Once upon a time, people were constantly worrying about what was going to happen tomorrow. The decisions they had made and the actions they had taken yesterday weighed them down. Every day, they were less and less able to enjoy or engage fully with what was happening right before them. As a result, they were unable to live fully and freely “in the moment.” Then, one day, overloaded, frustrated, and exasperated, “time stood still.” Because of that, they were momentarily able to step outside of their “prison,” and they got a glimpse of “freedom.” Because of that, they began to explore more and more how to attain these moments where they experienced this new-found “freedom.” Finally, they realized abiding in the present moment releases them from worry and anticipation, frees them from the burdens of their past, and provides them the opportunity to sow the seeds for a stress-free future. After which, they experienced both “time” and “timelessness,” and they also experienced a “timeless time” where they could abide in an endless unfolding of their True Self, unencumbered by life’s daily exigencies.
As I withdraw my body/mind from my senses and experience my subtle and causal bodies, my everyday sense of “time” stops. There is only “this moment.” There is no past. No future.
As I am experiencing the present moment, I bump up against a fascinating conundrum. For a “now” to exist, there must be a concept of “time.”
Consequently, if I have stepped out of the realm of time, there can be no “Now.”
“Time” is a “concept.” If there is no concept of time, there can be no concept of a “Now.”
As I am experiencing the different subtle and causal characteristics Being takes — form, fluidity, and immateriality — I am at the same time experiencing various dimensions of “time” since from the standpoint of “physics,” “time,” and “motion” are linked. However, when I abide in Vast Spacious Openness, “time” ceases to exist, and there is a sense of “timelessness.”
When I’m experiencing and exploring “time,” I’ve come to experience the present moment as three moments simultaneously — the past, present, and future.
The experience of “being in the moment” is trendy. Why? because of all the concerns about “distraction” and our ability to pay “attention.” Eckhart Tolle’s famous book, “The Power of Now,” serves as a guide for many people to come into stillness.
What a Yoga Nidra practice does is to provide processes to experience consciously all our dimensions of time. As part of this process, we get “to test” in a Yoga Nidra session many of the euphemisms we hear.
There is the saying: “Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today.”
It is not so much that we might not be around. It is more a sense that we have never “tested” whether this is something we wanted to do when tomorrow comes.
Affirmation practices help us reinforce behaviors that lead us to our desired outcomes. Why? They set in motion “today” the processes that will lead to our desired outcomes.
In the present, we witness the harvesting of the results of seeds that we’ve planted in the past. (We witness our Karmetic unfolding). But once we recognize the effects of the seeds we had sown, we realize that we can plant new seeds that’ll lead to the fruit of tomorrow’s harvest.
We are not stuck!
At this point, one of the “claims” of iRest/Yoga Nidra (as well as other spiritual practices) gets “fact-checked.” That “claim” is that “the present moment” is the “moment” where we have “true freedom of choice.” In this “moment,” you get to choose to “open up or close down.” We can choose to “continue old practices or start new ones.”
All we ever have is “Now.”
Recognizing this, iRest/Yoga Nidra provides us with another “skill” – “our skill at choosing,” which includes developing the courage, capacity, and commitment to make tomorrow different from today and yesterday.
Here’s another claim we get “fact-checked:” The claim that “our states” provide us with the ability to gain insights into our current conditions and access guides to relate to and transform those conditions.
So, while we’re “in the present moment,” we can have a “complete,” “peak,” “transcendent,” or “spiritual” experience, and we can also have a “liberating experience.”
As part of this “liberating experience,” that which is “subjective” becomes “objective,” and the possibilities for transforming both the “subjective” and “objective” appear.
What are some of the insights from this experience? First, the “present moment” is the “perfect teacher.” Second, “The present” is “a present.”
When I’m in those moments where I’m experiencing “timelessness,” I realize I’ve stepped out of the “cycle of time.” I’m “abiding” in a Timeless Space/Place. There is both an “abiding in” and “exploration of” time and timelessness.
While I’ve provided a lot of “conceptualizing,” the irony is: In the “abiding,” there is just Being. One of the things that I’m trying to do with all my “conceptualizing” is attempting to frame and communicate “an experience” while knowing full well that “the concept” is never “the real experience.” Paraphrasing Bruce Lee, “concepts” are like a “finger pointing at the moon.” If we concentrate on the concepts (on the pointing finger), “we will miss all that heavenly glory” (what the finger is pointing to).
So, what am I trying to “point to?”
In the present, time unfolds.
In the present, the past no longer holds.
In the present, the future is foretold.
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