The Present Moment – Fr. Laurence Freeman OSB

In meditation we stop thinking of the past and future and learn to live fully in the present moment. Unfortunately, God often seems absent to us because we are not in the here and now.


We spend much of our life locked into thought of the past and dreams of the future. Thinking of the past breeds feelings of regret, nostalgia, melancholy or guilt.  Living in the future quickly generates anxiety, fear and worry.

The present moment which is what we enter in meditation, is infinitely small, and therefore infinitely spacious. The mantra clears a way through all the thoughts of the past and future to reveal in a thought-free state, the radiant reality of the here and now; the moment of Christ.
It is only in the present moment that we can find God, the God who calls himself, “I AM”

Living in the present moment is an art that is practiced in daily life.  Ordinary life is the best school of meditation for this reason. It teaches the error of identifying God with religion, temple, synagogue, mosque or church, with pious language or with ritual.

God is everywhere at all times.  Meditation is the daily discipline that teaches us to see God in the here and now.
The contemplative experience is simply being fully conscious in the present moment.   We do not have to master any difficult techniques or theories in order to meditate. We have only to wake up.  This is what the mantra helps us to do.

We invite you to reflect on the reading and how it may resonate in the journey of a  spiritual awakening in the 12 steps of recovery, and in particular the 11th Step –  “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for carry that out.” 

But we recoiled from meditation and prayer as obstinately as the scientist who refused to perform a certain experiment lest it prove his pet theory wrong. 12&12 Step Eleven, p.97

We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.  BB Into Action, p.83  

First, we take a look backward and try to discover where we have been at fault; next we make a vigorous attempt to repair the damage we have done; and third, having thus cleaned away the debris of the past, we consider how, with our newfound knowledge of ourselves, we may develop the best possible relations with every human being we know.   12&12 Step Eight, p.77  

Our inventory enables us to settle with the past.  12&12 Step Ten, p.89 

What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.      BB Into Action, p.85

Passages from the Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions are reprinted with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.  The A.A. Preamble, copyright © The A.A. Grapevine, Inc., is reprinted with permission.  Permission to reprint does not in any way imply affiliation with or endorsement by Alcoholics Anonymous or The A.A. Grapevine, Inc.

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