NOW (The Idea Of) began 50 years ago for me, because my physicist dad wrote a novel called "NOW" in the 1950s. Although it wasn't a best-seller, he was on BBC telly talking about it, being a crossover scientist/novelist and all. And the quotation at the front of his book was an even earlier "now" spotting, from the poet Borges:
"Then I reflected that everything happens to a man precisely, precisely now."
We've all heard, through many NOWs, the advice about Being Here Now. For many of us boomers (and many of my lovely young students are NOT), it was Ram Dass' breakthrough 60s book that first introduced us to that idea of now; although of course Be Here Now made sense to many of us (but not me) because we had chemically cheated our way into the temporary realization of presence. (I got it through 10 years as a monk, having been a once-is-enough daytripper, but that's another blogstory).
Little did I know, back then,
So, back to My Hot Date With Eckhart: I had no clients on Wednesday, so I spent the morning pounding away at my book ("The Infinite Wave," or will I call it "The Godwave?"-- I hope you will be reading it soon). By 2:30pm I felt drained and had lost my momentum, and noticed waves of gnarly anxiety labeled with thoughts like "What should I do now?" "I feel like lying on the couch, but I need to keep writing." "Am I hungry?" I realized my attention had become fixated, so I dove into my body and "caught" the infinite wave, using the iWave methodology that is pretty hardwired as a default habit in my nervous system by now...
(btw, iWavework, the practical way I have learned––and taught to thousands of humans––creates a whole-self-whole-body-whole-feeling experience of Presence, and is not the same as "trying" to find Presence, "witnessing," or "mindfulness," although it is certainly related to these ideas. Go here for an earlier blogstory called "From WITness to WETness" that partially explains this. Essentially, iWavework is an INTEGRAL (i.e. more than just mental) skillful means to enter full presence.)
So I lay down on the floor and was carried through the doorway of NOW into those blissful infinite waves of spirit that are always flowing. Morgana (see right) purred in my ear and sat on my belly. The phone rang, and I almost didn't get it, but somehow grabbed it on the last ring:
"Hi Katie! This is Leesa, I met you last month in Texas. I'm in Mill Valley, with Eckhart Tolle at a private thing and I can get you in if you get here in 20 minutes."
19 minutes later, with mascara on and not wearing my PJs, I screeched into the door of the theater. Getting me in wasn't so easy. Although there was an empty seat next to my friend, there was also a doorperson doing his job. I was getting ready to "accept what is," when a handsome bloke who looked sort of familiar walked up and shouted,
"Katie! Look (holding up his iPhone)... I was just texting John to get your number."
"Who are you?"
This was Steve, a roommate I had with my dear first hubby John––Steve whom I hadn't seen or heard from in easily 20 years! Turns out he's a FOE (Friend of Eckhart) and somehow I got in.
Get it? I walked up to him after 20 years just as he was texting my name, and he got me in to see Eckhart. As for Leesa, who called while I was Powering into The Now, I hardly remembered her when she called, although we have now bonded. Would you say that divine intelligence wanted me there? As some of you know, I love ET. And I loved what he talked about, in particular his response to a question about Steven Hawking saying there is no God. Since I'm the daughter of physicist atheists, and teach about science and spirit, I'm always interested in this stuff. I loved that Eckhart didn't even bother to mince words and avoid the word "God," as he sweetly made mincemeat of the idea that the universe has appeared by chance.
Although I was quite enraptured to be there, what it really reminded me was that in ANY now-moment that I tune in deeply to the infinite wave of source that underlies what seems to be reality, absolutely ANYTHING can happen. And does. My life is not the effect of any kind of horizontal causeway stretching from the past to the future. It is always pouring in now, vertically, from Source. The point of power and potential is always the present moment. The New Now. Into which I can always relax and surrender. I have experienced so many profound and dramatic miracles in my life through this inner surrender. I once wrote down over 100 extraordinary events that have unfolded from these true inner moments of presence.
