This blog is not about food for the body but 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 would bring about positive changes in my body and soul. But was it just for monks, masters, spiritual leaders, and yoga gurus? I didn’t know until this point the whole notion eluded me. I often have positive feelings and want to smile while pondering about my children, life, or even a grocery cart while walking into the grocery store, like a great invention. These are gratitude offerings.

When the emotion of joy arises, I wonder why. Much concerns 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 meditate. I feel so good the day will come when someone says I’ll have what he’s having about me. I am 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 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 being present, but it’s not hard to do. It requires practice and motivation, so I am rereading the book. Here are Tolle’s basic teachings as you embark on enlightenment. Please start with the idea that within yourself, there is a bystander of sorts, there to observe the mind and its functions in a very discrete, non-discriminatory, and non-judgmental way. 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 at the moment, which is your natural 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. You cannot achieve presence when it leaps from past to future, bad memories to future fears, learned biases, discriminatory feelings, and perceived outcomes. 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 who 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 body part; you must work at it to build it. When you are present, you can experience joy, which 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; as far as I can tell, he lives in a present, spontaneous state. As I experiment with my new 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 dilemma. It’s in their eyes and their body language.

Bill Murray Stories is about ‘the urban legend’ Mr. Bill Murray showing up, unforetold to various events over the years. He pops up at wedding pictures, bars and bartends, house parties, and 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 pretty grounded and ordinary and does regular things, like dancing, mingling, washing dishes, and taking selfies. These wonderful, joyous, and memorable experiences resonated in the 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, severe and humorous. 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 on his deathbed, he would receive total consciousness. I thought I was reading a book about consciousness; this sounds familiar. As Life Lessons continued, many of Murray’s movies included enlightenment references. Several interviews with eyewitnesses of these urban legend events suggested he had a way of waking people up, showing up in places he wasn’t expected to be. Please 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; 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, carefree, funny, and well-off. We can all march to our beat and should. Practice being a Now person. I suggest picking up and reading Tolle’s book, watching Bill Murray’s Stories, and seeing if the correlation I got is the same for you. More importantly, 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, and you are going to have to face some difficult situations, but overthinking them keeps you from being present and conscious of where you are. Use your life to be Bill Murray’s spontaneous and bring cheer and joy to those around you. Most importantly, bring joy to yourself. As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on my blog.

– Allyn