The Here & Now Meditation
A Quick and Effective Way to
Mimi Khuc & Thanh-Trieu Nguyen
This booklet was created from the
full version of The Here & Now Meditation: A Quick and Effective Way to
Overcome Suffering published by Here & Now Publishing, Copyright © 2004
Mimi Khuc and Thanh-Trieu Nguyen, ISBN: 1-59526-232-
One: An Introduction to the Mind
and Its Accomplice: The Mind
The Workings of the
Mind’s Shoulds and Shouldn’ts
Mind’s Endless Past & Endless Future
Two: Our key: The H & N Meditation
Here & Now Concepts
the Here & Now
the Here & Now
One: Entering the Stillness
Anti-Aging & Stress Managing
Forces of Past Karma
of the Here & Now Meditation
Three: New Perspectives
Bondage of Criticism
Past and the Future
our Significant Other
Measure of Success and Failure
Better Than Yours
are We Here in This Life?
“All is One:” Woman and Child
Chapters in the Book Version
The book, The
Here & Now Meditation, started out as just a few pages outlining a
simple meditation technique. These pages eventually expanded into a small
booklet to help people find inner peace, happiness, and harmony in their
lives. That booklet was made available free of charge and was also offered as
an e-booklet on the internet in five languages: English, French, Spanish,
Dutch and Vietnamese. The book—an expanded form of the original booklet—was in
response to our readers’ requests for clarification on certain aspects of this
meditation practice. Included some of the new information we developed in the
book, This booklet here is the newly condensed version, and once again, is
available in various languages on our website free of charge.
The full book
has eight chapters — four of them have been adapted for this booklet. You will
find a brief description of the other four chapters at the end of the booklet.
To serve the
general population, we use only simple terms and concepts about meditation so
that we can reach the beginner everywhere. We will not be discussing
viewpoints of any par-ticular religion or school of thought. Throughout this
booklet, when we do make comparisons or evaluations, they will be based solely
on one merit—the effectiveness of a method in liberating a person from
things to keep in mind while you read:
This booklet combines Eastern and Western concepts in a way that may ask its
more traditional readers to consider new and different ideas. For all readers,
traditional and untraditional, please read with an open heart and a quiet
mind—a mind that does not respond to its need to analyze, argue, criticize, or
compare with available pre-conceptions and standpoints. And please read
slowly. The substance of this booklet resides not only in the written words
but also in the silence behind them. This booklet is meant to be read for both
the knowledge obtained through the mind and the wisdom found by the
Introduction To The Mind
following conversation took place during a counseling session between one of
our spiritual counselors and a young woman in her midthirties:
Hi, how may I help you?
Everything is going wrong. I need help. I need a stable job. I also need a
better place to stay... Right now, I share a room in someone’s basement. I
want my family to love me. My husband left me. I need a nice man... a nice
husband. My car keeps breaking down…
What you just said you need, I think is reasonable. I think everyone would
want the same… Do you know of anyone who has all these things?
Yes. Some of my friends.
And are they happy?
Do you think if you had all these things, you would be happy for good?
Maybe... Well, not really... Not for good.
If you don’t mind, I have a personal theory why. I may be wrong but let’s just
take a look at it. I think we come from a place where we are absolute love and
peace. Maybe that’s why we always feel needy and lacking now. To cope with
this lack, we cling on to the love of our parents, then siblings, then
friends, lovers, spouses, children… We keep feeling that lack so we try to
fill it with fame, power, status, wealth. Everything works for a little while,
but then that feeling of lack comes back. I don’t have the magic wand to give
you what you were asking, but I can show you how to truly fill that lack. Once
we do this, nothing else really matters. You have those things you asked
for—fine. You don’t have them—that’s fine, too. You are at peace with yourself
and with the world anyway...
separating from that place of completeness, we have created a secondary mind
that uses words. Our original mind is always wordless and quiet; all
perceptions are without interpretation, judgment, analysis, comparison, or
deduction. Everything just IS. The secondary mind is what you and I are using
right now. It rants endlessly about things that cause unhappiness. Once we
learn how to tame that mind, we can return to the state of our original mind.
We can transcend that feeling of lack permanently. Would you like to learn how?
And Its Accomplice: The Mind
Western culture, the word “suffering” is usually linked with traumatic life
events, pain, and sadness. Eastern cultures, influenced by Hinduism and
Buddhism, often view suffering as a basic building block of life—life is
suffering. The definition in this book lies somewhere in between. Suffering,
of course, refers to emotions such as sadness and pain. In this book, the
definition of suffering broadens to include any emotional state linked with
unhappiness. Our complete definition of suffering, then, is as follows:
emotion that is NOT happiness, love, and joy.
Examples: anger, jealousy, sadness, fear, hurt, anxiety, bitterness, sorrow,
grief, vengefulness, hate, contempt, loneliness, etc.
of being that is NOT peace, contentment, and harmony.
Examples: violence, neediness, confusion, nervousness, anxiety, withdrawal,
denial, lack, devastation, worry, depression, etc.
that is NOT of kindness, tolerance, and compassion.
Examples: controlling, judging, criticizing, insulting, attacking, abusing,
complaining, nagging, belittling, etc.
definition of suffering, it is clear that most of us suffer to some degree. To
solve this widespread problem, we first need to ask what causes our suffering.
Here are some reasons many of us list. I am unhappy because...
I don’t get
what I really want or need.
something bad to me.
not do something they should do for me.
happen the way I would like for them to happen.
I am in
constant fear of losing someone, or something.
I fail in
everything I set out to do.
There is no
meaning to life.
seem like reasonable life situations to cause unhappiness. But there are
people who are happy even with many of these situations! What is the
difference between them and us? The answer: The condition of the mind! One
mind is still and quiet while the other speaks, usually in complaint. Yet, has
it ever occurred to you that perhaps you are NOT your mind? When you want
peace and quiet, does that mind stop its noisy nagging? Doesn’t that mind
disregard your wishes most of the time?
The next time
you think any of the kinds of thoughts in the above list, try separating
yourself from your mind and tell it to “be quiet.” Hopefully, it will obey and
become quiet or change the subject. If it does obey at first, watch and see
how long before it sneaks back to the previous subject. It seems that, for
many of us, our minds are not completely under our control. This book is
written for those who have not yet mastered their minds.
in this book rest upon the awareness of the following two truths: First, the
principle source of almost all emotional misery and mental suffering is the
dysfunction of a very special and important mechanism of the human being: the
mind is just one of the many parts of the human being such as the heart, eyes,
and nose. This mind cannot be taken as the total self. We are not our minds
and our minds are not us. Therefore, we are not the mind’s reactions or
deductions that lead to the emotional states of sadness, pain, or anger.
will guide us on how to cure this dysfunction and how to recover the high
quality functions of our minds such as creativity, inventiveness, and
awareness. By the time you finish reading this book, you will be equipped with
an understanding of the workings of that mind as well as the skills to deal
Of The Mind
problem with the mind is its imprecision. The “knowledge” of the ordinary mind
is “inexact.” Below are two examples of inexact conclusions made by the mind:
Your eyes see that you have sown a seed. Then, your eyes see a tree growing in
that place. Your mind then concludes, “I have planted this tree,” and it may
jump further to claim, “That tree is mine.” In actuality, the eyes saw only
two facts: The first is your hands have placed a seed into the soil, and the
second is a tree grew in that place. Knowing only those two facts, the mind
then draws the conclusion that the second phenomenon (the tree) is the result
of the first one (sowing the seed).
incorrectness, or inexactness, is that the eye did not see other factors
involved such as soil, water, air, sunlight, minerals, fertilizers, etc.
