If you think you are in the now, you are probably not

salamtak's picture

Average: 4.9 (9 votes)

There are only a very few people I ever met who were ever truly been in the now. Most of the people only think they are.

People who try to convince, who preach, who are restless, who are dogmatic, who are neurotic, who are avoiding meditation with an endless list of excuses, they have never been there even for a split of a moment.

When you taste it, all those common qualities are no more, even if you want to have them, it is too late.

It doesn't mean that those people try to cheat, they have simply never tasted the divinity of the now, they certainly came close. It is puzzling how rare are the cases of those who were indeed in the now given the free accessibility we have to it.

I also used to think for many years that I was abiding in the now when wishing to and then came the first explosion.

When you think you are in the now, you are not in the now anymore.

There are easy explanations for that but explanations and analysis are useless masturbation of the mind. Instead, if you manage to track this point in which the thinking starts, you are about to make it.

When you are observing and accepting whatever is with no effort, at some point you are on the verge of being present in the now. Then instantly there is awareness of the special quality of your state, the green is more green, the vision is more visible, everything is more beautiful and vivid, things are more, or to put it more accurately: things are less "less". At this very same point, the mind starts to think "hey, this is wonderful, hey I'm very present, hey, it looks I'm in the now, etc." - at this very point, you must be able to recognize it and observe the thinking process instead of identifying with it - do not try to stop the thinking but rather let it continue while you are consciously observing it.

If you managed to do this fast enough, you will be in the now and you will know it without needing the thinking process to affirm this.

kaput's picture

Thinking and now are mutually exclusive unless observed

Important to emphasis: the moment you are thinking you are in the now, you have pulled out of the now because you are thinking. You are now thinking about the now instead of being in the now.

This is what usually pulls us out of the now in the first cases we manage to taste this wonderful state.

The solution is to witness the thinking immediately when it emerges and not to identify with it - "there is a thinking that I'm in the now right now", "Nice" etc, - and return immediately to the being.

Good luck.

kaput | Thu, 07/30/2009 - 08:04
Phroggy's picture


I agree with what you say and your description is clear. There's a subtlety, which you touched on, that may be misinterpreted by mind. The mind cannot do anything, such as arresting the thoughts, preventing thought or feeling from arising or creating a focus in the 'now', since all such activities are mind in motion.

All that can be done is to notice (or as you say, observe), and in this noticing is the recognition of the obscuring nature of mind. Since ego is in the mind, to be fully present is to be without ego, and so there will be a spontaneous arising, which is ego fearing it's own demise. This must be noticed and it's destructive nature must be fully realized, and there must be the willingness to transcend this fear. The depth of this clarity is what leads to a relaxing of mind, and so what we seek is always clarity rather than control.

Phroggy | Thu, 07/30/2009 - 21:58
Omkaradatta's picture

So then...

So then, the thought "I am in the now", arising now, means that this thought *isn't* arising now?

One cannot get out of the now. Good luck to anyone who tries ;-).

Of course, imagination can be over-active, and avoidance can be in full swing, with an active and ongoing attempt to maintain a personal existence based on the known, the past.

This will likely "feel like" being out of the now.

But it isn't.

And if the attempt to maintain an imaginary personal existence ceases, it won't feel like it anymore either.


Omkaradatta | Thu, 07/30/2009 - 23:34
joy's picture

You misunderstand the point

You misunderstand the point. No one speaks about the physical reality or when things take place. This is trivial and has no significance importance, what counts is your transcendental conscious reality which governs where you really are. You are actually where your consciousness is.

The term being in the now refers to conscious being, aware of being in real time while being which is not thinking "I am in the now" while being but a sublime quality of consciousness that cannot be modeled in words but can be senses if you try it. Another popular term for that state is presence or being aware of being aware.

For example, when you think something and you are identified with the thought (rather than being aware of thinking the thought in the same time) your consciousness is pulled out from the now, your consciousness is now there and then according to the nature of the thought and in all senses and terms you are then and there (and actually your energy and astral body are then and there). Some give the example which is familiar to all of us of watching a movie and at some point being drawn into the movie in our conciouness as if we are not in the cinema hall anymore.

joy | Mon, 08/03/2009 - 13:57
Tao of Jonathon's picture

"you misunderstand the point"

Tao of Jonathon
I like what you have to say. "The Tao that can be named is not the Tao." from Tao Te Ching. To "THINK" is the problem. Often it is used to define/judge from linear mind. One is there when one does not need to think, define, need answers, etc.. To know/experience/being, is to "Passeth all understanding." "Being"....there are no words to define the undefinable. it is beyond linear human speech and thought.

