Sunday, October 11, 2009


Haight-Asbury, San Francisco, Annpan,
flickr photo

I once met a woman named Now.

She lived in California and was married to an architect. She had changed her name from Laura, I think it was, to Now to give full expression to her belief in the teachings of great gurus from the Buddha to contemporaries such as Deepak Chopra, popular now pioneer, and Eckhart Tolle, author of "The Power of Now."

I met Now at a summer camp outside of San Jose founded many years ago by family therapist pioneer Virginia Satir. A friend in Toledo, Ohio, Bill Jones (photo upper right), wrote a doctoral dissertation on Satir's work and introduced me to the camp that celebrates and continues her work to this day.

Now also believes in Satir. Satir believed in the power of caring and acceptance to help people face their fears and grow into loving human beings. Her contributions to clinical theory and practice are legendary. Now was an avid apostle.

I think of Now from time to time. When I'm not where I am supposed to be, you might say. When I am in the past and not in the now, in The Who's then rather than their now. When I'm thinking at all. Or when I'm in the future, wondering where I'll be in 2 years, after my Peace Corps assignment is over. Where will I live? What will I do? I think of Now at times like these.

It's good to be present and mindful where you are. For me that means being in my daily life as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Starobilsk. As Tolle followers remind us, the past is gone; it's over. Nothing we can do about it. The future doesn't exist. All we have is the now, living in the moment, savoring it. It's a lesson hammered home in many an Al Anon group, too.

This morning I woke up thinking about Now. Somewhere in my dream world came the idea that there is a ying and yang to the power of now. I was dreaming about anger.

When you are angry, you are fully in the now. You are angry at a friend for not meeting your needs, which you didn't share with her. A friend is angry with you because you didn't meet her unspoken expectations.

Anger in the now means forgetting, even temporarily, the good times of the past. When you are angry at someone now, you forget about how kind, how sweet, that person was then, how generous and giving. You are just in the now, you and your anger.

There's a ying and a yang to everything it seems. Even the now. That's how Now comes to me from time to time.

I haven't seen Now since I met her 5 years ago. I wonder how she is. Has she changed her name again? Has the now been good to her? But, wait. Stop! Let me move on. That's the past. The future isn't here. We only have the now.

No comments:

Post a Comment