Monday, November 8, 2010

the intelligent now

This evening I was reading Breath by Breath: The Liberating Practice of Insight Meditation by Larry Rosenberg. I came across an inconspicuous little sentence that I really thought was profound. He wrote, "Each moment has its own intelligence."

How awesome is that!

That line is found in the middle of a paragraph about sticking to what is right in front of us in the moment, having respect for the task at hand. In this meditation he describes, it's returning to the breath, coming back to it as often as is necessary, no matter how many times the mind wanders off. But I think the idea can be applied to anything and any moment.

Each moment has its own wisdom. It - Life, Presence, Reality - knows what It is doing! That's one of my favorite things to remind myself of! It is unfolding in every moment of every day without our help, without our opinions, and certainly without our permission. It just carries on. And no matter how we resist, or how vehemently we argue with what is actually occurring in every single moment, it cannot and will not change - it's impossible. Not that the so-called future won't be different - of course, it will be - but in the moment, What Is, is.

I find something very beautiful and reassuring about this. It kind of lets us off the hook. We don't have to try and manage everything ourselves. We don't have to have all the answers. It cuts down on the stress when we realize it's not necessary to go poking around in an imaginary future trying to guardedly anticipate some scary unknown. Yes, we can plan; we can do our best to prepare. But It will arrive just as it's supposed to with its own intelligence, revealing to us what is needed in the moment.

It lets us know what's up - not the other way around.


  1. Yes, each moment does have its own intelligence. One reason I love blogging - it forces me to mine the moments for meaning in ways I might not otherwise do. Yes, that does involve some thinking into the future and can get away from me -- like after one of those moments I start writing blog posts in my head thereby not fully appreciating something totally awesome Alex has done or been in that moment, or missing how cool is the persistence of the squirrels outside my window or anything that unfolds in the moment and not inside my head. It is a delicate balance for sure.

  2. It really is! But just noticing that you're mentally off in the future is a big step, I think. Because when you do, you're that much more present.

  3. ooh ooh ooh, that is so good! what a satisfying phrase. I hope I remember that. would be such a great reminder ...
    thanks, jeff!