The (Three-Part) Art of Being Here Now

by L. Ron Gardner on August 29, 2016

I recently watched a YouTube video of Eckart Tolle, wherein he provided a humorous anecdote regarding Baba Ram Dass, the iconic spiritual teacher and author of the classic text “Be Here Now.” According to Tolle, Ram Dass, now living in Maui, noticed cars with license plates that read, “I’d rather be fishing” and “I’d rather be golfing.” Ram Dass chuckled, because his own license plate reads, “I’d rather be here now.” Although this story is funny, what’s not so funny is that nearly half a century after “Be Here Now” was first published, Ram Dass still doesn’t know how to “be here now.” I watched a YouTube video of him being interviewed by the late Terence McKenna, and instead of “being in the here-and-now” with McKenna, he was busy performing japa with mala beads, no doubt silently reciting a mantra while engaged in the exchange.

What Ram Dass has in common with Tolle is the inability to elaborate “the art of being here now.” I don’t have that problem, so I’ll now provide an elaboration.

“Being here now” needs to be understood on three levels. The first, or basic, level is that of simply being directly, immediately present to (or in relationship to) what is happening in the moment. As Krishnamurti puts it, “to be related is to be.” As the whole body, the entire organism, one is consciously aware and connected to (or plugged into) the present moment, the now.

The second level of “being here now” occurs when one’s connection to the now generates enough conscious, or relational, force, to draw down Shakti, Divine Power. This Descent of Divine Power is called Shaktipat in tantric yoga, and this Divine Power is the same “Body” of Light-Energy as the Christian Holy Spirit and the Buddhist Sambhogakaya. At this second, or “empowered,” level, one’s relationship to the now morphs into communion with the Shakti, the true Power of Now. At some point on this level, the “vine” of one’s consciousness (contracted Siva) converges with the “vine” of Shakti, and one experiences “Di-vine” Being, because Siva-Shakti = Di-vine Being. But because one’s vasanas (latent habit-energies) have not yet been rendered impotent by Grace (the Blessing Power of the Shakti), one cannot permanently remain in this state of Divine Be-ing. Hence, until full En-Light-enment (the permanent merging of one’s consciousness with Shakti, which facilitates the drying up of the outflows, or vasanas), the yogi will only experience this convergence periodically, and when he doesn’t, his experience of himself will still be that of contracted Siva, and not Siva-Shakti.

At the advanced second level of “being here now,” the yogi, by virtue of converging his consciousness with the Power of Now, has experienced being in the timeless Now. The timeless, transcendental Now (as opposed to the temporal, conditional now) is the Divine Presence, and its Action, or Energy, is the Power of Now. The Divine Presence is Clear Light, and by communing with and conducting it as Clear-Light Energy (the Holy Ghost as the Holy Spirit) into the spiritual Heart-center (located, or felt-experienced, two digits to the right of the center of one’s chest), the yogi experiences himself as coincident with Siva-Shakti. When, in a timeless moment, by virtue of Grace, the Blessing Power of Shakti severs his Heart-knot, the yogi permanently awakens as Siva-Shakti, the Divine Self.

At the third and final level of “being here now,” the now Self-realized yogi, is always Di-vinely Be-ing in the here and now. He is Di-vinely Be-ing (or Incarnating) Presence-Power, the Divine Now and its Power. And though, as a bodymind, he appears to be living in the now, in the world -- as the Incarnation of the Divine Being, he abides in, and as, the Now, and is not of this world. His spiritual quest is over, but his journey as Di-vine Be-ing is eternal.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Patrick August 30, 2016 at 5:33 pm

Fascinating read. I’m curious, what difference does it make of pulling down the Shakti as opposed to breathing it up? From my understanding, traditionally in Tantric Kundalini practices and taoist practices such as the microcosmic orbit, the energy is provoked to go up the spine. Im curious as to the difference, if there is one?


L. Ron Gardner August 31, 2016 at 10:02 am

Hi Patrick. As you know, I answered this question for you at the Facebook group where you also posted it.


Mary April 11, 2017 at 4:16 pm

Can you state The response now for readers of this?


L. Ron Gardner April 12, 2017 at 12:43 pm

Mary, most readers appreciate my meditation teachings/articles, but some don’t. Anyone can freely practice what I teach and draw their own conclusions about it.


Alex Kuznetsov November 18, 2016 at 3:31 pm

Hello Ron,
I’ve read some of your reviews for our “holy cows” and very small pieces of your texts here, and I have to say I see ego in all of it. Point me where could I get succint knowledge for Nirvana, obviously in 40 years there should be something eloquent available so that we should not learn through all the great hindu sriptures with it’s outdated examples, love for paraphrasing, metaphors, etc. and a need to encode meanings for concentrating knowledge in right hands.


L. Ron Gardner November 19, 2016 at 9:54 am

Alex, Nirvana is the end of becoming (samsara), so it is Be-ing ( Consciousness-Bliss), which is equivalent to Sat-Chit-Ananda.


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