However, it would be equally inexact to conclude the other way: “This seed was
sown by me—plus, thanks to the soil, water, sunlight, etc., it grew into a
tree.” Why is it still inexact?? Because the eyes actually saw only the sowing
of a seed and the existence of a tree. It is the mind that pulls out stored
knowledge from its memory bank (i.e. soil, water, sunlight...) and applies
such knowledge to the phenomenon that the eyes saw (i.e. sowing of a seed and
a growing tree). It then draws the conclusion. However, it is totally possible
that the tree seen by the eyes could have grown from another seed planted by
another person. Or there could be a thousand other factors involved. So, when
we see “A” and then “B,” it is not certain that “B” is the consequence of “A.”
Hence, the True mind is one that knows “A” as “A” and “B” as “B” without
Nine months after a couple has sexual intercourse, a tiny human being is born.
The mind concludes, “This litle human was made by me and is my offspring. He
belongs to me.” The mind draws this conclusion even though it does not know if
there may be other forces and reasons that may bring this being into life.
examples, even if the mind had drawn a different conclusion using its stored
knowledge, it would most likely still be inaccurate because the mind is always
limited in its “knowing.” Using limited observations, the mind habitually
deduces, reasons and fills in the gaps in knowledge with its stored, old
A pure, true,
and exact mind receives information without adding or deducing anything; it is
one of Stillness. Then, when the need for interpretation and reasoning arises,
the True mind performs such tasks in this Stillness without judgment and
erroneous deduction—and at the same time, the True mind is aware that it is
reasoning and interpreting. It is also aware that there is always room for
whenever the mind draws a “conclusion,” be aware of the process it is using.
What are the correct mind processes? They are the processes used when the mind
is operating in perfect Stillness. They occur without judgment, criticism,
suggestions, or deduction. They are only peaceful observations and
suffering worsen when that imprecise mind decides to use its inaccurate
knowledge to make judgment. In the examples below, we see how the mind works:
it searches its memory bank and then applies old opinions and values to new
observations. And if the world around a person does not comply with its
expectations and interpretation, the mind becomes agitated. It may nag or even
examples below, we see how the mind can take information from our senses and
apply its expectations and judgments to cause us irritation.
~ Sight: “I believe we should live in neat, orderly and clean
surroundings. When I see clothes on the floor, dirty dishes, and clutter, I
feel very uncomfortable. I don’t like messy people. They should live cleaner,
~ Hearing: “I really dislike loud, disturbing noise. I am especially
irritated when people make noise carelessly and inconsiderately. I am offended
by people who slam doors, talk loudly on their cell phones, or talk during
~ Taste: “I am very picky when it comes to food. In fact, I would
rather go hungry than eat unappetizing meals. I get upset if a dish is not up
to my standards in taste and aroma.”
Our mind also makes more sophisticated judgments based on its
observations. Some common preconceptions that the mind uses to distort
incoming information include preconceptions about relationships, value, roles,
~ Value: “If I wear this outfit, people will laugh at me (for being
tacky, having no taste, being poor), or they will compliment me (for being
classy, beautiful, fashionable). When I look at people and see the way they
dress, the cars they drive, I immediately know their worth.” Here, the mind
defines value and meaning through appearance. The mind pays great attention to
compliments and criticisms from others. Thus, the mind will be greatly
distressed if there are no available means to provide the proper status
symbols for the self or family.
~ Identity: “I lost my job and all my money. I am a complete failure.”
The above faulty thinking processes of this mind could lead us into believing
that we are the direct and sole cause of all life phenomena and things that
represent success and failure. For example, the mind should only see a fortune
as just “a fortune” instead of “a fortune that I’ve created” or “a fortune
that I’ve lost.” This correct perception will enable us to overcome the
suffering related to success and failure, loss and gain, honor and disgrace,
and to liberate ourselves from the everbinding illusions, “I am in control of
all things in my life,” and “I am what I own and what I achieve.”
~ Relationships and social roles: “Although my father (or mother,
sibling, friend, spouse, child, niece, nephew) is related and/or close to me,
when I encountered difficulties and needed help, s/he did not help me like
s/he should have.” Here, the mind defines family and close relationships as
linked with certain responsibilities. If these responsibilities aren’t
fulfilled, the mind judges and blames.
“Children should obey and be dutiful to their parents.” “Parents should give
love equally, foster and care for their children until they are solidly
successful.” The roles of child and parent are heavily linked with certain
responsibilities and expectations in the mind. These expectations can be
carried out to extremes without awareness at all. For example, in an actual
case we know, a mother expected her daughter to prostitute herself to support
the mother’s gambling habit.
“In a family, women are responsible for homemaking and the care of their
husband and children. Men are responsible for finances, and material comfort.”
If a person falls short of his/her expected role, both the person and others
around the person will suffer the mind’s nagging, judging, and blaming.
With respect to the mind, relationships are the most troublesome aspect
in our lives. New perspectives can help lessen our problems. For example, we
should see our spouse as follows: “This is a human being, who prior to meeting
me, has already lived in this world for decades, owns a complete set of
personal concepts already misled by his/her own mind, and whose body and soul
are completely independent of me.” Has it ever occurred to you that this
person may exist in this world for other purposes besides being your spouse?
This perspective will help the mind accept and respect others around us; it
will no longer require others to give up their own “knowledge” and
values—misled or not—for our misled knowledge.
Endless Past And Endless Future
often doesn’t need observations to keep itself occupied. It has the past and
the future to think about. A major source of our suffering comes from the
mind’s incessant remembering and reliving, and worrying and fantasizing. We
often miss out on the experiences of the present because the mind takes pains
and regrets from the past and relives them like a broken record. We also live
a part of our time in the future by worrying, planning, and fantasizing
excessively. The mind obsesses about these events that are actually from a
different time and makes us live them during the present.
here is how the mind, through dysfunctional processes, creates our suffering.
It is busily
repeating thoughts and experiences from the past.
in worries, fears, and dreams of the future.
us with its adamant application of opinions and views created by societies,
regardless of reason or logic.
analyzes, insults, argues, and builds images and emotions of violence, hatred,
It can even
bring illness and pain to the physical body through its continuous
transmission of damaging, chaotic thoughts to the cells.
When a man
mumbles and talks to himself all day, we say he’s mentally ill. We fail to
notice that all of us also talk to ourselves endlessly all day and all
night—except we do it quietly in our heads. This is a serious chronic problem,
but because everyone is affected, we think it is “normal.” So instead of us
being the “owners” who operate and control the mind, in reality, that mind
endlessly runs and controls us. As long as we are unable to turn off that mind
when necessary, we are not beyond suffering.
