The old Taoists recommended that we "turn the light around," and look inwardly for what we are seeking externally, which would be something worth living for. Some reason, some purpose, some meaning for it all. Life is its own meaning, but it takes realizing that and living as though it is so to turn the light around. Living as though our life is meaningful just as it is is the shift that opens us to the truth of the immense value of the here and now. This! Is "the still point of the turning world"! (T.S. Eliot) This! Is the moment of our Illumination! It only takes looking to see that it is so! Two mushrooms seen properly, are the bell of awakening. Any time can be the time of our realization. How we see what we look at is more important than what we look at. Turn the light around!
Attending what I am doing, moment-to-moment is among the hardest things for me to do. Just knowing what I am doing now-- not generally, vaguely, "I'm driving." "I'm walking." But specifically. Precisely. "My turn is coming up." "Watch the kid on the skateboard!" Being here, now, is the hardest thing. Of course we are here, now. We know that. And we miss our turn, and send the kid on the skateboard to his heavenly reward. All because we know what we are doing without attending it, without being aware of it, without knowing what we know, specifically, precisely. We live disconnected from the time and place of our living, thinking about anything, everything, but the here and now. So what? How we answer that question makes all the difference. Here and now is all there ever is. If we are not present and accounted for, fully here, fully now, when will we ever be alive? We do not come to life until something in our present moment commands our full attention and brings us to life. Puppies can do it. And kittens. And babies/grandbabies... We all can remember experiences, good and bad, that have grabbed us and hurled us in to the Now, but it takes something special. We can't be here, now, for no reason. We are shanghaied by other things, fear, desire, duty drag us off into endless walk-a-bouts, meandering among the possibilities and the impossibilities, lost and unavailable to turns coming up and kids on skateboards. But. Any moment can be "transparent to transcendence" (Joseph Campbell), transporting us instantly into the rapture of awe and wonder-- not because it is obvious, not because we are whammed by it unexpectedly, but because we simply sat, looking, until we saw--until we see--it. We can be so present to any moment that every moment has the potential of being a portkey, transporting us from this dimension into the other dimension of numinous, ineffable, unspeakable truth. Bringing that dimension into this dimension, moving from this dimension into that dimension, is the gift of attentive presence, bringing us to life in the life we are living. Eyes that see are the same eyes that don't see, waiting us to open ourselves to what is here and now but turning the light around and seeking within the switch that turns the light on and enables us to see what we are looking at for the very first time.