Appreciating The Now: How to Pay Attention to Life

I just had an amazing experience that can be helpful if you’re struggling with an addiction, frustration, or fear. It’s a way that anyone can find out of it. You can use this whenever you’re ready, including right now.

Here’s exactly what just happened to me. The last few days I’ve been struggling with compulsive thinking. I’ve had negative thoughts of fear and worrying. I’ve noticed I’ve been struggling to appreciate the moment. I’ve been sitting with my wife in the morning and not appreciating that great moment. It’s a beautiful thing to have time with my wife. I’ve noticed several times over the last few days that I haven’t been appreciating the moment.

Why am I stuck in my head with all these crazy thoughts. Why can’t I appreciate what I have right now?

These things have come out for me in several different ways. They have come out in addictions, bad behavior, acting out, and being mean to people. All these things come out in the same way and their all the same basic frustration. Here’s what happened to me today.

I went to the gym, I have been going along in my day with an anxiety, frustration and fear hanging over me. I’ve been listening to an Eckhart Tolle retreat series and I was eating a sandwich. It was talking about looking and appreciating the form now takes. I looked at the sandwich and I had already eaten the other half. I thought about how cool that is  that I normally make a sandwich, eat it, and don’t think about it. I’m about to eat this sandwich and then it will be gone. I can go and make another one, but this one sandwich in this exact form I made it is here and it’s going to be gone. I ate the sandwich and walked into the shower and then I got this moment of clarity.

I thought about something my mom said when my dad passed away last year. It’s been really hard on my mom because they were married for 30 years and this thought mom said came to me.

I would give anything to have another day with your dad, even a bad one.

I thought about what my wife said this morning. She said “this time with you is one of my favorite parts of the day.” I felt that compliment right when she said it, but I had my armor up. I was still in the frustration and anxiety moment. I saw it was a beautiful thing she said and I couldn’t quite comprehend.

That compliment, what my mom said about my dad, and the sandwich all collided. Let me explain how that could happen in the mind. I looked at it and realized that everyone will die at some point.

I went deeper into that thought. I thought about a place where this form is gone, my wife is gone, and everything I care about is gone. No one remembers me and there’s no trace left. There’s absolute nothing. I went deeper into that. At first it was awful to think from an egotistical point of view and to think and to see everything disappear.

I kept going into it and I thought about what my mom said and the compliment my wife gave me and the sandwich. I’m just like the sandwich. I’ve been put together. My mom and dad raised me. At some point, life is just going to eat me and that’s it. This form will be gone forever and that’s okay. I went deep into that thought and understanding and knowledge of death. Beyond all of these forms is eternal life. That eternal life that Jesus talked about, that idea of nirvana, that is all right here right now.

I looked from a point of my wife being gone. I looked from a place where everyone was dead. When I looked from that place where my wife is burned up and cremated I immediately started crying. I saw that for myself, too. This body is gone, deteriorated, and burned.

When I went to that place, the spinning thoughts in my head stopped. All the thinking about what-if was shattered. All the compulsive thoughts that I had about what I need to do and what do I want shattered. In the place of death there are no worries, nothing to care about, nothing to be afraid of.

I went to that place and then came down to look at my body again. By this point I was in the shower sobbing picturing my wife being gone. When I came back to that place, something ridiculous happened. I could see the miracle of being here right now after going to a place of death and coming back into this moment. I’m here and it was as if I had been dead and dropped back into my body again.

I was blown away. I went from crying to laughing hysterically. I don’t know how long I was in there but I started laughing. I looked down at my hands like I had never seen them before. It’s the way you would feel if you’d died and got stuck back in a body again. You’d feel like it was a miracle.

The same way you see a baby looking at the world with a sense of wonder. I was in the shower and crying going into the thought of losing my wife and my whole stream of thoughts shattered. The peace of death, the peace of god, and stillness where everything is okay. Once I came back into that, I looked around and realized my body is here. It was so cool as if I just got issues a new one.

I started laughing hysterically and wiping the mist off the shower. I was looking at the water like I had just came back from death and got stuck in my body again. How cool is that? The miracle is to see from death. See this life from a place of nothing. Everything is so cool from a point of view of nothing. I was standing under the water like I had never seen a shower before. I turned it hot and cold with a childlike, fresh look on life.

I have been on a spiritual journey after struggling with problems like addictions and acting out. I have been discovering not taking this form so seriously. Looking from a place of nothing, a place of death, helps me appreciate everything. I feel alive. I am here right now. It’s so cool and nothing else matters.

I did feel compelled to share this with you because of how much I’ve struggled in my life. I felt compelled to share this with you because I would love for you to access this infinite spiritual power.

To me, one way to go into it is through seeing through death. Look as if you are dead. Imagine the people you care about are dead. Imagine the things you care about are dead and gone. When you can look from that point of view, there’s infinite power and peace. Then you can come back into being aware of the body as if you just got issued a new one.

I understand this might not make sense at all. I’m doing my best to share something that helped free me from addictions, compulsive thinking, and selfish behavior. That is where I am. That is where ultimate reality is. This form is something cool. It’s something to have fun with and to be played around with. It’s something that’s here now and gone soon enough.

I hope that sharing this with you has given you the ability to know that you are not your body or your thoughts. You are here to experience life, you are that little kid that’s looking around at their body. You are sitting on everything you will ever need. I saw this lady that was homeless today begging on the corner. I would usually avert my eyes from her because that’s unpleasant. This time, I looked at her and thought she doesn’t even realize she already has everything she needs. She looked utterly miserable and she eventually couldn’t look at me as I starred at her.

She’s just like me. The only difference is she doesn’t know she already has everything inside that she’s hoping people will give her. She doesn’t need to ask for money. She already has all the wealth and beauty in her life that she wants and you do, too.  There’s nothing you can get that can satisfy you forever. You have everything right this moment that can satisfy you forever.

The past and the future are constructions of the mind. They’re helpful for things like paying bills. They’re helpful for things like realizing I should make this video and maybe it will be helpful for you. The past and the future are our imaginations. That always plagued me reading history books. Why does the past seem so muddy and the future is so unclear. It’s because it’s imaginary and now is the only thing that’s real. Now will take many different forms including one where this body is not a part of it anymore and that’s okay.

When I look from a place of death I can see life. When I’m stuck in everyday rush and I have to get things done it’s utter misery and suffering. The liberation I’ve found I can leave that.

For me, a practical tool is I try to look from death. If my wife is giving me a hard time, I look at what mom said about dad. I would give anything to have another day with him I’ve got another day with my wife and I’m grateful for it. I’ve got another day with this body and I’m grateful for that. If you want to get out of all your pain and suffering that’s all you have to do. Go from a place of death and hopefully you don’t have to take your form to death, but go there mentally.

You have everything you need right now. You can do this right now and when now is right you will know it. I’m grateful you spent this time with me and I hope this will be useful for you. You are all I care about. I’ve made this because it felt like the right thing to do. The easiest way to see what’s right is to look from a place of death. When there is nothing, it is clear what is worth holding on to and appreciating. If you want to do something good and you felt this, share this with someone who needs this. Share this with someone who may be able to use it.