It is not our
goal here to forget the past or to not plan for the future. Nor is it to have
no opinions or viewpoints. The problem with the processes in the above list is
that they happen automatically and habitually. When we say we want to turn off
the mind, we mean that we want to regain control of its processes. We want to
turn off its autopilot. The goal then is to be able to have a choice over
these very processes and applications—we want to be able to choose when to
apply an opinion or prior knowledge, or when to reminisce of the past, or when
to build images and emotions within ourselves.
mind is not a disaster for mankind. On the contrary—it is an extremely
valuable mechanism IF we know how to use it. Once we become owners of our own
minds, we can cultivate its positive qualities such as creativity and
suffering requires three things: an understanding of the mind and its habits;
a method to tame that mind; and, most importantly, a cultivated awareness of
our selves and our relationships with others. We have already presented an
introduction to the mind’s processes; in the next chapter, we would like to
present a simple method that can be used to cultivate the necessary awareness.
This method is only one of countless meditation methods in the world—but we
have found it to be one of the simplest and most effective for our goals.
Here, we present it for those who have not yet found a useful tool in their
search for lasting happiness.
Our Key: The
Here & Now Meditation
key to eliminating suffering is a simple technique that enables us to liberate
ourselves by turning off the mind. This key is especially geared towards
inexperienced practitioners of meditation. Anyone can practice it easily at
any place and any time—even while sitting comfortably in a chair, lying down,
standing, walking, or working.
Here & Now meditation neither requires us to leave the normal life of the
material and social world nor expects us to abandon loved ones for solitary
contemplation for any length of time. Furthermore, it does not belong to any
religion. Anyone can use it.
Meditation has been in existence for many thousands of years ever since people
learned how to be quiet both in words and in thoughts. This quietness has
helped reenergize the body and bring about true and complete rest to the mind.
the framework of this book, we shall focus on eliminating unhappiness for
ourselves and on preventing us from hurting others again. After the true root
of unhappiness is dealt with successfully, you will find that true lasting
peace and happiness shall be yours to keep.
Basic Here &
very first goal of many meditations is to quiet, or still, the thinking mind.
Normally, if we were to focus our attention on something, the thinking mind
would be the one directing this action. This thinking mind leads and directs
nearly all of our daily actions and thoughts. Some meditation techniques use
it to manipulate itself into quietness. Others also resort to “mindful”
methods where one uses this thinking mind to stay aware of the senses,
thoughts, and actions such as eating, chewing, walking, thinking certain
Here & Now technique, however, does not attempt to “wrestle” with that mind.
At the beginner level, the thinking mind is sitting at a designated place,
unthinking and unfocused during meditation. The mind and body get to rest
deeply and thus experience profound peace and tranquility. As one becomes more
proficient, this state of being will free the mind from its own habits of
endless chatter. At higher levels, the True mind carries out normal daily
activities while constantly keeping an awareness on or connectedness with the
inner Stillness. In addition, the method includes a means to continue practice
even while you are asleep so that you can reach the subconscious mind.
what exactly is “Here & Now”? It means literally being “here” and “now.” It
results from keeping the mind where the body is and from the absence of
thought while in a heightened state of awareness. In this state, the mind
stands still, unthinking—not darting to the past, jumping to the future, or
analyzing and drawing inaccurate conclusions. “Mind” and “body” become One,
uniting the physical body with its inherent inner Stillness; a state that
transcends time and space.
put, if we can keep our minds quiet when not in use, we are already way ahead
of the game. Then, if we can keep our minds quiet even when we use it and when
we are asleep, we are at a much higher state of mind that no longer suffers
needlessly. With this Here & Now method, most people can enjoy great
improvement in their emotional and mental wellbeing within a few days. You do
not even need to believe in the method for it to work. All you have to do is
try it and put in sincere effort.
summarize from the previous chapter, emotions generally develop in these ways:
opinions, feelings, and past interactions stored in the memory bank.
interpretations made by the mind through the five physical senses.
of events that have occurred in the past or that may occur in the future.
beliefs, and expectations applied by the mind to life events and other people.
are the ways in which we can address these:
the mind’s automatic use of certain old knowledge, we can be “present” using
the Here & Now meditation. When we find ourselves reliving a certain past
painful event or feeling, we need to make ourselves “present” by using the
Here & Now method to enter the state of Stillness, keeping the mind quiet for
at least one minute. Then, afterwards, in that state of inner Stillness, we
can observe the event or feeling without reliving it. We can think of a memory
while simultaneously never disconnecting from the present and the present’s
minimize the bind between the mind and the senses by using the Here & Now
meditation. You need to do this if, for example, your eyes see a rose, and
then the mind hurriedly darts back to the past and pulls up hurtful images and
memories related to a certain rose of the past. In cases like this, take a
slow deep breath, enter the inner Stillness using the Here & Now meditation,
and listen in that state of being. You will be able to calm down that edgy and
overactive mind quickly.
stop the mind from living in the past and future, we also need to deal with
the mind’s control over the imagination. The mind has a special ability. It
can “see” pictures and “hear” sounds without using the senses. It even creates
feelings, tastes, and smells by itself and stimulates mental and physical
reactions. For example, when the mind imagines a lemon being squeezed into the
mouth, saliva glands automatically respond. This special ability, however, is
a doublededge blade that can bring both sadness and happiness. Our imagination
can be creative and innovative causing us to create art and inventions. But it
can also paint fantasies from the past or future that cause us suffering.
we need to interrupt a useless or negative session of the imagination, we can
take a slow deep breath and enter into the Here & Now inner Stillness. Once in
the Stillness, the mind will immediately stop its imagining process. This
technique is especially helpful in preventing the imagination from getting out
of control and bringing harm to us or those around us.
change the mind’s expectations and judgments, we may need to explore new
perspectives on life events. Chapter Three contains examples of new
perspectives that can help us cultivate awareness and perhaps change the way
the mind habitually applies its opinions and expectations to ourselves and the
people around us.
The Here & Now
final goal of this meditation technique is for us to be able to remain in the
state of inner Stillness at all times, whether we are sitting, standing, or
walking, and whether we are awake or asleep. There are typically four stages
to reach that goal:
In this stage, through a conscious effort, we can interrupt the flow of
thought during what we call a “sitting meditation.” We can also experience
Stillness, inner peace, and the resting and clarity of the mind during
Here, when we are not in sitting meditation and while carrying out our normal
daily activities, we can experience the presence of Stillness quite
frequently. We experience this both naturally and by the conscious effort of
doing one minute meditation throughout the day.
In this stage, the mind has become quite docile, less chaotic, and more
manageable. Through practice, we can calmly face real life situations, be
aware of our mind’s drives and habits, and step out of emotional turmoil as we
maintain Stillness throughout.
