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October 28, 2009

What Is In A Moment?

In a few days, our son, Issa will turn 3 months old. It seems like I have been through a several lifetimes worth of experiences since he was born. There have been so many full and intense moments, the kinds of moments that require your full and undivided attention, the kinds of moments that take your breath away.

When you put all of your attention and focus into a singular task or moment, there is something very special that happens. What happens is that the greater truth of life begins to reveal itself more completely to you.

Most of us are so used to walking around projecting our limited beliefs and thoughts onto the world around us. Everything, including our own selves is colored by our ideas and assumptions that we have about them. This habit and tendency is so pervasive and deep-seated that we are not even aware of the fact that we are doing it.

As a result, we only see the world as we believe it to be and not as it actually is. We are constantly acting and reacting to a world that is mostly a product of our mental projections. So much of the suffering that we endure and the suffering that we cause others is a result of this fundamental flaw in our relationship to both the world and with our own selves.

What any significant spiritual practice and discipline seeks to do is to reveal this blindness in perception to us in such a way that we can begin to undo this fundamental flaw in the way that we interact with reality. The only real way that we can begin to correct this basic mistake is to learn how to "see" the world around our selves and us in an entirely new way.

In order to "see" more accurately, it is crucial to begin to have a greater understanding of how the mind and perception work. Most people mistakenly believe that there is an unchanging external reality that is perceived entirely through the physical senses. Most people believe that this one reality is perceived the same by everyone everywhere in basically the same way.

What most people either cannot understand or accept is that the very fabric of what you "see" is very powerfully shaped by your mind, your beliefs and assumptions about the world. The difficulty of understanding this basic phenomenon is also part of the dynamic of the mind itself. The mind, by its very nature, works to simplify your experience, so that you can focus on basic tasks and not be overwhelmed by too much stimuli.

However, if there is no examination of how the mind shapes one's experience of the world and the self, then one naturally will become blind to certain very important aspects of the creative and spiritual potential of life.

When a person relies entirely on one's physical senses without any deep self-reflection, then life will quickly feel quite shallow and limited in creativity and emotional depth.

Deep self-reflection in any capacity is powerful because it naturally frees one's perception from the overactive influence of the mind and its habitual beliefs. When you are able to create any amount of distance between your beliefs and that part of reality that you are applying your beliefs to then the potential power of each moment is often released in varying degrees.

Again, this is not so easy for most people, as there is not a sufficient amount of self-reflection to even notice the difference between one's beliefs and that part of reality that those beliefs are being projected onto. Thus, most people actually believe unconsciously that there is no difference between what they believe and what is actually real. Thus, what happens is that what many people call life is not actual life at all, but a representation of life that is made up of a collection of thoughts in their minds.

This is why many people on this earth today feel so lonely even when they are surrounded by thousands of other people. This is why so many people feel destitute on so many levels when there is such an abundance of resources all around them, both materially and spiritually.

The great gift of my recent experiences with Issa is that his presence has drawn my attention and focus so completely into certain moments that my mind has inadvertently quieted down. When the mind has become still in this way, the actual reality of each moment has become much more full and real.

The truth and reality of each moment is that it is rich and full with potential and power that are beyond normal imagination. It quite literally is beyond the mind's normal capacity of comprehension. When any of us is able to step outside of the mind's limited and habitual patterns, then we can begin to stand in the presence of each moment's true luminescence and power.

Every single moment is full with great creative potential and deeply transformational and healing spiritual power. It is funny how, in our spiritual ignorance, we constantly are chasing after the superficial allure of certain concepts and ideas. Who among us has not thought, "Oh, if I only had more money or possessions or fame or knowledge?"

Anything of any true power or value lives only in the moment that is right in front of us. This truth is so simple and so powerful that it eludes most people on the earth today.

So, the next time you feel wanting or lacking in any way, stop right there and take a few, deep conscious breaths. Allow the mind to quiet just a little and look deeply into the precise moment that you are standing in. Even if your awareness is able to penetrate that present moment only a little bit, you will nonetheless taste a hint of the great power and potential of your own soul.

In these moments lies the true promise of your own spiritual destiny. All you are looking for and more is hidden in each present moment. Nothing else in the entire world is needed than just your own self and the bright, shining moment right in front of you.

Those moments that pass us by countless times each day only appear ordinary and empty. Know that this is the farthest thing from the truth. Do not take these simple, everyday moments for granted. Just slowing down and looking a little more deeply into these moments and into your own self can and will change your life forever.

Great and simple spiritual truths that even a child (and sometimes only a child) can understand.

Hari OM!

Govinda Kai

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