We stand up from our cushions, our altars, our places of peace and the security of home. We walk out into the day of traffic, meetings, shopping, driving, and seemingly endless doing. How do we maintain that center of peace we evoke in our practice with this barrage of sound, motion, emotion, and activity?

I was driving home feeling a mother’s exhilarated freedom of a few hours alone. I had put in a tape of old songs and found my mind had wandered off into the “what’s next, who to call, where do I need to go and when” runaway mind train. I got off the exit and sat at the traffic light. The red light brought me back – a Sign “STOP” and so I did.

I heard the music that had been lost in the background, Simon & Garfunkle were singing “I’ve got nothing to do today but smile…”And I smiled. I looked at the car in front of me. The license plate read “BE HAPPY” and as the smile tickled my face those words sunk in, a clarity rose like a new day sun deep within my center of being. I felt HAPPY and I drove back home with this very PRESENT GOLDEN MOMENT. All the crap, all the clutter in my mind was cleansed by the simple acts of smiling and being very much in the NOW. I sent a mental message to so many people I knew to be suffering.

This Golden Glow of Glory – LIFE is NOW. And NOW is exactly where we are meant to be. Quoted from “The Golden Present” Daily Inspirational Readings by Sri Swami Satchidinanda, “Always remember the Golden Present. Never miss it.  A happier life is not given to you by someone else. Not even God can give you a happier life.  Remember that. Happiness is in you. If you take care not to lose it, it is always there.”

Throughout our days there are these SIGNS that make us STOP, that bring us back to the GOLDEN PRESENT. License Plates, some bit of an overheard conversation, a book title, a Great Blue Heron streaking across the sky, a paw print in a dried mud puddle.

Yesterday morning I opened the front door to feel the weather of the day. I took a deep breath and scanned the yard as if to verify all was as I left it. A neighbor’s garden hose caught my eye and then a flicker of green at his flowering bushes. What is that? Now very PRESENT MOMENT and increasingly more AWAKE, I saw it was a hummingbird. It flew a straight line across the yard to the snapdragons blooming in pots on either side of my steps. I stood with the door open, and silently witnessed this hummingbird’s morning drink. These are the SIGNS. These are our reminders to STOP. LOOK around at the details of this magnificent world around us. BE HERE NOW – the MOMENT is GOLDEN. SMILE, friend – we are BREATHING LIFE.

5/9/ 2005 Kharma Klips