The Here and Now

Ever since the publication of Ram Dass’s “Be Here Now” in 1971, most everyone with a spiritual inclination has assumed that here and now are where and when we want to be as fully as possible.  It’s also true that these terms can be quite nuanced, even surprising.  Sam guided our reflections on this terrain this past Sunday, drawing on excerpts from a talk by Eugene Cash and a guided meditation by Tara Brach. 

“The Shock of the Now” by Eugene Cash at the SFIMC, 8-4-19

“Meditation:  Letting Go into Living Presence” by Tara Brach at the IMC of Washington DC, 5-5-21

Sam read the poem “This Shining Moment in the Now” by David Budbill

and the following excerpts from The Complete Tassajara Cookbook p. 365 by  Edward Espe Brown:

“Then I asked the Roshi if he had any advice for me as the cook.   His answer was straightforward and down to earth: ‘When you wash the rice, wash the rice;  when you cut the carrots, cut the carrots;  when you stir the soup, stir the soup’.

(later, referring to cooking) “Anyone can do this kind of work.   Whole worlds come alive.  Entering into activity you find the world appears vivid with spinach, lettuces, and black beans;  with cutting boards, baking pans, and sponges.    You let go of the imagined and hypothetical so that awareness can function in the world of things.  Where previously you may have hesitated or waited for the world to provide entertainment or solace, her you enter a world vibrant with the energy and devotion flowing out of your own being.   Food appears.”