Live in the Now

by | May 31, 2020 | Pastor's Desk | 0 comments

I’d like for you to join me in a small little exercise. Take just a second and get comfortable. If you’re holding a phone or iPad while watching, rest it so it puts no strain on your arms. I want you completely relaxed as if you were preparing to meditate.

Now, gently close your eyes. And I want you to think about this very second. Right now. Be aware of what is happening right at this moment. You’re hearing my voice, but are there other sounds where you are? Are the birds singing? Is the air-conditioner running? Can you hear others breathing nearby?

Now consider your thoughts. What are you thinking about right now? Are you wondering what I’m going to say next? Try absorbing each word and resist anticipating the next one. Don’t be startled if I say something like Rumpelstiltskin, but simply hear it and wait for the next word.

The purpose of this exercise is to have you be in this moment. This exact moment. By actively listening to all that is around you, you will find the past is gone and the future is not pre-occupying your thoughts.

And being present like this is how you hear God. It is being available to God because there is no time, there is no past or future to God. God only exists in the Now.

This is an exercise I would like you to try at least once each day, if not more often. Even if you meditate — if you’re like me — you can find that meditation doesn’t always stay in the present. But, I know you can be present for a minute or two.

I call these very short periods of awareness “minute meditations.” I might be sitting at my desk and notice I’m getting frustrated with some work that is not progressing as needed. I’ll just relax into my chair, close my eyes, and allow the present moment to occupy my thoughts.

Now, I’ll give you a bit of a secret that tends to work for me. It might not work as well for you since we all have our own “tongue” with God, but just as I relax into the 60 seconds or so of quiet, I say to my Inner Self, “Thank you for being here.”

And then I listen. I listen to the sound of the fan in my computer, the cars on the street outside, and, when I can still myself enough, I hear the beating of my heart.

When I feel into the present deeply enough, I will slowly open my eyes and return to the task at hand, and each time the result is a more relaxed, more creative, and more productive outcome.

I believe when this happens, I am allowing Divine Will to be expressed through me as the Highest Good. By releasing my emotions and thoughts of the moment, Spirit can come through me without hindrance.

Do you know how this feels? Were you ever in school, hunkered over some math problem that just didn’t make sense? Then, at some point, either the teacher or another student explained the concept to you in a way that made you sit up and exclaim, “I get it now!”

That’s how these minute meditations feel to me. As I practice this more and more often, I get to say “I get it now!”

And, it’s the “now” in that statement that is so very important. The solutions or creativity or spark or whatever you wish to call it that illuminates me and guides me to a good outcome can only arrive now. In this very second.

Let’s consider this a bit more. Does inspiration come to you in the past? Do you arrive at a solution, only to say, “oh, I already realized that 10 years ago.” Sure, we may forget something from the past, but a solution to a challenge today doesn’t come in the past.

Nor does it come from the future. We don’t struggle with a problem, only to say “I can solve this problem right now because the answer will come next year.” No, you solve a problem, build something great, or heal yourself right now because the answer comes to you right now.

God is now. God is present. God is available to you whenever you make the decision to listen.

In Unity, we call this ability to listen “The Silence.”

A state of consciousness entered into for the purpose of putting each person in touch with Divine Mind so that the soul may listen to the “still small voice.”

Charles Fillmore, The Revealing Word

If you want to really listen to God and to be One with God, the pathway is silence. It is getting into a state of consciousness where you lose all sense of time and space. It is a realization that there is nothing but God.

When you quiet your physical body and can allow yourself to sink into the great Reality that you are One with the Christ, you will begin to see all things differently.

I’m a news junky. In the early 90’s I actually ran political campaigns in Austin or created television commercials and mailings. My interest in politics is still with me.

Yet, today as I read the daily news, I find myself viewing it all from a much different place. Sure, I have times when I read an article and I have to say, “What the heck?” But, even with that, I just bring myself to the present moment, do a quick inventory to find that all is okay for me right at this moment, and the emotions of the news cycle quickly subside.

Getting riled at the news is not living in my Christ-ness. Being upset because of some situation in another city provides absolutely no benefit to my moving to a higher consciousness.

Of course, there are times when we feel so sorrowful for injustice. Whether it’s health, race, or economic, we have great empathy for injustice. It’s in our blood, is it not? 

When Jesus cleared the temple of the money-changers, was He not expressing his sense of injustice? Certainly, but, as Charles Fillmore explains in the Metaphysical Dictionary, this cleansing of the temple was intended for us, as individuals, by the verse:

But he was speaking of the temple of his body.

John 2:21 NRSV

We come to our Oneness not by keeping thoughts of anger and injustice within. We come to our higher Self by cleansing our thoughts of materialism and greed, or selfishness and anger. Anger is truly an Ego-based emotion. Anger is the absence of love. And since God is Love, anger is the absence of God.

It’s really that simple. If you’re angry, you’re not expressing anything of God. And I think you’ll find that almost every negative feeling you have is one of anger. Even when you think you may be feeling empathy, you might realize you’re feeling angry, too. And it’s the anger part that keeps you from truly healing the situation.

Let me give you an example. As I read the news and I see the videos of miles of cars lined up at food banks, I could say, “My God, this government has really failed us. Just look at this! So many people are hungry because of this government!” In truth – and this takes some effort to discover sometimes – I’m really angry because I am not doing all I can to help. Instead of raising my fist at the television, I could be writing a check to the food bank. Instead of yelling at the news on my iPhone, I could be casting my vote at the ballot box. 

To be completely honest, the reason I’m angry is that I feel powerless. And no one likes to admit they are powerless.

So, how do we feel powerful, especially when we feel hopeless or week or angry? We go immediately into the Silence of the present. We move into our quiet place and we ask with all-loving, “God what is mine to do for the Highest Good for All?”

And we only have to ask once. And then we listen.

We open our hearts and listen to what we receive. And if we don’t immediately get clarity, we wait and ask again later. Maybe we just can’t get silent enough right now, but if you practice being still, being in the present, and listening for God, guess what? God always responds. Always.

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Pastor Bret

Pastor Bret

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Our mission as a progressive Unity congregation is led by “Pastor Bret,” as he’s known in our community. A serial entrepreneur and life-long student of New Thought, Bret brings an energetic and evolutionary approach to the Spiritual Journey.

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