The Voice-5: Here and Now

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IMG_2017                 Sunset at Maui (Picture was taken on June 13, 7:10 pm.)

Where are you: Here.
What time is it: Now.
Who are you: This moment.

I recently attended a seminar by a local psychiatrist. Using testimonials from her own life, she provided us with an interesting and enlightening talk. At the end of the speech, she distributed small pieces of paper to each of us. She asked us to write down any questions we had about her talk or about our own personal lives and then sign our names before handing in the paper. She told us that our signatures would provide her with a better personal connection to each of us. With a better connection, she could then provide us with better answers.

At the moment, I couldn’t think of a question to ask her. Instead, I was moved to introduce myself to her as the following: “Zero Limits is a goal I want to achieve, I want to write a book, I am in the entertainment industry as a movie and commercial actress and as a dancer.” I then signed my name at the bottom.

Once all of the papers were handed in, she went through them, answering one question after the other. She was incredible, as she seemed completely in touch with everyone in the class, and everyone seemed beyond satisfied with her answers. Then she turned to my notes and said, “Zero Limits…I see that you don’t have any questions.” Before I had the chance to say anything, I saw in her eyes that she finally got it. “This message is for me,” she said.

She nodded in confidence and proceeded to explain the meaning of the message to us. She had wanted to write a book for a long time and, not so ironically, she had also wanted to become an actor and a dancer while exploring the entertainment industry. She said that, up until then, she had been too busy to pursue these endeavors. She then thanked me for reminding her of her own wishes and dreams.

I thought to myself: “Everyone, including the speaker, got to hear his or her own individual answers or messages. What about me?” Nothing was for me – nothing but a ‘thank you’ from the speaker. I was left feeling somewhat disappointed. But then I saw it: The most important message I could have received appeared quickly and quietly on the last slide of her PowerPoint presentation. It read:


IMG_2031                      Sunset at Maui (Picture was taken on June 13, 7:14 pm.)

Where are you: Here.
What time is it: Now.
Who are you: This moment.

When it appeared, it was as if no one saw it but me. The speaker didn’t explain its’ meaning – it was just there one second and disappeared the next. Then she switched off the projector and the presentation came to an end.

I was taken in by the emergence of these lines. It reminded me of a message I received from “The Voice” several years ago. Early one morning, I woke up to pray as usual. I was hoping to hear from The Voice during prayer and when I heard nothing, I felt down and disappointed. I decided to go to the fitness center to exercise to work out my frustrations.

I was running on the treadmill, focused on keeping up with the pace of the machine. I remember feeling the sweat run down my face when all of a sudden, The Voice came to me.

He said: “If I want to talk to you, I can speak to you anytime at any place. I will not be restricted to a quiet place only, nor will I be limited by the time. I am everywhere and nowhere.”

I always thought I had to be somewhere completely quiet so I could focus my efforts on really listening to The Voice. But what I learned that day is that The Voice will come anytime, and His Voice will be heard effortlessly. We don’t have to prepare our minds to receive His message. When it comes, it comes.

He continued: “Your husband (if he were alive), or relatives and friends can not be with you every second because they might need to travel or go to work. But I’m with you because I am in your heart. I am with you now and at any moment.”

I finally got it. The Voice is not confined by space, as He is always here. He is not bound by time, He is found in the now, within each new moment. Here, now and this moment is everything.

The Vietnamese Buddhist monk and philosopher, Thich Nhat Hanh, writes about the here and the now. “The kingdom of God is available to you in the here and the now. But the question is whether you are available to the kingdom. Our practice is to make ourselves ready for the kingdom so that it can manifest in the here and the now. You don’t need to die in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. In fact, you have to be truly alive in order to do so.”

Thich Nhat Hanh said, “Our true home is not in the past. Our true home is not in the future. Our true home is in the here and the now. Life is available only in the here and the now, and it is our true home.”

IMG_2042                   Sunset at Maui (Picture was taken on June 13, 7:22 pm.)

Where are you: Here.
What time is it: Now.
Who are you: This moment.

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