Awakin.org

Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

No Rush, No Dawdle: The Secret Of Proper Timing

--by Tom Maxwell (Oct 29, 2018)


The present is truly the only place we exist. What we call the past is a construct of memory, the recollection of which constitutes a present experience. According to author Alan Watts, the future is likewise a construct, “and cannot become a part of experienced reality until it is present.” [...]

So, to know happiness in the future, we must be happy now. Delaying enjoyment of your life is to always live in Christmas Eve, with the many gifts around you staying securely wrapped.

Moreover, to participate in the moment — to be fully aware, is to be unified with the experience, and free from the separating identity of being the experiencer.

[Watts:] "To understand music, you must listen to it. But so long as you are thinking, 'I am listening to this music,' you are not listening. To understand joy or fear, you must be wholly and undividedly aware of it. So long as you are calling it names and saying, 'I am happy,' or 'I am afraid,”' you are not being aware of it."

Not only are you not being aware of it, you are creating the “I” who is afraid, and thus, by this separation, guaranteeing fear’s constant threat.

“This is not a psychological or spiritual discipline for self-improvement,” Watts writes. “It is simply being aware of this present experience, and realizing that you can neither define it nor divide yourself from it. There is no rule but ‘Look!’”

Centuries of Occidental society and culture have made grasping, much less embodying, this revolution in thinking very difficult. We are hardened materialists, fully beholden to identity and addicted to distraction. We evade pain and crave security, and doing so assures us painful, insecure lives. The imminent unknown is not to be avoided, but embraced. Our resilience, our adaptability, is reliant upon us being completely sensitive to the moment, and understanding it as being a new, unique experience. We live in a series of infinite nows, which are always dying, and always being reborn. To be immersed in this reality is to be transformed, for it is there that eternity is available.

“For the perfect accomplishment of any art,” Watts tells us, “you must get this feeling of the eternal present into your bones — for it is the secret of proper timing. No rush. No dawdle. Just the sense of flowing with the course of events in the same way that you dance to music, neither trying to outpace it nor lagging behind. Hurrying and delaying are alike ways of trying to resist the present.”

Tom Maxwell is a writer and musician. He likes how one informs the other. Excerpt from article.

Add Your Reflection:

Send me an email when another comment is posted on this passage.
Name: Email:

7 Previous Reflections:

 
On Nov 4, 2018 Quacinda Jodyne Topkok wrote:

 No Rush, No Dawdle: The Secret Of Proper Timing Q.) What does being fully unified with your experience mean to you?    A.) To be aware of and appreciate life to the core..  to live in the moment, right now.    It's really quite logical and simple.. the past is past and nothing can change it. The future is always in the future no matter what. Not even emotion can change that fact.    Mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually I 'know', with and without words the truth about time and place.    More specifically.. It means to be aware of my own domestication. To be aware of teachings and trainings I've been taught since birth; to be aware of whose approval I am seeking.. and surprisingly.. to [basically] be aware of language and the power of words (because whatever they mean to me may mean something different to anyone else and this can really add to our confusion in life); and why be aware of this? Because what  See full.

 No Rush, No Dawdle: The Secret Of Proper Timing

Q.) What does being fully unified with your experience mean to you? 
 
A.) To be aware of and appreciate life to the core..  to live in the moment, right now. 
 
It's really quite logical and simple.. the past is past and nothing can change it. The future is always in the future no matter what. Not even emotion can change that fact. 
 
Mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually I 'know', with and without words the truth about time and place. 
 
More specifically.. It means to be aware of my own domestication. To be aware of teachings and trainings I've been taught since birth; to be aware of whose approval I am seeking.. and surprisingly.. to [basically] be aware of language and the power of words (because whatever they mean to me may mean something different to anyone else and this can really add to our confusion in life); and why be aware of this? Because what we know and understand affects our values and beliefs and how we see and experience life. And even our our choices. 
 
When I am aware of all these things then I can choose to ignore or forget it all, otherwise I am living automatically, I am living by my domestication (I had no choice regarding how I was taught and trained, how I was domesticated).   I can live by spirit more fully, I am aware of who I really am, I can live by truths and not by [the] lies that make me miserable.  I live by what is real. 
 
Q.) Can you share a personal story of a time you got the feeling of the eternal present into your bones? 
 
A.) Yes; exploring the woods behind our house in summertime. Watching my cat hunt in the never ending twilight of the Arctic region. Watching the birds within their nesting territory as they fly back and fourth gathering food for their babies. Just sitting and watching for hours, or wandering around for hours at place and time with nothing but created Nature around me in their wordless influence upon me. THIS is what is REAL.. not manmade the chaos around me among other humans. 
 
Q.) What helps you avoid resisting the present?
 
A.) To take time and know.. to be aware. To quiet the mind and open my heart, and to reflect upon eternal truths.  

Hide full comment.

On Oct 30, 2018 sudha wrote:

 "The imminent unknown is not to be avoided, but embraced. Our resilience, our adaptability, is reliant upon us being completely sensitive to the moment, and understanding it as being a new, unique experience." 

 
This sentence is a great takeaway for me. Understanding and practicing it would make our lives so much more meaningful.


On Oct 30, 2018 Annie wrote:

 When I am immersed I lose my sense of my self in the experience of what's happening. Not thinking "oh this is happening to me" there is just this  "happening" which somehow merges this being here into the experience itself. Embodied, or "in my bones", for me means that direct experience doesn't require thinking about it or remembering, it's just awareness of being here beling alive.



On Oct 30, 2018 Patrick wrote:

 “Mindfulness” is simply being present to what is. Not necessarily an easy state of mind and body to reach especially in our highly distracted technological and secular age.  The truth of mindfulness is a perennial truth that contemplatives have known for centuries and tried to “practiced”.  It is the emptying of nothingness of Buddhism, the “centering down” of Christianity, and other “practices” among the religious.



On Oct 28, 2018 Jagdish P Dave wrote:

 To be one with we eperience, to live in the present moment without getting distraced by the thouhts of the future or the past is the key to living fully, joyfully and happily. This is the art of living. When I  take walks in nature, I feel a deep sense of oneness with soft wind caressing me, birds chrping and the stream flowwing.I feel this sense of oneness when I meditate. A shift takes place spontaneously from the doing zone to the being zone where the distiction between expereince and experiencer fades away. When my mind gets distracted, breath awreness helps me to be centered and present.

Sadly, we are bombarded with many more distractions than before. These distractions take us away from nature, from the people we love and from our own selves.  We are losing the most precious gift of living fully in the present moment.

Namaste!
Jagdish P Dave







On Oct 27, 2018 david doane wrote:

 Being fully unified with my experience means to me to be one with it, not distracted or attempting to multitask, but together with it, integrated, self-harmonious.  I've had the feeling of the eternal present in union with an other and in union with nature.  Moments of being fully in the present are glorious, sometimes ecstatic, and eternal.  When I avoid resisting the present, what helps me is knowing that the present is where the fullness of life is, and I want and hunger for that fullness of life, so I'm open to it.  I don't want constructs of life, I want life, and the present is where life is.