The power of the now moment -- Stay in the now -- Be present
We've been promised that the pathway to peace is right here if we can be here now, but how do we get to now from here?
I recently had a glimpse of the elusive now moment on a routine drive home as the late afternoon sun streamed strongly through the car window warming my left arm and neck.
The heat was deeply penetrating my skin as I absentmindedly scrolled through radio stations and came upon the most beautiful classical music station. Simultaneously, the scent of my hot chocolate hit me as I took a sip from the steaming cup.
In one instant, I found myself completely saturated in a moment of time as deep peace flooded my body and all five of my senses were simultaneously stimulated.
The warmth of the sun is what first caught my attention, then a random radio station settling on something beautiful stimulated my hearing. This combination put me in such a state of awareness that I was acutely sensitive to the smell of my hot chocolate as never before.
Right there, I intimately felt the power of now. I'd read about it, heard about it, and had seen more than one book title containing those words, yet I'd never understood it until that unexpected and routine moment of time.
I was aware of everything at once, yet time itself had stopped.
When I paused at a traffic light again, my breath was taken away by a tree I pass daily without notice, back-lit and glowing in the evening sunlight.
While I've seen this tree on a regular basis, this moment was uniquely special as all five of my senses were suddenly on high alert.
I wondered: Did I just have a magic out of time moment or is this merely what it's really like to be in the present moment? Was it the attention to all of my senses at once that led me to this feeling of bliss?
What would happen if throughout our day we stopped and silently asked ourselves: What do i smell right now? What do I hear? What am I physically feeling or touching? What do I taste? What am I seeing?"
Can we find ourselves anchored in the blissful and aware now through the portals of our own five senses? I'm convinced the answer is yes.
Our five senses are the elusive doorway to the holy present moment.
Years ago while traveling solo on the island of Bali, I found myself alone in the village of Ubud. Never before had all of my senses been assaulted at once by such beauty in all directions crashing down upon me.
One afternoon while sitting alone in the warm sun, I closed my eyes and counted the number of sounds I heard in that moment -- that number hit 14.
The more I listened, the more I heard: chimes, monkeys, motor scooters, children laughing, bells ringing, pots and pans being washed, honking, singing, birds chirping, dogs barking, roosters in the distance -- it was more than my ears could handle, yet I experienced so much joy when my attention was single focused on hearing the sounds around me.
Then I turned my attention to the smells of incense, tropical forest decomposing, cooking, burning wood, heavy humidity and the exhaust from motor scooters all around me. Every smell combined into that one moment created a perfume that can't accurately be described in words, it was heaven.
I played this game with all five senses throughout my trip by smelling, seeing, tasting, feeling and hearing. Two weeks later I returned home feeling more peaceful than I had in my entire life. Peace poured out my face and I was blissed out for weeks.
It's been years now since that trip, yet in my car while sitting in traffic on a mundane winter's afternoon, I was transported through the portal of my own senses to a place of bliss, the place of the now moment.
So the next time you're stressed, ask yourself: What do I see? What do I hear? What do I smell? What do I taste? and What do I feel? These are the five keys you already have that will unlock your door to peace.