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The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle

Written By: ruchi - Jun• 16•18
The Power Of Now

I recently listened to this audio book – The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle. It was pretty interesting how he explains to always focus on Now and then there will be no problems in life. I want to be able to refer to it every now and then hence these are my personal notes for future reference.

Chapter 1: You are not your Mind

Enlightenment is a natural state of oneness with the being, connection with something indestructible; it is finding your true nature. Inability of feeling this connectedness gives an illusion of separateness from yourself and the world around you. You perceive yourself as an isolated fragment. It gives rise to fear. Being is the eternal ever present, which is beyond life and death. Being can be felt but never understood mentally. It is the feeling of your own presence, which is prior to I am this and I am that.

Identification with mind is the greatest hindrance in feeling the being. It causes thoughts to be compulsive and almost everyone suffers from it. This incessant mental noise creates a false mind made self, which casts fear and suffering. It creates an illusion of separateness. Thinking has become a disease. Mind is a superb instrument if used rightly but you don’t use it at all, it uses you, this is the disease.

Mind loves to get its teeth in problems. Can you be free of your mind when you want to? No? Then your mind is using you. You are not the thinker. The moment you start watching the thinker, you realize, that there is a vast amount of intelligence beyond thoughts. The things that truly matter, arise beyond the mind, you begin to awaken.

The voice in your head is tainted by your past and interprets the situations accordingly. The good thing is that you can free yourself of your mind. Start listening to the voice in your head. Listen to it impartially, do not judge or condemn. You become aware of yourself as the witness of the thoughts. You feel a conscious presence. The thought then loses its power of you and subsides because you are no longer energizing the mind through identifying with it. When the thoughts subside, you feel a gap in your mind. You feel certain stillness and peace inside you. This is the beginning of your natural state of oneness with being usually obscured by mind. You will also feel the joy of being. It is not a trance like state. You are alert and much more awake and fully present. It also generates the vibrational frequency of the energy field that gives energy to physical body.

You can also create a gap in the mind stream by focusing on now, on any routine activity, giving it your full attention, you create a gap between you and your mind and its chatter. For example when you get up in the morning and walk to the kitchen, pay close attention to every step, your breath, water on your hands, every sensory activity of water and soap on your hand. You can measure the success of this process by the degree of peace in your life it brings. Learn to dis-identify with your mind.

Thinking is necessary but only when required. Not constant repetitive, useless, negative thinking that occupies 80 to 90 % of the time. You should be able to stop it. To the ego, past and future are important. In ego mode, mind is dysfunctional. In the ego mode, mind projects itself in future that one day when this happens, I will be ok. When ego sees the present, it looks at it from the eyes of the past. Present moment holds the key to liberation.

You don’t want to lose the capability to analyze and think. You believe that you will cease to exist if you stop thinking but enlightenment means rising above thoughts. In the enlightened state you use thinking for practical purposes in more effective way by oscillating between thoughts and stillness.

Mind includes emotions also. It is body’s reaction to mind. For example hostile thoughts create anger. The more you are identified with your thinking, your likes and dislikes, your interpretations, which is to say the less present you are as watching consciousness, the stronger the emotional charge will be. Sometimes there is a conflict between the mind and the emotion. When mind says one thing and your heart or emotions say something else, emotions is the truth. Emotion is felt in the body. Observing your emotions is as important as observing your thoughts. Just observe, not analyze. It is difficult to watch emotion because it takes you over. Thoughts and emotions feed on each other creating a vicious circle. Mind can never get rid of the pain because it is part of the problem.

Love, joy, peace are not emotions because they are inseparable from your natural state of being. Glimpses of these are possible when a gap appears in mind but it’s short lived. Emotions are disturbances, caused by the thinking patterns. Emotions are subject to the law of opposites, meaning you can’t have good without bad. The very thing that gives you pleasure today may give you pain tomorrow. Love, joy and peace are always present in you but get obscured by mind.

Humans have been in the grip of emotional pain for a long time. Pain is inevitable as long as you identify with your mind, which is to say you are unconscious. Emotional pain is also the cause of most physical pain.

