This blog is not about food for the body, instead food for the brain. I started reading a book called The Power of Now A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, by Eckhart Tolle. I have always wanted to be enlightened, whatever that may be. It seems it would bring about some positive changes in my body and soul. But was it just for monks, the masters, spiritual leaders, yoga gurus? I didn’t know, and until this point the whole notion eluded me. I often have positive feelings and want to just smile while pondering about my children, life, or even a grocery cart while walking into the grocery store, like what a great invention. These are gratitude offerings.

When the emotion of joy arises, I wonder why? I believe a lot has to do with my education at the Institute for Integrated Nutrition and the concepts I have learned and applied to my life. I am less stressed, take the time to eat and enjoy my food, eat healthy foods, hydrate, give gratitude offerings, write a morning journal, exercise regularly, and I meditate. I feel so good the day will come when someone says I’ll have what he’s having about me. I am getting reborn into this life and the world with tools like the Circle of Life and Primary Food from IIN.

I read the New York Times Bestseller ‘The Power of Now.’ Eckhart Tolle, the author went from feeling suicidal to being enlightened one morning as he thought he couldn’t live with himself anymore. He contemplated, I can’t live with myself, are there two of me? In a void as he describes, the words ‘resist nothing’ came to him many times and he fell back asleep. After a few hours he awoke to a new world, with a bird chirping outside his window, and the sun streaming in. The beauty of the moment was in fact an Epiphany. The world changed. Everything was beautiful. After months and years of experiencing this new life, and while studying the masters of meditation and spirituality he realized he had what they were talking about. The book is a journey of his teachings and how you and I can live in a state of consciousness.

Being Present

I am a beginner at the concept of being present, but it’s not hard to do. Like anything it requires practice and motivation, that’s why I am reading the book for a second time. Here are the basic teachings of Tolle as you embark on enlightenment. Start with the idea that within yourself there is a bystander of sorts, there to observe in a very discrete, non-discriminatory and non- judgmental way the mind and its functions. There is a lot of clutter in your brain every Nano-second of the day. Constantly going from the past to the future, your mind keeps you from being present in the moment that is your real existence and identity. Learning to control the mind from its desire to constantly fill you with unnecessary information that keeps you in an unconscious state requires practice in shutting it down. When it leaps from past to future, bad memories to future fears, learned biases, discriminatory feelings, perceived outcomes you cannot achieve presence. You are the gatekeeper of your inner self, purely an onlooker, and that is the easiest way I can explain Tolle’s incredible revelation. Tolle describes a few examples of being present in those that take up dangerous sports like rock climbing and race car driving. A moment in the unconscious state may lead to death. Learning to be present is like exercising any part of your body, you need to work at it to build it. When you are present, you can experience joy of which there is no opposite. And the great thing is we can all achieve presence without having a dangerous hobby. (Tolle)

The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons (Director Tony Avallone 2018)

Seldom do I smile ear to ear while watching a film or documentary. Bill Murray Stories is a film that put a big grin on my face throughout. Everybody loves him and as far as I can tell he lives in a present, spontaneous state. As I experiment living my now life, I see people more transparently. I can feel when a person is spirited and engaged and detect when someone is confounded or in a quagmire. It’s in their eyes and their body language.

Bill Murray Stories is about ‘the urban legend’ Mr. Bill Murray showing up, unforetold to a host of events over the years. He pops up at wedding pictures, bars and bartends, house parties, family events, reads poetry to construction workers, and is always there to engage and not entertain. You cannot schedule him to show up for one of these wacky appearances, he does it spontaneously. Being a big star, he seems quite grounded, ordinary, and does regular things, like dance, mingle, wash dishes, and take selfies. These wonderful, joyous, and memorable experiences resonated in hearts of the folks around him. I experienced Murray’s nonchalant comedy many years ago, (Saturday Night Live) and like many became an instant fan. He went on to make many classic movies, humorous and serious. From Bill Murray Stories, I saw a clip from Caddy Shack, perhaps one of his most iconic movies, where he improvised a piece about being a caddie for the Dali Lama. The Dali Lama said he (Murray) wouldn’t be getting any money for caddying but at his deathbed he would receive total consciousness. Hmmm I thought, I am reading a book about consciousness, this sounds familiar. As the Life Lessons continued many of Murrays movie included enlightenment references. Several interviews with eye witnesses of these urban legend events suggested he had a way to wake people up, showing up in places he wasn’t expected to be. Wake up, this was a concept in Tolle’s book I was beginning to understand. We walk around in a fog most of the time? Our brains are controlled by time and we can never bring back the past and the future does not exist yet. The stimulation that surrounds us is equal in one day to what our ancestors experienced in a lifetime. No wonder we can’t get off our cell phones our minds have an insatiable desire to wonder. The fact is everyone lives in a state of Now. The universe is in a state of Now. But most of us are missing it, at least that is what I am trying to come to terms with.

Bill Murray lives his life as many of us would like, famous, care free, funny, well off. We can all march to our own beat and should. Practice being a Now person. My suggestion is pick up and read Tolle’s book, watch Bill Murray Stories and see if the correlation I got is the same for you. More important, don’t dwell too much on the past, (it’s a Now that already happened) and don’t fret about the future. Sure, the bills won’t go away, the public speech is going to happen, you are going to have to face some serious situations, but overthinking them keeps you from the being present, conscious, where you are. Use your life to be Bill Murray spontaneous and bring cheer and joy to those around you. Most importantly, bring joy to yourself. As always, I would love to hear what you think of my blog.

​- Allyn