There is a doorway within, through which I have learned to enter when I'm surrendering heartfully. Yet I can't fake it or even find that doorway when I am attached to my separate identity and trying to manipulate God/Reality. I'm teaching HOW to go through that doorway next weekend at theI.A.MiracleWAVE, April 20-22.
Am I talking about the doorway to NOW? Of course. And yet while I can literally feel the infinite wave emanating in ripples from Eckhart's undefended, unarmored body, the word Stillness to describe "It" can be misleading. (Later note: I saw him again this morning and he specifically explained that by stillness he means the vibrating resonance that is felt when thought dissipates; "vibrating resonance" is a good description of the infinite wave experience). It's worth mentioning that there is no stillness in the universe. Everything is dynamic, moving in waves, whether you approach reality spiritually or scientifically. Scientists (like David Bohm) describe our Source as an infinite oceanic Field within which spontaneous ripples or waves appear and dissolve, which give rise to what we think of as "reality." You could also call this "God breathing."
When we come into phase with these godbreaths, or godwaves (for example by learning the iWAVE method of surfing the Infinite Wave), the mind spontaneously lets go of its obsessive loops. This is the so-called "state" popularly known as "stillness" (of course the word "state" implies static, which again can be misleading to dynamic beings in a dynamic universe). As we surf our own inner waves, which in fact extend to the edge of the universe and through all dimensions into the Field, or Source, our resistance to the waves of life––to Life Itself--melts down. We are flowing in the river of life, moving with spirit instead of against it.
I've sometimes noticed that students who come to my work from traditions that emphasize "stillness," "emptiness" and "silence" ––even "simplicity"––(i.e. most Eastern and Western spiritual traditions), have developed an unconscious "dryness," an inhibition to the complex, pulsing, moving, fullness and music of the life force that wants to move through the whole self: body, emotions, mind, whatever else. I understand the use of these words––I was a stillness-emptiness-silence-seeking monk for 10 years in my 20s––they are, in a sense, the masculine side of The One. And I'm NOT a proponent of the feminine side (even though at conferences where I've spoken, they have tried to use me as the token female speaker as a touchy-feely balance to all the other male teachers). What comes through me as this stream of infinite wave teaching is a dynamic dance of the feminine and masculine. Yin AND Yang, loving each other up and dissolving into each other to create a living Tao.
The problem with words and ideas like "stillness" (although, again, I don't experience this in Eckhart's presence at all) is that the bodymind can hear them as yet another superegoic disapproving injunction tostop being itself, its animal, instinctual, moving, spiralling, breathing, living self. Being told not to be physical/emotional beings and feel what we felt, as children, was what got us into our fixated ego states to begin with. Haven't we had enough of that hypermasculine spiritual nonsense?
("He-ey! Chill, Kate!"
"Well, if you'd spent 30 years trying to DEprogram people who are trying to freeze themselves into 'stillness,'––not to mention my own hypermasculine spiritual decade that left me sick and crazy..."
"Yes, but you don't need to rant, it doesn't look cool or spiritual."
"Oh, ahem right then!" ;-) )
The thing is that, to quote a chapter title of my book: "HOW MATTERS!" The medium IS the message IMNSHO, and the medium for us is our human body and human consciousness, which is incredibly emotional, even if we are good at dissociating and simulating detachment (sometimes it's just a matter of personality type). But isn't HOW you get there all the same, as long as you get there? Well, not necessarily! I would say that on average, for ordinary humans, the "now" accessed through physically experiencing and surfing the inner infinite wave is a different, more dynamic and fluid now experiencefrom the one you "think" yourself into. You might try to freeze yourself into presence while subvocalizing something like: "I need to be still. I need to stop thinking about the past and future and focus on the now. I need to be here now. Why am I not able to be here now?" You have perhaps experienced this kind of inner litany.
When you access the infinite wave, it carries you into itself like a lover seducing you. This is mysticism, rather than struggleism, so different from being a detached witnessing presence that it's not even funny. Surf on, wavers!