Be Here Now

If you watch your mind, you will see you live most of your life in the past or in the future, both of which Jesus warns us against. That’s just the way the mind works. If you are to experience the ever-present and ever-coming Christ, the one place you have to be is the one place you are usually not: NOW HERE or “nowhere.” Everything that happens to you happens right now; if you can’t be present right now, nothing new is ever going to happen to you. You will not experience your experiences; they will not go to any depth in your soul. You really won’t grow unless you’re willing to live right here, right now—to be present.

How do you be present? Jesus describes it rather profoundly: “You must love the Lord your God with your whole heart, with your whole soul, with your whole mind, and with your whole strength” (Luke 10:27). Whenever all of these parts are working together at the same time you are present. He finishes by saying “Do this and life is yours!” (10:28). I like to say that prayer happens whenever all of you is present—body, mind, soul, spirit, emotions—all together. That’s hard work. This is the core and constant meaning of all spiritual practice, no matter what religion: how to be here now! Then you will know what you need to know to go forward.

Usually we have to be shocked into it, I’m sorry to say. Great love does it. When you are deeply in love—with anything—you tend to be present to the Now. Someone has said, “To be a saint is to have loved many things”—many things—the tree, the dog, the sky, the flowers, even the color of someone’s clothing. You see, when you love, you love, and love extends to everything all the time and everywhere. When you love, you’re much more likely to be present.

~Richard Rohr

[Adapted from "To Be Awake Is to Live in the Present"]