In this fourth stage, we and our minds are in a natural state of oneness
without struggles or chaos. Here, we live our lives with an everpresent inner
peace and connection with that inner Stillness. The mind no longer
automatically analyzes, judges, reacts, draw conclusions, or nags as it used
believed that the most enlightened sages stay in this state of Stillness
practitioners of other disciplines:
Practitioners of the Chakra System and other energy systems: When practicing
the Here & Now meditation, because the initial goals of the Here & Now method
are Stillness and the complete absence of thought, you will need to relax all
the muscles on the forehead and around the eyes to avoid concentrating at the
eyebrows and forehead, especially at the location of the “Third Eye” chakra,
or Chakra 6 to some.
are used to feeling energy movements, frequencies, or vibrations or having
visions during meditation, please ignore them because the essence of Here &
Now is the Stillness behind all of them. You should keep the mind completely
still, without expecting anything—not expecting even the experience of
Stillness itself because the act of expecting also hinders our experiencing
Practitioners of traditional meditations: Traditional meditations often
emphasize complete wakefulness. The Here & Now method emphasizes complete
inaction which includes not struggling to stay alert. The ideal initial depth
of meditation in the first stage is the state of being half-awake and
half-asleep: between the two states of being asleep and awake.
Entering The Stillness
Please note that three levels have been designed for the sole purpose of
practical training. They do not indicate levels of spiritual achievement, only
different applications of the meditation technique. Begin with Level One. Only
advance to the next level after mastering the previous techniques. However, do
not feel pressure to advance—many people comfortably and effectively use the
first- or second-level techniques even after mastering all three levels. Just
find a comfortable one for yourself.
explains the basic way to quiet the mind and enter Stillness, opens the heart
to compassion, and teaches techniques for self-healing, anti-aging and stress
teaches how to deepen the state of Stillness. It also contains advanced
exercises to practice sustaining Stillness during everyday activities and to
neutralize negative emotions. (See the book, The Here & Now Meditation.)
consists of methods of spiritual cultivation using the Here & Now meditation.
While we call
the daily meditation a “sitting meditation,” remember that this meditation
technique may be practiced at any time, any place, and in any posture. Just
make sure you are as comfortable and relaxed as possible.
Inhale slowly through your nose. As you slowly exhale through the mouth, feel
as if a wave is sweeping from head to toe to relax your entire body. You can
keep your eyes open or closed. If open, they should be gazing but neither
focusing nor concentrating on any object.
Tell the mind, “The body is here,” knowing the mind’s arrival at the heart
area of your chest. Let go of yourself and relax with the mind unthinking and
unfocused. Especially relax the muscles around the eyes and forehead whether
the eyes are open or closed. Every so often, vaguely know that the mind is
sitting quietly at the heart area.
If the mind
starts wandering away or thinking, just quietly remind it, “The body is here,”
and settle it again at the same location. Then immediately let go of thoughts
and relax your body and mind again.
that unthinking and unfocused state for a minimum of one minute and maximum of
30 minutes. New practitioners should not meditate longer than 30 minutes at
first. After about a month, you can go as long as comfortable.
To end the sitting meditation, take a slow deep breath. As you slowly exhale,
open and focus your eyes fully. Stretch your body if desired as you end the
If you wish to continue the session with some other methods of contemplation,
then after fully refocusing, sustain the Stillness while in the normal state
of wakefulness. Quietly gaze at or observe the surfacing images and passing
thoughts without analyzing or reasoning. This practice can be performed for as
long as desired.
If your goal in meditation is developing your “higher Mind,” we advise that
you work with a teacher who is accomplished in this area to guide you
personally. The regular mind can be easily mistaken for the “higher Mind.”
first, we transcend suffering when we reach Stillness during the sitting
meditation. Next, we integrate this Stillness into our everyday activities.
Then, in the sleeping meditation, we attempt to deal with another part of our
mind: our subconscious. For us to no longer suffer even in our dreams, we
guide both the subconscious and our thinking mind to dwell in the Stillness
even during sleep. This allows us to wake up each day feeling fresh and at
peace with ourselves and our world because it prevents the mind from
continuing its habits at night.
technique is as follows: whenever you feel drowsy and are about to fall
asleep, tell your thinking mind and your subconscious, “Take refuge in the
Stillness during sleep.” Then, let go of all thoughts and muscles, and fall
into a peaceful sleep.
Stillness During Meditation
meditating person in deep Stillness will show the following signs: The body is
not swaying, the limbs are still, and the head does not nod or move. The
person’s face appears peaceful without any tenseness. Breathing becomes
extremely light. With Stillness, even in long meditation sessions, limbs and
back should have no aches or pains. In addition, perceptions of time and space
can be slightly distorted. For example, upon opening the eyes after
meditation, a person may inaccurately estimate the length of time under
meditation, or a person may feel slightly disoriented. Another indication of
Stillness is feeling physically refreshed and mentally peaceful after a
Here & Now meditation may be practiced as often as desired throughout your
day. For effectiveness, we suggest at least one 10- to 30-minute long sitting
session and three short sessions of one minute each during daily activities.
If your mind is very active, often darting to different times and places,
practice more often and for longer periods. Then when you are ready to fall
asleep, whether taking a nap, going to bed, or returning to sleep after waking
up during the night, do the sleeping meditation steps.
Remember that our main goal is to live in the present, be in full awareness of
our mind’s processes, be in control of our thoughts, emotions, actions and
realities, and maintain Stillness and equanimity through life’s tribulations.
Thus, after you have learned to achieve Stillness, silently keep in touch with
it as frequently as possible. Again, frequent one-minute pauses in Stillness
throughout your day will be incredibly helpful.
Anti-Aging & Stress Managing
After a few minutes of regular meditation, tell your mind to rest at the
ailing locations and then promptly let go of your thoughts and re-enter the
Stillness for 1 to 30 minutes. (If the illness is in wholebody systems such as
the circulatory, lymphatic, nervous, etc., then place the mind at the top of
the head instead.)
Stress Control and Anti-Aging:
Every day, do
at least 15 minutes for the Here & Now sitting meditation.
1-minute Stillness throughout the day to prevent stress build-up.
Each time you
are about to fall asleep, take a slow, deep breath, relax, and tell your mind
and your subconscious to dwell in the Stillness during sleep.
negative thoughts or feelings arise, take a slow, deep breath and enter the
Stillness for at least 30 seconds.
forget to take pictures of your face to see the before & after affects.
