Last Sunday I went to the movies with one of my best friends. We saw “As above, So below”, a really cool horror film, and I don´t really like horror films. Well the thing is I had an awesome time, not just because I was with my bestie but because everyone else in the movie theatre seemed to be on the same mood, just enjoing the moment. We all seemed aware of everyone else and we just shared the experience, we´d be expectant during moments of suspense, we´d scream and jump out of our seats whenever some death body unexpectedly appeared on the screen and then we´d laugh our asses off from our funny reactions.
I was quite surprised ´cause ussually when I go to the movies I like everyone else to be quiet like me so I can feel I´m alone and I can pay attention to the movie. This time I decided to just be and I never thought I´d enjoy so much interacting with strangers in the audience, the experience was very pleasant and so funny not just for me but for the audience in general.
After that cool experience my bestie and I came back home and sat for hours to talk, as usual. And then I realized that as we were talking we´d react physically to whatever we were saying, like we´d be living that particular situation. But what really freaked me out was that we were “living” not so pleasant moments that had already passed or even worse, that hadn´t happened yet. We were “living” situations that were not happening now.
We talked about cool stuff, we laughed, but most of the time we would talk about our problems, about what makes us unhappy and so on. It´s unbelievable the amount of stress and pain that we add to our lives just by WASTING our own TIME and ENERGY playing over and over this personal horror movies in our heads and then telling them to our family and friends and even strangers. And what is most incredible to me is that this stories are not real, I mean they are either in the past or in the future, but they are nor happening NOW. We live our lives as if we were asleep, in another dimension. We are not aware of who we really are because we are just covering and avoiding life with our incessant horror film type of thoughts and this thoughts ussually are looking for identification. The human race is immerse in a culture ADDICTED to personal and colective IDENTITY. We feel the NEED to define who we are, but none of what we do, or think or feel or say will define who we are. And so we keep looking and this means suffering, unhappiness, the constant feeling that we are incomplete and unsatisfied. And still we dedicate 90% of our time and energy feeding this compulsion that can only generate pain and suffering.
A few months ago I started out a cool spiritual journey in which I made a decision that would change my life drastically: I decided to stop suffering. I haven´t mastered that yet, but I´ve learned awesome stuff that have helped me realize how truly beautiful life is.
You know? Lots and lots of people I know, know that they CAN stop suffering, people know how simple the choice is, but it´s so radical that they end up choosing pain again. I am like that sometimes. I´ve been so used to pain and fear that it´s quite tricky stop following that path. But it is possible.
So how am I going to stop suffering? Simple: by living in the present moment. By switching your attention from situations that already happened or that haven´t even happened yet and that are creating pain into my life, to the present moment where there´s only peace. When I started out with this present moment stuff I was very scared and didn´t know what to expect. I thought I had to become a monk and move to Tibet and give away my material possesions (and trust me, I love my stuff). But no, actually living in the NOW is compatible with life in general, we just have to find the way to BE and LIVE moment by moment so we can actually ENJOY life.
One thing that helped me getting started with the present moment was a very cool exercise: just take away a few seconds from your day and be still. Observe whatever it is there, feel whatever you are feeling and then let that be. Don´t ignore your thoughts, let them be, just don´t follow them, don´t feed the inner conversation. Don´t try to make logic sense of whatever it is happening this very moment as you are reading. Maybe you can take a pause and experience the present moment without having to read this. Realize that you are atoms and energy and that the air is also made of atoms and energy and that your desk, computer, your friend over there, the entire universe is made of atoms and energy. We are the universe, we are one, there is no real separation between us, we´re all made of the same stuff. Give yourself a few seconds or minutes to realize that with all your being. No thinking is really necessary to be present and at peace. No personal movie is really necessary to exist.
I then realized we´re asleep, overwhelmed by the pain culture that we live in, but we can get away from that and still function in this world. Just take a few seconds from your day, be present, and tell me what happened.
Now I´d like to remind you that you are not the story of your life, it may define the actual situation that you are living in right now, but that life situation doesn´t define you either. The only way to know who you really are is stop paying attention to all of your personal movies and giving your inner self a chance to manifest, to express itself, to BE. Being still, quiet and alert, in other words, being in the present moment will give you the chance to see within and to flow with the universe. I know this sounds quite cuckoo, but I believe it´s even more CUCKOO to live a “normal” life that chooses pain and suffering over peace and love.
By the way, if you decide that this may really work for you, I recommend that you check Eckhart Tolle out. This is not an ad. A friend gave me his book “The power of now” as a present, I read it and it was a really cool experience. I ussually don´t pay attention to “spiritual” literature, but this one has very interesting stuff to say about life. You can also check him out on Youtube, he´s got really nice videos. And I may add, he´s very funny too.
So I´ll be posting stuff that I learned from him and from life experiences in general. Hope you stick around.