The best moment to start living in the now is NOW!

at Stanford

Eckhart at Stanford

I attended yesterday a conversation with Eckhart Tolle, one of my favorite speakers for inspirational lectures. The Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education,  invited him, and James Doty graciously interviewed him. If you read the book the power of now, his talk is already familiar. Nevertheless, to me looks always like a fresh reminder to achieve happiness. According to Eckart the simplest way of achieve a state of inner peace is by living in the present moment. This is an old topic and so many people talked about it in one way or another. For instance, Fritz Perls, the famous psychologist of the 70’s said that worrying about the future would lead to all kind of anxiety disorders and constantly remembering the past would end up in a depression. He also warned us about the dangerous consequences of projecting into others what we were ignoring in ourselves. Goenka, the great Vipassana master, insists that taking the time every day to pay attention to your breathing and scanning your body back and forth would help you to achieve a meditative state. Teachers and lectures about living in the present are all over the place and have been there for centuries. But, what is in the way of achieving such a easy recommendation? Pain. In my experience, every time I get to concentrate on my own thoughts, sensations, and/or feelings, I experience pain and despair. My mind is irritated, and my thoughts get even wilder. If I am patient and I get to pass that discomfort, then my body protest and remains me about all kinds of aches and  physical symptoms. Then I conclude that living in the present moment is not fun! and go back to my normal activities. Well, what I learned from Eckart is the value in what he calls “mini-meditations”. Mini-meditations means doing every activity and experiencing every moment as a sacred one. One beautiful example he put yesterday was about walking up the stairs. Metaphorically and literally, if one wants to arrive to top, the best option is to do it one step at a time, and since we do it anyway, it is better to do it with intention and concentrate in the task. It is delightful to enjoy our feet touching the shoe, the impact of the movement and any other sensation. Mini-meditations is a wonderful way to spend our entire day. I love to walk, take a shower, eat, or drive in that state of mind. It gives me a beautiful sense of peace. I feel grateful at every moment. Somehow, when I am grateful I open myself to grace and magical synchronicities. I do my meditation practice, and I appreciate it’s benefits. However, the mini-meditations suggested by Eckart, help me to be more compassionate with myself and others. It helps me to be more human. Moreover, they help me to be a happy human. Thanks Eckhart Tolle!

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