Forces of Past Karma
people believe that the sources of old information are not necessarily
contained within this single lifetime, but rather, from many previous
lifetimes. In this case, perhaps you will find the following instructions
relevant to your goals. But if you don’t believe in past life, simply ignore
neutralize forces from past lives, it is necessary to view existing suffering
(illness, painful relationships, painful events, etc.) as the results of some
of our past actions. In such case, one needs to sincerely feel remorseful—even
though we may not remember or know of those past actions. We then silently
apologize to those who have suffered due to our past intentional or
daily lives, there are times when we suffer from people who, without apparent
reason, seem to persistently make life difficult for us, i.e. angrily arguing,
fighting, taking our money, damaging our property, etc. To understand this
karmically, we assume that at some time in the past, we had done the same
things to them. Put ourselves in their position in that past and open our
hearts so that we can understand their plight. Then, in deep Stillness, we
sincerely regret and silently apologize to them. Immediately afterwards, enter
the Stillness for at least 30 minutes. The deeper the Stillness and the more
complete the silence of the mind, the greater the results.
of The Here & Now Meditation
Here & Now meditation method has several very important qualities especially
in comparison with other methods:
~Non Struggle: This method begins with not struggling with the noisy
mind and ends with a completely non-struggling state within and without our
~Stillness Versus Watchful Awareness: In this method, our awareness is
sustained through peaceful observation and Stillness, not through intense
watching as in many other disciplines. Yet, the method is completely
compatible with all other traditions and even with a secular, non-religious
~Time and Effectiveness: If practiced correctly, one can experience
this life-changing Stillness within a few days—some have even experienced it
within minutes. Practitioners usually can integrate the Stillness into daily
life within a few weeks. These are very short times compared to the months or
even years that many meditation methods require.
~Simplicity: The Here & Now method is one of the simplest and easiest
methods to learn, requiring very little time and education, no expenses, and
no instructors. The method is also very easy to teach—once mastered, one can
easily show others how to practice within moments.
~Compatibility: The Here & Now meditation is neutral and
complementary—it is compatible with all other spiritual and religious
traditions. It is even compatible with a secular, non-religious life. The
meditation helps bring about clarity in both mind and spirit, allowing you the
freedom to follow any path you choose and often even helping you proceed along
those paths. Lasting happiness is a human goal that belongs to no single
tradition and to all people everywhere.
~Compassion and World Peace: Beside providing inner peace, this Here &
Now key also helps us develop compassion and loving-kindness. We can build
world peace only after we have achieved compassion and inner peace for
this chapter, we present perspectives that we feel are useful in alleviating
suffering. These stories are not meant to be strict guidelines, rules, or even
instructions. Again, the main goal of this book is to help you find paths to
lasting happiness. Unless you feel it will help you personally, you do not
need to change your life perspectives in any way. Because we and many of our
practitioners have found some of these stories and ideas helpful, we decided
to share them with you and let you choose among them those that resonate with
of the ideas below deal with the mind, its opinions, and its insistence in
applying its views on others. This is because this aspect of the mind can be
the most confining part of our lives, causing suffering in the forms of anger,
hurt, frustration, outrage, self-righteousness, and more. As we grow up, our
minds accumulate opinions, views, and beliefs from our parents and others
around us. These views are not inherently harmful—many of them are good,
teaching virtues such as kindness and generosity. What changes these opinions
into things harmful to us and others is the mind’s insistence that others must
believe as we do and others must behave as we think they should.
we interact with people, objects, and situations, we often come upon things
that contradict our minds’ views of how things should be. Our minds become
uncomfortable because that man should be more decent, that woman should be a
better mother, my daughter should be respectful, my son should call me. In
coming in contact with other beings and objects, our minds immediately analyze
and judge using its longstored opinions, often even demanding the people and
situations around us to adjust themselves accordingly. He shouldn’t have been
late—he should be more prompt. It wasn’t supposed to rain today. There isn’t
supposed to be traffic at this time. These thoughts run through our minds
constantly, leaving in their wake continual suffering.
our first step is to end in our mind the demand that others must comply to our
minds’ points of view, especially the points that we and the majority of
people believe to be good and correct. Our minds need to understand that if we
have the right to have our own opinions, so do others, so long as these
opinions do not lead to harm to the community or society. Instead of imposing
our opinions on other people and on life situations, we apply our opinions
only to ourselves. This is a necessary beginning step in the construction of
second step is to sort through all our minds’ opinions—which now only apply to
ourselves—and make decisions about which opinions are useful and which are
useless in our path to happiness. We may find that many of these opinions are
restrictive even though we no longer apply them to others. These opinions are
restrictive on ourselves. Find the views that cause you unhappiness, such as
certain expectations of yourself, and choose to change them. Once you’ve
identified them, you can begin working on changing them through the Here & Now
meditation (see italicized text below).
following selected perspectives may help you identify views within your-self
that you would like to change. Again, these stories have been chosen on one
merit: the ability to liberate us from suffering. Thus, any view that still
holds us in bondage, that still restricts us, including those well-established
in traditional value systems will not be discussed. We will not assert whether
something is right or wrong, or good or bad. We offer only what we have found
to be useful.
If you wish to change any of your perspectives or adopt new ones, do the
following before meditating the Here & Now: repeat once to yourself the main
point of that perspective, then put it out of your mind, and immediately enter
the Here & Now meditation. The deeper the Stillness, the more effective this
method will be.
day, my mother scolded me unjustly. It hurt me and made me cry. Every time I
tell someone about it, I feel hurt again and cry again. In fact, when no one
is around for me to tell it to, I remember it and even relive it. I relive the
memory, the words and the feelings, and then I end up crying as if it is
happening again. After two weeks, I have managed to relive the pain and cry 18
times total! If this thought pattern remains with me, if my mind keeps doing
this, who knows how many more times I will hurt and cry—when in reality, my
mother scolded me only once.”
their younger days, her husband had an affair, but afterwards, he regretted it
and became a good, faithful, and loving husband. However, her mind kept
recalling the old story, and she continued to feel hurt. She would remember
the hurt, and she cried all through the forty years of marriage no matter what
he did to comfort her. Her mind could not let go of those memories of hurt,
and even after his death, it would not relent. Now, the memories of the affair
still surface whenever she visits his grave.
words “must” and “should” may be necessary in life if we want to maintain
reasonable peace and order in societies and communities. But what if our mind
is burdened with these two words endlessly, day and night? “A husband must be
responsible, children must…, I must…, you must…, they must…, we must…, God
must…” “You should do it this way…, I should…, she should…”
the span of a single day, I purposely counted how many times my mind used the
words “must” and “should,” and discovered the exact extent of how much I still
hold myself and others in bondage. I also discovered that these ideas,
opinions, and points of view are not truly mine but rather were imposed upon
me by my parents and by society. I in turn impose them automatically upon
others, especially my offspring. So as I unthinkingly pass on restrictive and
useless opinions and views, I may create further bondage for generations.”
meditation student complains to the master about a friend. “Master, all day he
tells me what I “must” and “should” do, and I feel annoyed and frustrated. How
do I solve this?” The master answers gently: “Have you noticed how you want to
argue or defend yourself to him? Know that his use of words like “must” and
“should,” especially when they have the subtle meaning that something is wrong
with you, is a form of violence. He is unconsciously attacking you. But your
need to defend and explain yourself is also a form of violence—it is violence
within yourself, within your mind. Your mind attacks and resents him. We can
only find true inner peace when we no longer feel that dire need to explain,
defend, argue, or even wonder…”
I want something I can’t have or when I want others to do something and my
wishes are unmet, I suffer—I feel frustrated, angry, disappointed. My mind
complains constantly about these unfulfilled wishes and demands.” If you
experience these feelings, then ask yourself this: “Do I want it, or do I need
it?” If the answer seems to be need, then ask further: “If I don’t get my
wish, does it kill me?” If it actually harms you, then it is need. However, if
it doesn’t, it is want. And if it’s want—if you don’t really need it—perhaps
you would not suffer if you chose to no longer want it.
feel upset and hurt when someone has a wrong or negative opinion about us. To
deal with this, we should understand three things.
hurt because the mind wants to change that person’s opinion about us. It is
this want that causes our hurt—not necessaritly the opinion itself. We are
upset because our minds want the person to think something else, to have a
different opinion about us. And we suffer because of the mind’s need to defend
their opinions from their minds’ general background: their mind’s beliefs,
values, and standards. And unless new information has been added, it actually
would have been difficult for the mind to have formed the opinion differently.
