The Eternal Now of All Seasons

The holiday season and I have an ambivalent history. Some years, I was unable to let the season go, and other years, I never quite showed up for it. Yet, there is one seasonal constant: tradition says we harvest in fall and give thanks; as winter begins, we give gifts, goodwill among them.

All that is left

to us by tradition

is mere words. It is up to us

to find out what they mean.

~ ibn al-`Arabi~

In the Midst of 112113

Each holiday season, I reconsider its traditions in words well-worn as well as new ones:  “…to be detached from both the past and future [is] to live in the Eternal Now.  For in truth neither past nor future have any existence apart from this Now; by themselves they are illusions” (Alan Watts).

The promise of the Eternal Now is life as a seamless season, gifts available in every moment of eternity. If we embrace this holiday season as the Eternal Now, we open ourselves to a way of life that extends goodwill this day and every day.

Yet, any moment of the holiday season offers us experiences that unwrap us raw. These are gifts that cannot pass quickly enough–or so we think–whether it is the first holiday of loss or just another year that we mark a loss. We remember, as we should.

Like the holiday season, the Eternal Now is not a matter of endurance but a matter of meeting each moment just as we are. We may only manage a breath but that is enough to take us into the next moment. Emptying ourselves into loss opens us to gratitude for having loved at all. In love, we let loss go.

Strolling along 112113

For those holidays I could not let go, I was clinging to the bright and shiny rather than experiencing them. I never really opened their gifts. In those years I completely avoided the holidays, I was surrounded by sparkling gifts not only unopened but unnoticed.

In trying to hold onto a moment and make it stay, we cause ourselves to suffer; if we refuse to show up, we are still seeking what is not and we suffer.  Yet, the field of infinite possibilities is always available to us as long as we breathe for we are never out of sync with the Eternal Now, no matter what.

“You may believe yourself out of harmony with life and its Eternal Now; but you cannot be, for you are life and exist Now—otherwise you would not be here” (Alan Watts). We can celebrate our entire lives with the warmth of the holidays if we remember that existence— the Eternal Now — is always in perfect harmony.

My gift to you, and thus to me, is a life lived in the Eternal Now in all seasons.

Regular blog posts will resume December 8, 2013.

8 thoughts on “The Eternal Now of All Seasons

  1. What a wonderful gift to start this holiday season. Thank you, KM. Your observations about love is profound: “Emptying ourselves into loss opens us to gratitude for having loved at all. In love, we let loss go.” I understand the words, but I might have to live a little longer to find out what they mean. Thank you for this gift of the Eternal Now. {{Hugs]}} Kozo


    1. Ah, thank you, dear Kozo, astute as ever. Immersing ourselves into loss, rather than avoiding it, takes us to the core of our pain where we separate from the story line. Only then can we be grateful for the experience and all it gave to us. Hugs back at ya.


  2. Do you ever find that some gifts are hard to accept? That seems to be what you imply (“experiences that unwrap us raw”). Living in the now is a wonderful gift–and sometimes difficult to accept. Thank you!


    1. Yes, Ann, I not only find some gifts hard to accept, I also find I do not always recognize moments as gifts. That said, I now recognize that difficult moments are the ones that will broaden my perspective–generally, I look back and see them as gifts–but as the moment unfolds I put my faith in breathing. Thanks, Ann!


  3. Thank you, as always, for your wisdom and thoughts. it’s true. The originally intended spirit of the holiday season – kindness, generosity, altruism – is a virtue that, in reality, we must live by always. I have long been concerned that the way our culturally-defined holidays are shrouded in demands to do certain things – be it providing particular foods, or certain presents, or to do certain things – in reality simply engenders strains, a loss of the moment and at times a loss of perspective on what is important. Certainly the way these holidays have been commercialised of late conditions us to lose sight of true human fundamentals, which have nothing to do with consumerism and everything to do with care, with accepting, and with the moment. It’s as true in New Zealand as it is in the US and elsewhere – which to me suggests the issue of these holidays becoming commercially hijacked is another facet of the wider human condition.


    1. As always, Matthew, your words reveal the heart of the matter. Perhaps it is my overt optimism–it is in every post–but I sense a weariness in people, which is cause for pause. A pause may be all it is but it is a beginning. As you say, it is fundamentally human to care, to be kind, and I want to think that the worth of a heart overflowing with warmth and good feeling is getting due notice. Thanks so much, Matthew.


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