Monday, August 2, 2010

An Exercise in Futility


There should be no misunderstanding about this "living in the present moment." It does not mean being blind to the future, or forgetting the lessons of the past. It means being so fully and deeply aware of the present moment, that the necessary doing in the present moment happens spontaneously, far more completely and far more effectively when it is not hampered by the frustration of the past and the catastrophic expectations of the future.

Living in the present moment does not mean trying to contact this timeless, eternal present moment by concentrating your attention on the now-moment, on whatever you are presently experiencing. It may sound reasonable that some sort of practice of attention to the immediate present is necessary to be in contact with the timeless, present moment. But actually such a practice would be an exercise in futility because any effort, any practice to contact this present moment must necessarily require another moment, and another, to contact the earlier moment which had been long lost in the flow of time! You cannot use time to get out of time; you cannot use mind to get out of the mind. Any such effort can only reinforce that which you intend to uproot.

    *The late Advaita sage, Ramesh S. Balsekar was a disciple of Nisargadatta Maharaj, himself a renowned Advaita master. Balsekar was drawn to Advaita as a boy and particularly enjoyed reading the teachings of Ramana Maharshi and Wei Wu Wei as an adult. After his retirement from banking, Ramesh discovered Nisargadatta Maharaj, who became his guru. Ramesh wrote some 40 books on Advaita, and starting in 1982, met spiritual seekers daily at his home in Mumbai. He died September 27, 2009.

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