Being in the Now

Inspiring change from within

Focus on your one purpose

- Japanese motto

The Way of the Warrior

A Sense of Now

So often people get wrapped up in the past - through regret or guilt. Or they focus on the future - worrying about some distant scary possibility. Neither focus works. You can't change the past. And you can't create the future you want when your focus is on negative potential.

The only way you can create a life of joy, happiness and well-being is by staying in the now, being in the moment. Now. Not past, not future. The only potential you can efficiently create is based in the now of positive "feelings" which will evolve smoothly and completely into a future (which will be another now) that you can revel in.

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And yet so many have learned from childhood to belittle their existence with guilt and regret over an unchangeable past. Or when not wallowing in "what might have been," they are fearing what might be.

For just a moment, let's explore the concept of the Law of Attraction. This concept is simple: What you focus on in life is what you attract in your life. Let's put this into practical terms. When you look back with regret, sadness and guilt, the only possible experiences you can attract will be low self-esteem, helplessness, hopelessness and the immobility to determine a positive direction. If you worry about the future, what else will you draw into your life but failure, fear and more misery?

You are the creator of your existence. This simple statement bears repeating: YouÉareÉtheÉcreatorÉof your life!

So our meditation this week will focus on an exercise to develop a sense of the Now, right Now, in the minute Now.

You are going to place a clock or a watch with a second hand in your clear line of sight. Begin as usual with your now familiar steps of relaxation. Focus on your deep breathing until you are calm, relaxed, focused and ready to begin your meditation exercise.

Open your eyes and look at the end point of the second hand on the clock, following the movement with your eyes. There will probably be a tendency to tick off the seconds as an awareness of time - passing second-by-second, minute-by-minute. But if this is how you observe the second hand, do you understand that you are always focusing on the past, on how much time has passed, and on the future as you wonder, "How much longer do I need to do this?"

Your intention in doing this exercise is to quiet and calm your mind until you empty it of all thoughts. This is a difficult exercise; it is too easy in the quietness for the frisky monkey of your mind to start thinking, talking, wondering, and chattering. When this occurs, just gently pull your attention back to the point of the second hand, not observing by describing the second hand, "Hmmm, look how thin the point is; it seems to hesitate when it gets to the 9; how can I possible continue to watch this stupidÉ." But rather, the mind should be free of thoughts, value judgments and awareness of time passing. You may only succeed for moments at a time, but build on these little successes until you can watch the second hand without drifting away from this simple goal of seeing and not thinking.

When you have reached a level of in-the-now success, you will see each tick of the second hand as being your only awareness - now. No past, no future. And yet, how do you know how successful you are? Well, how many seconds pass before you drop back into the past or reach forward into the future? A successive 10 seconds is a good start. But yet the very act of counting seconds incorporates the past and future at the same time unless you watch each tick of the second hand in the now, releasing the past second, not looking ahead to the next second.

Difficult. Yes, but with practice you'll find yourself commanding your Now, building a positive foundation for your future. But first, master this Now. Let go of the past with each tick-tock. Avoid looking ahead to the next tick.

As Ram Dass said, Be here, now.

As you do, you gather your power, which is a strong foundation upon which to build your future the way you want it to be. Go forth - but stay here now, developing the strong personal feeling of being in the Now.

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Chesa Keane has taught meditation and self-help for more than 30 years. To learn more about Meditation tools and techniques and an introduction to a unique meditation tool, the TAO Totem, visit: .