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The Nonduality of Past, Present, and Future: The Power of Here and Now by Dr. Robert Puff

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The Nonduality of Past, Present, and Future: The Power of Here and Now by
Article Posted: 02/29/2012
Article Views: 76
Articles Written: 11
Word Count: 813
Article Votes: 0
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The Nonduality of Past, Present, and Future: The Power of Here and Now

In life, the nonduality plays an important role - we experience two main emotions: pleasure and pain. They come and go and are a normal part of the human experience. Naturally, our minds try to maintain the good and push away the bad. A kind of tug-of-war ensues where we say, “I want this,” or, “I don’t want that.” This creates the struggles we face in our lives.

The Mind Plays Tricks upon Us

The mind tries to hold onto pleasurable events and push away or control painful events. It tries to dominate our experiences by categorizing, separating, and dividing events. This causes suffering, because we are hanging onto that which ultimately isn’t real. What is real at the deepest level is our witnessing of the events, and what is there even before this witnessing occurs. What is real is the beautiful, perfect balance which we call the universe as well as the existence of that which cannot be described. We are that – an inexplicable, perfect entity.

When pleasure and pain occur, we should experience and witness them with the help of enlightenment. However, we should realize that they are not who we are. We should not identify with them. When we attempt to hang onto pain or pleasure, we bring suffering upon ourselves. If we just let them come and go, and flow with life, we can enjoy pleasure while it’s there and realize that any pain will pass.

Imagine you are the sky. Light, fluffy clouds and dark storm clouds come and go, but do not define or shape you. Rather as the sky, you merely witness the clouds as they pass. If we can understand this, we will return to the spiritual awareness that we’re the infinite sky and all will be well. At the deepest level, it’s important to know that we are even beyond witnessing, beyond anything that can be described. We should try to be that. Everything comes from us.

The Present is All That Is

We need to realize that everything occurs in the present moment. This very moment is all that exists. The present moment contains a true reality that the past and future can never possess. The past is always just a memory, while the future is pure imagination. They aren’t real, except for how we experience them in the present time. All musings about the future and memories of the past are embraced and truly experienced 100% in the present. The present moment is all there is. If we go back to our earliest memories, we can ask ourselves, “Has anything changed?” The only thing that changes is the event. Our experience or witnessing of the event remains the same.

For example, I remember visiting my grandparents on their farm when I was very young and I remember my dad taking me to ride my bike for the first time. But the experience, the witnessing of these events is exactly the same as now when I am an adult, and will remain the same throughout my life. Even though the events and my interpretations of them have changed, the experience of the events has remained the same.

Look through photo albums, or at mementos that jar your memory of the past. While you do this, remember the events, but be aware that who remembers and witnesses the events is always the same. Although events change, there is always a sense of “I am.” Even when we are dreaming, there is an essential, ultimate part of ourselves that witnesses the dream. “I am” remains the same, whether in a dream, a memory, or a situation that is happening right here and now.

Let Go and Flow with Life

Allow yourself to experience the pure bliss of everything being complete and whole, right here and right now. You will understand that life is perfect and realize that pain and pleasure will pass, but what remains the same is the witnessing of them. When pleasure or pain comes, we should not try to hold onto it or fight it or be defined by it. If we do, this will cause suffering. Instead, flow with life and realize that all is well. Your suffering will disappear. If you let go and just be, life becomes beautiful. In this state, you will see that even suffering can possess beauty. Flow with life and truly, all will be well.

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Dr. Robert Puff, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, author, international speaker, and meditation expert who have been counselling individuals, families, nonprofits, and businesses for over twenty years. A contributing writer to Psychology Today, he has authored numerous books, including Spiritual Enlightenment: Awakening to the Supreme Reality and creates a weekly podcasts and articles on enlightenment, spiritual enlightenment, nonduality, Advaita Vedanta at:

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