So it’s pretty safe to conclude that people mean no malice; the mind just
could not help it.
3—There is no
need to change that opinion. To deal with our suffering—our anger, hurt,
frustration, outrage—we need only to deal with our mind’s need and desire to
change that opinion. Once the mind no longer feels this need, the opinion will
no longer bother us.
while criticism from others is hurtful, criticism of ourselves from our own
minds is likely more traumatic and damaging. The mind can torture us for our
entire lives by frequently bringing up the memories of weaknesses and mistakes
of the past. We must forgive ourselves and move on so we can live in peace.
Without compassion for ourselves, we can’t truly have compassion for others.
we have understood the relationship between criticism and the mind, we can use
the Here & Now meditation to neutralize our negative emotions. Understanding
is done in the mind, but true understanding and experience must be done in our
heart where it is wordless.
The Past And
ago, I lived in poverty. We had no food. We didn’t eat regularly. Now, we are
comfortable and have more than enough food. But I still remember the feeling
of hunger and I fear it. Even now, when I sit in front of a lavish meal, I
remember when we had no food, and I worry that something might happen in the
future—I worry that someday this food won’t be here anymore. I worry so much
about those “what if’s” that when I try to eat, the food then tastes like
nothing at all.”
willing to sacrifice and put off my own wants to build a future for myself and
my family. I worked hard towards my goal. Now, I have achieved that ‘future.’
But I look back and realize that my children’s childhoods have long passed,
the youth of my spouse has been lost, and my health is no longer vibrant
enough to enjoy an active and passionate family life. The forgotten present
has long become the past…”
suffers over something that happened or did not happen in the past. He never
stops worrying about something that has not yet happened or that might happen
in the future. They seem to have forgotten about living in the present.
Perhaps she would no longer suffer if she realizes that she cannot go back
into the past to make changes—no matter how much the mind wants to. And he
would suffer less if he understands that the act of worrying does not
influence or change anything in the future—whether he worries or not, the
outcomes will be the same. Worrying itself does little to influence anything
or anyone—except it may cause suffering to the worrier.
our limited minds, we do not—and cannot—fully comprehend the reasons behind
things which we perceive as good and bad. Knowing how limited our minds are,
perhaps, we should hesitate and pause whenever our minds pass judgment so
quickly, easily, and often.
Judgment is the habit of an active mind that imposes its opinions, values, and
beliefs on the self and on others. Although morals and ethics are important
for social order, many judgments can be a form of violence attacking the
people being judged. And the person being judged can also be the self—as long
as the ability to pass judgment on others exists, so will the ability to pass
judgment on the self. Both these abilities are forms of bondage that lead to
suffering. The true mind does not judge—it only observes in silence and peace.
tried to live one whole day without allowing the mind to pass any judgments or
make any accusations. That’s when I realized that my mind judges and accuses
meditation student asks: Why does everyone hurt me and make me suffer—why does
no one bring me happiness? The master answers: No one is capable of causing
our suffering or bringing us happiness. We are the only ones who are capable
of doing such things to ourselves. It is not what happens to us but rather how
we react to what happens. Observe your mind and how it reacts.
woman asks her therapist for ways to change her husband to improve their
marriage. The therapist sadly replies: “I’m sorry, I don’t have this ability.
Many of us think that after we marry, we will gradually change our spouses. I
don’t think I have ever met a person who is truly capable of changing another
person. Here, I can only show people how to change themselves to find inner
night on the news, I watched a man waiting on death row. I knew he committed
crimes but as I looked deeply into his numb and staring eyes, I couldn’t help
wondering: If I were in his place, how would I feel right now?
meditation student asks, “I suffer so much from how others treat me. My loved
ones have hurt me, betrayed me, and disappointed me. How do I get rid of my
resentment and hatred?” The master answers, “Meditate and forgive all of
them.” A few days later, the student returns with success: “I have learned
forgiveness, master. Thank you.” The master answers: “You are not finished
yet. Meditate, open your heart, and love them.” A week later, the student
returns, again with success. But again, the master gives new instructions:
“Now, meditate and be appreciative and grateful. Without them and the roles
they played, you would not have had the opportunity for such personal growth.”
The student returns again, convinced that the lessons are finished. The
student proclaims, “I have learned to appreciate these people for giving me
the chance to learn forgiveness!” The master answers: “Then you should go and
meditate again. They have played their roles correctly and well—why is there
even a need for forgiveness?”
the pain-causing thoughts, the self-pitying ones can produce the strongest
pain. Justified or not, they can cause us to experience and reexperience pain:
“I am so unfortunate. How could that person say such horrible things to me?
Why doesn’t that person love me? God is so unfair to me! Everything goes wrong
in my life…”
person comes into our lives because s/he is meant to come—just as when s/he is
leaving, it is meant to be. One of the most painful experiences is when
someone we love leaves our lives. Another is when that person does not return
our love. But we must realize that the existence of love depends neither on
the other’s physical presence nor on the other’s feelings. We do not love
people because they are near nor because they love us in return. So why should
their absence or lack of love stop us from loving and experiencing the joy of
loving? The joy of loving has nothing to do with the pain of separation. To
feel pain from separation is to misidentify need for love—we do not suffer
because we love; we suffer because we need. Our minds reinforce these needs
and demands instead of allowing us to experience the joy of loving.
Relationships never really end. They only change in form. When a person leaves
our life, the relationship is not “over.” It only changes from “spouse” to
“notspouse,” or “close friend” to “not close friend.” We are always in some
kind of relation to everyone around us. We do not “lose” people—they are
always there, existing. What causes suffering is our mind’s desire to have a
specific kind, or form, of relationship. It does not like changes. This
applies even to death—we want that person to “be alive,” a particular state of
being and kind of relationship to us. Perhaps it would help to know that even
in death, we are still in relation to that person, if not through souls and
spirits, then through our memories and the relationship we have with that
person in our memory and the love we shared.
Of Success And Failure
do we define as success and failure? When we work hard and achieve security,
wealth, family, independence, a career, we think to ourselves, “I am
successful—I am Success.” Then when we lose these things, we think, “I have
failed—I am Failure.” But the things we use to define success are impermanent,
things that come and go in our lifetime. So why do we make these the measure,
the standard, of our worth, of our life’s successes and failures, and then
suffer because of this measure?
“I was born and raised in a particular religious faith. As an adult, I felt
the need to search further, beyond what I felt as the limits of that faith. My
family is very upset about this, and I had to move out to ease the pressure
for everyone. However, I am still very troubled—I don’t feel free from it.