Tao of Jonathon | Thu, 10/03/2013 - 19:22
santana's picture

You are where and when your consciousness is, not your body

You are where and when your consciousness is which is not necessarily where and when your body is, e.g. daydreaming. It's our identification with the body that is misleading.

santana | Mon, 08/03/2009 - 23:59
joy's picture

A strange sense of familiarity when being in the now

I have noticed something strange recently - when you mange to truly be in the now and this is not trivial as it may seem in the beginning, there is a strange strong sense of familiarity arising in every particle, instance and moment of your being.

At first I tried after pulling out from the concentrated state to investigate what was the reason for this peculiar sense of familiarity but failed to have a clue. At some point I managed to accidentally notice in a very remote evasive glance that actually the conscious being in the now happens a split second before it is experienced through the mind, as if the thinking process of the mind puts some delay to the awareness of reality. So that when you experience the happening through the filtering of the mind you have already experienced it before directly and unfiltered and so it feels familiar like a miniature continuous deja-vu.

joy | Mon, 08/03/2009 - 14:11
Phroggy's picture

If I understand what you're

If I understand what you're trying to say, I can identify. There is always a moment of 'pure perception' before mind rises up to identify, classify, think about what is being perceived. This moment IS the Now, but mind typically doesn't notice it because it only has interest in it's own interpretation of the perception.

The more often this moment can be noticed, the more likely mind will stop before it reaches out to take ownership of the perception. Mind cannot prevent itself from arising, awareness must do this by informing mind and altering it's spontaneous conditioning.

Phroggy | Mon, 08/03/2009 - 18:34
nathan's picture

Yes, familiarity

It took me a very long time to decipher this feeling of familiarity. I can connect to your explenation.

nathan | Thu, 08/06/2009 - 09:00
sisi's picture

Can you elaborate?

Interesting, I get glimpses sometimes that seem like what u describe.

sisi | Thu, 08/06/2009 - 09:02
superwoman's picture


You experience this very clearly when taking MDMA which indeed centers you in the here and now.

superwoman | Fri, 10/16/2009 - 11:53
RandomStu's picture

Already Appeared

"Now" is a name for what you're already perceiving and doing in this moment. You don't need to "make it" to the now, any more than someone in New York needs to travel to New York.


RandomStu | Tue, 10/20/2009 - 15:08
nathan's picture

Being not in the thoughts

No, now is not that, this is also thought and being in the now is not being where and when your thoughts are. When saying be in the here & now or be present it is meant that your consciousness, your attention will be in the here & now and not in the thoughts which are 99% in the past, future, somewhere else. The default pattern of our being is to live in our thoughts and so to get out of the automatic behavior and put your consciousness, your attention in the now takes a "making it" at least in the beginning.

nathan | Tue, 10/20/2009 - 17:45
RandomStu's picture

re: Being not in the thoughts

> The default pattern of our being
> is to live in our thoughts

How do you know what "the default pattern of our being" is? Maybe you just think you know?

Right now, what are you doing? Are you doing it in the past or future or somewhere else? If you're clinging to thoughts, then you can simply put down that thinking and attend to what you're doing.


RandomStu | Wed, 11/18/2009 - 23:31
nathan's picture

Look at humanity

Look around and you will know. Of course it is the default - default means that which you do when you don't mean consciously to do anything (e.g. "to put down thoughts" as you suggest). And indeed the unconscious automatic pattern of all is being in the thoughts in the past and in the future. Who is truly in the here and now?! This is the modus vivendi of all humans unfortunately.

Again, note that being present is not physically but mentally - that your consciousness, your attention, is here and now.

nathan | Wed, 11/18/2009 - 23:56
RandomStu's picture

re: Look at humanity

When you "look around you," you may see the reflection of your own thinking. If you're happy, then for you it may seem like everything around you, all of humanity, the whole world is happy. Likewise if you're angry or compassionate or depressed or whatever.

If you're holding onto ideas about the past and future, then you may project this out and imagine that everyone else all the time is doing the same thing. You may imagine that it's the default state of humanity to cling to memories and hopes... when it's really just something you happen to be doing at the moment.

Why not look at the situation in front of you just now? Why is it necessary to make ideas about all of humanity? If right now you're clinging to past memories or future hopes, who's job is it to stop clinging? Is it your job, or humanity's?


RandomStu | Thu, 11/19/2009 - 00:12
Tao of Jonathon's picture

"if you "THINK" you are not"

Tao of Jonathon
I find what you have to say to be interesting. "The Tao that can be named is not the Tao." from Tao Te Ching. To "THINK" is the problem. Often it is used to define/judge from linear mind. One is "there" when one does not need to think, define, need answers, etc.. To know/experience/being, does "Passeth all understanding." "Being"....there are no words to define the undefinable. it is beyond linear human speech and thought.

Tao of Jonathon | Thu, 10/03/2013 - 19:27