The power of OW!

I’m currently re-reading The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. This morning, just as the train doors opened and an army of angry commuters elbowed their way onto the already packed carriage with scant regard for their fellow passengers’ comfort or wellbeing I read the following sentence about the present moment:

“It is as it is. Observe how the mind labels it and how this labelling process, this continuous sitting in judgement, creates pain and unhappiness.”

Before I was able to observe how my mind was labelling the process, however, someone stood on my toe, which meant the pain I felt was rather more tangible than the pain to which Eckhart was referring. But nonetheless I read on:

“By watching the mechanics of the mind, you step out of its resistance patterns, and you can then allow the present moment to be.”

Easier said than done, Eckhart, I thought, when the woman to your right is coughing directly in your face. But still, must try…

“Accept – then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.”

At that very moment, as if to test me, the train stalled. I looked around at my fellow passengers, their gloomy faces pressed into one another’s sweaty armpits. Could I accept this moment as if I had chosen it? Could I really?

“Always work with it, not against it.”

Right, I can work with this. It’s not so bad. Focus on your breathing. Enjoy the moment. The train will move soon. Embrace the Now!

“Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy.”

Why is this train not moving? Don’t they realise there’s a serious lack of oxygen in here? Oh thank God, it’s moving. But wait, hey you CHUMP don’t stand on my bag! Aarrrghh! Stampede! I’m being crushed to death! HELP!!”

“This will miraculously transform your whole life.”

Hmm. I guess this mindfulness takes some practice to master…

This was the lake next to the ashram in southern India where I first learnt how to meditate. It was certainly a lot easier to do it there…

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