What should I do?”
“Sometimes, there is little you can do to change how others feel. However, you
can change your own emotions and feelings. You can use the Here & Now method
to calm the conflicting emotions about your loyalties to your family and your
new spiritual path. Furthermore, perhaps your past, your faith of origin, is
not a coincidence in the first place. Perhaps there is a reason why you were
raised a specific way and also a reason why you choose differently now.
Better Than Yours
Practitioners are arguing about the legitimacy of various meditation methods
and the spirituality and religious beliefs behind them. They claim theirs to
be the best and refuse to accept others’ methods and beliefs. Then, someone
stands up and asks: “My friends, what in life is not spiritual? What in life
is not part of something larger? The universe was created long before what we
now call religions. Everything, including spirituality, comes into being at
the necessary time and place. None are more “true” than others. Perhaps each
one is only more appropriate at a certain time and place and for a certain
people. We wouldn’t be arguing if we could look beyond the religious
historical events and see them as manifestations of different means to the
Is That So?
following is a summary and translation of a famous Buddhist story about a
Japanese Zen monk: One day, a pregnant woman and her family arrive at the
temple of a serene monk. The woman points at him and falsely accuses him of
being the father of her child. The family yells and curses at him for his
“sins.” He listens patiently and then responds: “Is that so?” They leave only
to return some months later with the infant to leave in his care. Again, he
responds, “Is that so?” and takes the child. A few years later, they return
again to apologize to him for their mistake and to take back the child. He
calmly responds once again, “Is that so?” as he watches the child taken away.
meditation student asks a master: “What is the best way to deal with human
interaction in my cultivation? Should I seclude myself to avoid all
interaction so I can prevent the accumulation of new karma?” The master
replies: "Sure, you can if you want. But for some reason, I, personally, keep
feeling as if I owe somebody something no matter what I do. When I eat my
meals, I feel I owe the farmers for their labor. When I turn on the lights, I
feel I owe the people who work at the power plant. When I do the laundry, I
feel I owe the people who work at soap factories. But, of course, that’s just
Why Are We
Here In This Life?
following paragraphs portray different views on the meaning of our existence
in this life and world. Some of these are similar and can work in tandem with
each other while some are contradictory—it is up to you to choose some, if any
at all, that are helpful to you.
1. Faith In
Society and the universe may seem extremely chaotic. However, when we look
more closely, what seems like chaos is actually following a kind of a definite
order. An individual’s life may also seem chaotic and aimless, but with keener
perception, one can see wondrous order and arrangement. There exists certain
universal forces that are more intelligent than we are, a kind of guiding
energy and power that manifests the rhythms of all the ups and downs that will
gently lead us to wherever we need to go and to be.
believe in karma, the universal law of cause and effect, is to see all
relationships and life events as a part of that larger cycle. So when someone
hurts me or causes me loss, instead of suffering, I view it as a payment of an
old debt from a previous life. I feel relieved, and my heart is lighter
because the debt load has lessened.”
3. Roles And
don’t believe in karma. I believe that this world is a gigantic stage where
each person is both an actor and script-writer for his/her own role. Before
birth, we choose our roles and request others to play important opposing roles
such as parents, spouses, children, enemies, loved ones, etc. The main goal on
this stage is to ‘experience’ and evolve spiritually; one learns forgiveness,
compassion, and unconditional love. One also learns bondage and freedom,
suffering and happiness. Therefore, I sincerely thank everyone whether their
roles in my life were loving or hateful, good or bad. I also have respect for
those who hold lesser and weaker positions in my life such as my children, my
younger siblings, my employees, and people with less money, power, beauty, and
intelligence, because I know that they certainly are truly not anything less
than I. They have actually granted me a great privilege by acting in these
4. What Is
believe that all events and relationships in my life are lessons designed to
help me evolve spiritually. Therefore, each time I face a trauma, challenge,
or even success, instead of allowing my mind to blame myself, others, or the
universe, I ask myself: What lesson can I learn from this?”
believe that all life experiences are lessons—and the main lesson is to let go
of my attachments and, thus, understand the essence of illusion and
impermanence in life. For example, if I am excessively concerned with money,
especially if I believe it to be the determining factor of my worth, I may
experience financial failure and loss, one after another until I let go of my
attachment to money. If I am attached to and dependent on emotional
relationships with others, especially if I see them as a part of my identity,
I may experience many relationship failures and the loss of loved ones. These
lessons will keep on repeating until I understand the nature of my
attachments. Once the lessons are learned, my specific problems seem to
dissipate and my life automatically calms down. I find inner peace and
equanimity. I find peace because my life is calm, and my life is calm also
because I find inner peace—the relationship is circular.”
unconditional love? To love unconditionally is to love without condition,
without expectation or demand. It is easy to love someone who is perfect. But
what of the imperfect? A mother may view her mentally handicapped child as a
punishment from higher forces. But perhaps the child is a blessing. Perhaps
the child is here to teach the mother true unconditional love. Unconditional
love is the ability to love a handicapped child who cannot speak pleasant
words to us, who has no social status and achievements of which a parent can
does one love a man or woman unconditionally? Loving people unconditionally is
loving them totally, both their “good” and “bad” parts. It is not loving them
despite their bad qualities—it is loving them also because of those qualities.
When we love people unconditionally, we are able to watch them living their
lives, being themselves, without wanting or needing them to change anything.
In fact, we love them without needing them to belong to us—we love them
regardless of whether they return our love, whether they are with us or in our
do you know when you love someone? We often say, “I know I love her because I
can’t live without her. If she left, I would hurt so much.” Or we say, “When
I’m not with him, I miss him so much. I always want to be near him.” But these
don’t seem to capture the essence of love because love does not hurt or cause
pain. What causes us pain, what those quotes above are actually describing, is
need. Need asks, demands, expects. Need constrains and confines. Need hurts.
And need is the work of the mind. Love does not require certain behaviors or
certain feelings. Love does not require at all. Love is joyful and
liberating—it is freedom for both those who love and those who are loved. Love
is the work of the heart.
“All Is One”
People often talk about “oneness,” and many say, “All is one.” Many ask how we
can go about experiencing it. But we as humans cannot describe the “it”
experience in words, much less show someone how to reach that experience. The
story below is an attempt to describe one experience through the language of
the mind—and is a pale and pallid comparison to the actual experience. This is
not a formula or instructions for you to follow. We hope you find this story
helpful in some way on your own path to experiencing the oneness of all that
people say she's Woman. Some say she's Child. She thinks she's both. Together
“they” often go to the beach. The woman gazes into the deep water, longing for
her lost continent of a distant past. The child builds a sand castle and
giggles when the wind sneaks up and pecks her on the cheek. Once in awhile,
the wind asks softly, “Who are you?” The child laughs. “I am Me, of course.
one day, the woman pauses and wonders who she really is. They say clothing
does not make a person. So she takes off all her clothes. They say the
physical form is not the true identity. So she slowly lets her body dissolve
into the air. And after every bit of the physical matter disappears, the
layers of her nonphysical form fall away, too. Then to her surprise, there is
nothing but Stillness, wordlessness...
