Philip St. Romain
Coming into the Present
- Sin--missing the mark. In the context of
time. to miss the moment of God, which is the NOW.
- Whv do we miss the Now? We are somewhere
- Where? In the past, or the future, or
simply elsewhere (self-regarding thoughts and
- Fragmentation of the spirit as useless
thinking/mental static. Each such thought makes a claim on our
attention. For most, the ego self is more or less constantl~y
disturbed by such thinking. This is considered "normal"
- The True Self stands outside of this
flow, but most people don't experience this except in moments of
un-self-consciousness, which are few and far between.
- Coming more fully into the moment calls
for several disciplines, each of which reinforce the
- 1. Present moment
- --Attention can be "gathered" and
brought into the NOW.
- --Do what you are doing."
- --Much useless thinking falls away of
its own accord.
- 2. Non-judgmental
- --The curse of the fall, acting like
gods. We like to blame, criticize, judge motives.
- --Much of what we call evil is from the
- --Confronting behavior without judging
- 3. Forgiveness.
- --Letting go of the past, esp.
resentment, shame, and guilt.
- --These make a claim on attention and
cause us to see the now through the projective lenses of
self-preference and desire.
- --May need to give attention to letting
go in a formal way.
- 4. Benevolence.
- --Intention is not to "get" something.
This would introduce anxiety about not getting it.
- --We are free to have preferences about
how things go, but the problem comes when these turn into
- --In the Now to give what is needed, to
receive what is given, and to enjoy simply being.
- 5. Faith and Trust.
- --I can let go into this
- --God is with me, creating me, loving me
- --My skill is available to me, to help
me do what is needed.
- --I will always have what is truly
needed when I need it.
- To what extent does our religious
involvement help us to be more attentive, more forgiving, more
benevolent, more trusting?
To that extent alone is it--even its
dogmatic tradition and, especially, its moral teaching and devotional
practices--spirituallv relevant. All the rest is distraction and