Day 216– November 11, 2014

I re-read an old mumbo-jumbo book called “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. Years ago, I found the book quite insightful. I may not have absorbed any of its messages as I chase again the same teachings. Now free of a job and responsibilities, I may be a better empty receptacle for Eckhart Tolle. Here’s what I gleaned from this pass through “The Power of Now.”

Happiness, contentment, energy, and creativity spring from a simple but elusive concept: presence. How much can you quiet the constant chatter of thinking? Can you turn down planning for the future or dwelling on the past? Can you make space for something as simple as your own breath?

All said, little done – I’m a constant thinker. Decades of academics trained me to mull problems while cooking, brushing my teeth, and riding my bicycle. Furthermore, I multi-task efficiently to scan the future and what could happen. With shadows in the past and future, I have difficulty being present.

Let go of the nouns and adjectives that define you. I am not a chemist. More abstractly, I am not impulsive, smart, or insecure. Free yourself from labels that others apply to categorize and simplify. Dig even deeper to remove race and gender. Free from labels, live with uncertainty. Openness creates opportunity. I need not be a chemist or a software engineer or an artist to practice any of the three.

Although I desire contentment, satisfaction, and freedom from anxiety, I assume these utopian states will come only in the future when I have time to work towards them. Presence is now, it only can be, so stop putting off. Return to meditation, simplicity, and body awareness. If not now during this period of detachment, then when?

Stop being so reactive. Take situations, especially difficult ones as they come, when they come. Likewise, stop obsessing over possible calamity. I dwell so much on potential conversations that I miss what happens now. I want better to focus on the current five minutes.

So I continue to simplify, as I have materially to clean my house. I would like next to simplify emotionally and temporarily. I stop walking around while brushing my teeth.