Child is fascinated. She wiggles a bit and feels herself expanding, expanding,
and expanding... She wiggles again and finds herself pervading the entire
Something is very odd, yet so natural here. With her coverings peeled off, all
things appear as Stillness and formless just like her. In fact, the
“Stillnesses” are one and the same. Either everything is a part of her or she
is in everything, or maybe both. As she loses her self, the entire physical
universe comes back into being within that Stillness. Now, she is the little
ant that is being crushed under someone's shoe. She is the small boy flying a
kite. She is the monk preaching to a large group of people. She is the
disfigured leper whose pusfilled wounds are being cleaned by an
undistinguished nun, and she is also the nun at the same time. She is the man
murdering a child, and she is the father grieving over the child's coffin. She
is that man who touches a woman... touches her deeply... and then walks off
without an explanation. She is also that same woman, fixing her gaze on the
horizon at sunset for the next thousand years, silently grieving the loss of a
moment of the past. She is the young girl standing at a street corner waiting
for customers, and she is also the nun praying for the salvation of the human
race. She is all the mountains and rivers, and she is a small stone, deep in
meditation for centuries on end. She is all those humans able to roam the
different, both seen and unseen, universes... And she is all of those
the particles of her physical body start to gather themselves back into a
shape... Then come the nonphysical layers... The Stillness joins in and,
voila, the woman-child appears as before. She wears a flimsy gown and stands
on the balcony, being a woman. The blinking stars bear her witness; her body
shivers as the wind caresses her skin... She embraces life's passion; her
being pervades the universes. Then she puts back on the ordinary clothes of
the woman-child. In peace and equanimity, she again finds herself among the
worlds of mortals and immortals, knowing that she belongs to them and they
puts on the outfit of a master, pretending to disseminate wisdom to a group of
students who she knows are none other than her own self. Though they may or
may not be aware of this, she knows they need nothing from her or anyone else.
Those who have paranormal power look at her Stillness and say they see gods
and goddesses. She smiles lovingly... She knows they only see reflections of
their own yearnings and needs. They are a part of her, are they not?
the woman and child go back to the beach. The woman again gazes into the deep
water; the entire marine kingdom comes alive within her. The child again
builds a sand castle and laughs when the wind sneaks up and pecks her on the
cheek. And again, the wind asks softly, “Who are you?” Without looking up from
the sand castle, the child smiles and whispers, “I am You.”
Chapters in the Book
are brief descriptions of other chapters in the full book:
Self-Healing. This section discusses using the Here & Now meditation to heal.
With this method, you can actually watch your pain subside within a few
minutes. While the method is very effective, we know that many meditators,
especially those whose goal in meditation is a kind of spiritual
enlightenment, dislike the idea of using meditation for healing purposes. This
meditation method involves both mind and body, however, so a person may use it
effectively with either or both.
Managing Stress And Slowing The Aging Process. This section explains how to
use the Here & Now meditation to relax and manage stress, or to slow the aging
Questions and Answers for Experienced Meditators. This section addresses
various questions posed by meditation masters from varying disciplines and
discusses more advanced concepts and techniques in a comparative manner.
General Questions and Answers. This is a question and answer section. Topics
include technical aspects of the meditation, advanced concepts on the mind,
practical applications of the new perspectives, and suggestions for spiritual
cultivation and personal transformation.
is a summary of the main points of this book along with a few tips on
~ The mind is not the self. We are not that mind.
~ The senses receive and transfer information to the mind. The mind
“perceives” and then interprets the information based on its knowledge and
feelings stored in the memory bank. When we misidentify ourselves with the
mind and believe we are those feelings and thoughts, we will become sad or
happy according to the mind’s directing.
~ Suffering is any emotion that is not happiness, any state that is not peace,
and any action that does not come from compassion. This includes emotions and
actions we don’t normally consider suffering such as anger and vengefulness.
~ A state of profound Stillness can interrupt the mind’s control over our
emotions and actions. This Stillness is not just a pause in thought—it is a
natural silence within us that allows us to be in a state of peace, a state of
silent wholeness. In this state, we are untouched by the mind’s habits which
have created need and expectation. In this state, we can bring peace to the
mind and the body thus bringing peace into our lives.
~ The Here and Now meditation offers a daily meditation to reach Stillness. To
relieve our suffering and the suffering of those around us, we need to be able
to bring a part of this Stillness into our daily lives. In whatever you are
doing, try to maintain a certain connectedness with that inner Stillness.
~ The most practical exercise is to listen and converse in Stillness. This
means listening and responding with an absolute absence of the need for
analysis, judgment, vindication, and problem-solving. When any of these tasks
become necessary, we should perform them purposely and only in Stillness
instead of allowing the mind to do them habitually and automatically.
~ Making judgment on others comes from a need within us that the mind has
created. This need is one of self-reassurance, self-consolation, and
self-elevation. And this need drives us to act out in a form of violence that
can be very hurtful to those around us. Instead of temporarily patching our
wounds by attacking others, we can permanently realize our wholeness and peace
by reaching the state of Stillness so that we no longer hurt others through
~ Stillness is not the opposite of action—it does not mean inaction in life.
Living in Stillness means living without an inner struggle with life and the
situations we face. Externally, we still live our daily lives and still cope
“face-to-face” with our present realities. Inner stillness does not mean outer
Here & Now
call the favorite phrases which can be easily applied to the “Here & Now” way
of life our “mottos,” or sometimes jokingly our “mantras”:
~ For those of us who are quick-tempered or tend to nag our spouses and
children about trivial things such as being messy in the home, not squeezing
the toothpaste from the bottom up, not rinsing the glass after drinking orange
juice, etc., this motto can help reduce the nagging and angry reactions: “If
it isn’t killing anyone, don’t complain!”
~ For those of us whose minds habitually deduce, analyze and judge, we can
practice stopping that tendency. The minute the mind receives information from
the senses, and before it can jump to an interpretation, stop and tell it,
“That’s it!” or, “Period.”
~ For those of us who habitually impose our opinions on others, requiring
others to follow the rules of our beliefs, we should frequently tell
ourselves, “It’s all right. No big deal!”
~ For those of us whose minds are often preoccupied with complaints, perhaps
it would help if we thought to ourselves, “It could be worse.”
~ Remember the story about the Japanese Zen monk in Chapter 3? In all his life
situations, good and bad, he would calmly comment, “Is that so?” and
peacefully move on with life. This monk sets an example for all of us. As we
face each situation that life creates for us, perhaps we too should try to
calmly comment, “Is that so?” with a smile on our faces and peace in our
Thank you for taking your journey with us. We hope you found this book
useful in some way. The Here & Now meditation is only one method among many
used to first establish the sacred inner Stillness. Once you have found
Stillness within yourself (with whatever method you prefer), please use it to
cultivate deeper understanding and compassion. Only these will create lasting
happiness for you individually and for the world as a whole.
May you and all beings find true
peace, joy, and understanding in life.
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