Saturday, August 8, 2009

Present Moment Liberation

by Ron Porter

Personal preferences are so diverse. I recently realized that one of my personal preferences is new food. Actually, I can not call it a preference. If it is, fine; if not, that’s fine too. But new food is something I enjoy. By new food I mean, not something I’ve never tried before, but food I bought at one of the local fruit stands, grocery store, or farmer’s market. Many years ago my diet was quite different. After returning home from grocery shopping, I used to enjoy cracking open a fresh box of Frosted Flakes and pouring over them a freshly opened carton of milk. More than the food, this was a statement to the world, an affirmation, a declaration that I am a guy and can shop for food! Ha!

Now I have come to understand that what I was enjoying was only a symptom of something that ran much deeper. I have seen this symptom in others as they look for the next fresh new thing to bring enjoyment. The something much greater is to see every moment of every day with a fresh new perspective, a perspective that isn’t personal, a perspective that knows that each and every moment is beautiful in its own way. This perspective is not filtered through the personal assumptions and past experiences that lead us so often to evaluate, examine, and criticize situations, others, and ourselves. You may have noticed this symptom of enjoying the present moment when you’re on vacation, visit small towns you’ve never seen before, explore a shopping mall for the first time, or gaze into the eyes of one you love. Everything is candy!

Not long ago my wife and I were driving north of San Francisco close to the coast. We got lost among the woods in the two lane twisted country roads. For a short time there were no other cars. We knew nothing too bad could happen; after all, we had our cell phones. Ha! Not knowing where we were or where we were going was in a very real way quite liberating. The undiscovered country invited us to come, to take a look, to get lost for a while. But be careful – this perspective is habit forming! It doesn’t take long until you find delight in the present moment, what ever it may be, continuously.

These days my diet has changed. I avoid many things, among them processed foods and dairy products. The peanut butter I eat has no additives. And the bread is baked locally with whole grains without processed flour. These are a couple of new foods I now enjoy, but this may change someday. Everything does. And that’s OK. Living in the present moment, living in the now, makes every moment enjoyable.

Charlie’s note: Ron had a “radical” transformation several years ago that continues to this day and is reflected in this essay. His transformation is discussed in the article Experiencing Enlightenment which contains another essay by Ron entitled “Who Accomplishes What?” Ron can be contacted at ron@leejen.com.

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