Chapter 2: Consciousness, The Way out of Pain

Pain is self-created as long as mind runs your life. It is a form of unacceptance. Degree of pain you feel is the degree of resistance to your present moment, which depends on how much you identify with your mind. The more you accept now, the more you are free of pain of suffering and free of egoic mind. Mind functions in past and future only. Time and mind are inseparable. Mind covers up the present with past and future or time. Your true nature is obscured by mind. To reduce the pain you inflict on yourself and others, just realize that all the time you have is now, not past, not future. Make only brief visit to past and future when required for practical purposes. Surrender to what it is and see life working for you rather than against you.

Sometimes present moment is unacceptable but it is as it is. Observe how mind labels it and create unhappiness. By watching the mechanics of mind, you can come out of it and allow it to be and take necessary action. Accept and act. Whatever present moment presents, accept it as if you chose it. Work with it not against it, make it your friend, this will transform your life.

All the emotions leave a residue of pain in you. It accumulates as negative field which occupies your body and mind. It’s the emotional pain body. It has two states, dormant and active. Anything that resonates with your past pain can trigger it. Catch it the moment it awakens from its dormant state. It feeds on anything that causes similar pain. When pain body takes over, it creates more pain. It feeds on pain. You become a victim or perpetrator. You want pain or inflict pain. If you don’t bring the light of consciousness on this pain, it will live forever. Pain body does not want you to observe it directly. The moment you do it, you have accessed the power of now. You cannot fight it, you can watch it and accept it at this moment. Feel its energy and it will go away slowly.

Here is the process:
Focus on the feeling inside you.
Know it is pain body.
Accept that it is there.
Don’t think about it.
Don’t let the feeling turn into thinking.
Don’t judge and analyze.
Don’t make an identity for yourself out of it.
Stay present and continue to observe as to what is happening inside you.
Become aware of the emotional pain and the one who observes, the silent watcher.
This is the power of now.

There will be resistance inside you, observe the attachment to pain, observe the need to talk about it, observe the pleasure you derive from it. The resistance will cease when you make it conscious. Focus on pain body. Only you can do it.

How does fear arise, doesn’t it help in protecting us? You don’t need fear to protect yourself, just minimum intelligence and common sense. Psychological condition of fear is just a thinking that this might happen or that might happen. You are here and this might happen in future, this creates anxiety. You can cope with the present but not with future. Body is receiving this message from mind that there is danger, which creates fear. If you identify with the mind, you don’t want to be wrong in an argument because that also creates fear. So you have a compulsive need to be right. Once you dis-identify yourself from your mind, you don’t care if you are right or wrong. You can state how you feel but there is no aggressiveness or defensiveness about it. This ends the power game, which is corrosive to all relationships. Power over others is weakness disguised as strength. True power is within and is available to you now.

Another aspect of emotional pain is its lack of completeness. People strive for money, power, special relationships etc. but even if they get it, they still feel this lack. As long as egoic mind is running your life, you can’t be at peace. Ego needs to be both defended and fed constantly, thru possessions, work you do, social status and recognition, special knowledge, relationships etc. None of this is you. You need to relinquish all this sooner or later. Death strips you of all this that is not you. Secret of life is to die before you die and find that there is no death.

Chapter 3: Moving Deeply into Now

Root of unconsciousness is identification with mind but how to dis-identify with your mind? End the disillusion of time from mind. Time and mind are inseparable. It’s a compulsion to live with memories and anticipation. Past gives you identity and future gives the promise of salvation. It creates preoccupation with past and future. Time is illusion. Now is precious. The eternal present is where all your life unfolds. Now is the only point of access that can take you beyond mind. Stay there.

Have you ever done, felt, thought anything outside now. Do you think you ever will? Nothing happens in past or future, only in now. Past is just a memory trace. Future is imagined now. It’s a projection of mind.

