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Milking the "Sacred Now"

Excerpt from "Happiness Now"

by Robert Holden, PhD

Every authentic school of wisdom and spirituality teaches you that now is the most abundant moment of your life. The bibles of the world, be it the Old Testament or the New, the Koran or the Bhagavad Gita, the Dhammapada or the Tao Te Ching—indeed, any true spiritual text—all agree that now is an eternal treasure chest dripping with beautiful, everlasting gifts of peace, happiness, love, and joy freely available to all on a 24-hour “Don’t pay now—don’t pay later” basis.

Now is sacred! Indeed, talk to any spiritual teacher or guru worth their mantra, so to speak, and this person will tell you that now is always sacred. But why and how is now always sacred, you may ask? What if you’ve just been stood up on a date or you’ve just opened a bill or you’ve just chipped a tooth or your football team has lost again—how sacred is that?!

One approach to milking the sacred now is to place your attention on what is happening around you right at this minute and aim to appreciate, respect, and value it as much as you believe possible. You can do this right now. Before you read on, look around you and appreciate fully for a moment what your senses pick up. When you do so, you’ll experience firsthand how pleasurable appreciation can be. Events sometimes seem to make this exercise hard, but willingness can overcome this.

In my workshops for The Happiness Project, I often show a slide that reads:


When I ask people to call out what they can see, I always get two distinct answers, one being happiness is nowhere, the other being happiness is now here. Often, then . . .

the difference between “happiness is nowhere”

and “happiness is now here” has something to do

with the event, and everything to do with how

you see the event. Your perception is key.

The real secret to milking the sacred now is to place your attention not out in the world about you, but within yourself—your inner, unconditioned Self. In truth, the sacred now is an inner potential. It is eternal and abundant; and its geography is spiritual, not physical. In other words, the sacred now represents a permanent potential within you to experience love, freedom, and joy regardless of time, place, or circumstance.

The gift of happiness is wrapped in your heart, not the world. Thus, your happiness will never be mailed to you! And it can never get lost in the mail! In truth, your happiness has already been delivered, sitting in your inner mailbox—your heart—waiting to be opened. This is what the sacred now is really all about. In essence, then, you are the key to happiness. More than what happens to you, it is your perceptions, your thoughts, your beliefs, and your overall response that are essential; your Self, your original Self, is the real key.

The real reason now is so naturally abundant is because when you allow yourself to be unrestrained by fear and uninhibited by worry, it is you who is so naturally, originally abundant. In truth, then . . .

Now has enough wisdom to last you forever,

because within you, right now, there is all

the wisdom you listen for in others.

Now has enough love to last you a lifetime,

because within you, right now, there is the

love you continually cry out for.

Now has enough peace to last you an eternity,

because within you, right now, peace of mind

is one thought away at most.

And now has enough joy to outlast the world,

because within you, right now, the joy you

chase is not in things—it is in you.

The problem with our “I want it now” society isn’t that we want happiness now, but that we’ve lost sight of how to experience it now. In particular, we say, “I want it now,” but we doubt and don’t really believe that “it is here now.” We’ve lost faith in now and have placed all of our faith in some imagined future. Similarly, we’ve lost faith in our Self and have placed all our attention on the world outside. Now it is the world, it seems, that must “make us happy”—and herein lies the source of all of our misery.

As long as you believe that it’s the world that must make you happy, you leave yourself open to great disappointment and much sadness. Why? Because as long as you refuse to see your inner potential for happiness now, you will not see it in the world. How can a mirror change the way you look? Think about that, for the world is only a mirror. You will only see in the world what you’re prepared to see in yourself—nothing more and nothing less.

Know, therefore, that the journey to true happiness and to happiness now is not a journey of physical distance or time; it is one of personal “self-recovery,” where we remember and reconnect consciously to an inner potential for joy—a paradise lost—waiting to be found. One moment we look within and we see happiness nowhere; the next moment we look within and this time we see happiness now here. This is a revelation. This is enlightenment. This is joy!

The faster we chase the world and the future, the quicker we appear to overlook the possibility that happiness is here already. Every morning as we wake up, the alarm clock sings “now,” and from that moment on we do not give now another thought as we desperately chase our future. But are you so sure that happiness isn’t already here with you now? Have you really looked? I mean, really looked?

Milking the sacred now is excavation work. It’s about rediscovering an inner potential for original joy—a potential that already exists but has been buried beneath a pile of fears, doubts, guilt, conditioning, and history. Think of this potential for original joy not as something to arrive at, but as something you bring with you wherever you go. Recultivating this potential is our task, and the task begins with the realization that . . .

joy waits on welcome, not on time.

Excerpted from the book Happiness Now, by Robert Holden, Ph. D.  Visit www.hayhouse.com.

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