabilities are enhanced beyond what can be considered normal skill and mastery. Even the psychology of the individual comes very close to healthy no matter what the experience and response to it might be. However, no matter who you are, no matter how skilled, no matter how composed, the answer to existence lies elsewhere and though you manage your life with grace and compassion, the art of living is just that, the art of living. We did not create our beginning, and we do not design our end. What goes on in the middle is up to us. Outside of that, we do not know.
Some find this confusing and unacceptable. The need to know is powerful, for the emptiness of not knowing is distressful to say the least. Our imaginations take us to many regions of the possible and impossible. But these imaginations are not real in the sense of day to day reality. They require much from our sense of logic and though much is illogical we have the belief that we can learn, we can discover new stuff, and we can use our imaginations to solve almost anything, over time.
Some believe that it is all as it should be. While others concern themselves with the warning signs and ring the alarm. That these two world views will join up any time soon is a mute point. Someone will always ring the alarm and others will try their best to ignore the warnings, while those responsible for creating the issues in the first place will try their best to either misinform or shift attention away from themselves. We are connected throughout the world and sooner or later we will all realize that what affects our neighbor affects us, and our neighborhood is the world.
So does being in the NOW allow us each to help make sure that tomorrow brings with it our wisdom and caring? I believe so. As we visit each new experience we will see more clearly and respond more appropriately. Any damage we propagate on tomorrow will be minimized and the good we do today will make today and tomorrow a better place. We cannot know what tomorrow will bring. Will it be good or will it be bad? Zen teaches us that what happens now though it might appear bad or good is a temporary judgement and the less we invest in our truth of these opinions the more our living rests in the moment.
A Shift in our Relationships
Something I read a long time ago said that our relationship to everything and everyone else is a self referencing one. Meaning that it is part of our makeup to first judge what impact or effect the current experience is or does have on us. This is initially in the milliseconds and only when we have decided do the thoughts, emotions and stories come up from the unconscious to support that decision. Can we do anything about this hard wiring? Is our response beyond our awareness? Do we have a choice here?
The answer is yes but only if we cultivate the "observer" (or, by other names "the Witness, the Aware one, the seat of consciousness"). If we notice what appears in our conscious minds, what emotions we feel, we can then adjust our response to the moment to be more appropriate if it is clear that our initial feelings were provoked by our history, or anticipation of the unknown future. How quickly does this happen? Observe or notice in seconds, let it pass with no judgement, decide if our response is appropriate, meaning is what we are about to do or say about this moment or about some other event or experience. This goes directly to our perception of who and what we are, our ego and self image. The more we understand that this ego and self image though useful, forces us to be separate from every experience, the more each moment is experienced as it is and not as we wish it was or was not. These projections rarely ever allow us to feel deeply connected to our everyday life. When we assign the ego and self image to the background and focus more on our connection to this moment and experience as a part of it, a deeply connected part of it, the less we respond defensively and the more we respond compassionately.
Accepting What and Who We Are