I have rarely experienced the “now”. I am usually thinking about the past and all too often fantasizing about the future; both of which are without merit. I vividly remember a few times in my the life when the world around me seemed to move in hours instead of seconds. People moved past me as if they were in slow-motion, sounds had a Doppler effect and all the time I felt that I was moving normally. I have also had the opposite experience, with the world on fast-forward while I watched it all flash by in an instant. Both of these occurrences lasted mere ticks on the clock, I know, but they had a lasting mark on my soul. I think in those moments I was really finding the suchness of my life.
I have not lived my life seeking to duplicate those moments, though maybe I should have. Instead I live my life as most of us do; from home to work and back home again with various errands in between. I spend little time, if any at all, meditating and centering myself. There are occasions when I recognize that I am breathing, I am able to feel the universe for a short time; connected to everything, everywhere, in meetings or my drive time, even staring at the wall at the urinal. In fact a few weeks ago I was looking at the gray wall as I stood at the urinal (maybe not the scene you would like to picture, but I am the writer not the director) when I realized that there was not really a wall there at all. In my minds eye I could see past this wall, past the building and out into the blue Oklahoma skies. Once my mind was in those skies it was a small journey to the space all around the Earth and then into the limitless universe.
Taking in those moments in your day, finding the suchness of things and then not holding on to them, not trying to capture them, there is power there. Suchness, a strange thought to Western minds, is really simple. Suchness is easy to demonstrate: seeing a flower as a flower, suchness is there. Knowing the suchness of money is only seeing it as money, it is a merely a tool, it does not equate to wealth; there is power there as well. Realizing that status does not equate to happiness, you can find a calming suchness there too.
All of this lead me to ponder the suchness of now, and to the wonder and happiness when it dawned on me that now is simply now. It is not a magic moment with the universe singing to me with choirs of angels, but rather the now is powerful unto itself. Now is the moment of this breath, it is this heartbeat, which you can actually feel if you are quiet and you listen to yourself.
Those strange seconds when the world slowed or sped up, they were pure now, pure suchness. They were something for me to cherish, and though I cannot just close my eyes and experience that peace and calm, I have tasted it before and so I know it is attainable still. I am no Buddha, I am not Awake yet, but I am slumbering no more.