Life threatening emergencies bring you in now sometimes and extraordinary things happen. Adventure sports do the same thing. It brings people to now but they become dependent on that activity to be in that state, but you don’t need to. You can enter that state now. In now, all your problems dissolve. Suffering needs time. What is lacking at this moment? This question brings you to now.

Make it a practice to withdraw attention from past and future when they are not needed. Step out of the time dimension from your daily life. Be present as the watcher of your mind, your reaction. Notice how often you are in past or future. Watch the thought, feel the emotion, observe the reaction, don’t make a personal problem out of it. You will then feel something more powerful, and feel the presence of silent watcher.

Intense presence is needed when a situation threatens your self-image, things go wrong and emotions from past are brought up. Reaction takes you over. You justify it. Use clock time not psychological time for practical matters. Immediately return to now when the matter is taken care of. Clock time includes learning from past, plan for future, set goals.

Time is illusion meaning, the present moment is all you have. There is never a time when your life is not at this moment. Are you always trying to be somewhere else? We wait for love, for happiness, for that one possession and it seems just around the corner. The life loses its vibrancy. Mind creates an escape in future. Usually future is the replica of past. If your mind has the heavy burden of past, your future will hold the same. The quality of your consciousness now is what shapes the future. In future, you may get 10 million dollars but that change is skin deep. You will act out the same patterns in a luxurious surrounding. The degree of presence changes the quality of your consciousness. So the true change can only occur now. Anxiety, stress, unease, tension, worry is caused by too much future and not enough presence. Guilt, depression, regret and resentment are caused by too much past. You believe that pain is caused by a situation but that is not true, it’s the attachment with past and future. The only problem in your life is the time bound mind. There is no salvation in time, you cannot be free in future; you can only be free now. But how, I am unhappy now, how do I cope with that, hope keeps me going? Certain things in past were not according to you, you are still resisting and now you are resisting what it is, hope keeps you going but it’s in future and this denies the focus on now and creates unhappiness. Pay attention to your life now. Narrow your focus on this moment. Do you have a problem at this moment? When you are full of problems, there is no room for any new solution. Use your senses fully, be where you are, look around, don’t interpret, see light, shapes, textures, be aware of things around you, listen to sounds, listen to the silence behind the sounds, feel the breath, feel the life energy within. This is moving deeply into now. But my problems are still waiting for me, they haven’t been solved? It’s not about solving the problems. It’s about realizing that there are no problems, only situations to be dealt with. You are carrying a burden of 100 things that you need to do in future and you lose now. When you create a problem, you create pain, make a choice that I will create no more pain, no more problem.

In life emergency, mind stops you become totally present in now and something powerful takes over. Either you survive or you don’t but there is no problem. There are no problems in now, so there is no fear. So if a situation occurs, your action will be clear and decisive. It will also be more effective. It will be an intuitive response. Is there joy, ease and lightness in what you are doing? If not, then time has taken over your life. Do not be concerned with the fruit of your actions just give attention to the action itself. The moment your attention turns on now, you feel peace, joy. You no longer depend on future for fulfillment and satisfaction therefore you are not attached to the results. Neither success nor failure has the power to change your inner being. At the deeper level you are already complete. You can pursue your goals with great satisfaction but your happiness does not depend on it. You know that nothing real can be threatened. When this is your state of being, you have already succeeded.

Chapter 4: Mind Strategies for Avoiding the Now

Root of suffering is in our constant wanting and craving. Make it a habit to monitor your mental state. Ask yourself frequently. What’s going on inside me, ask frequently. Don’t answer these questions immediately. Direct your attention in your body. What do you feel? Is there any tension? If you detect some unease, see how you are resisting life by avoiding now. Here are examples to practice.

Do you resent doing what you are doing?
Are you carrying resentment with a person close to you?
What are the thoughts? What are the emotions? Pleasant or unpleasant?

May be you are being taken advantage of, or the person close to you is unfair but that is irrelevant. The fact is that you are resisting what is. You are creating unhappiness, you are polluting the inner being and people around you and collective psyche of the planet. Negativity is never the optimum way of dealing with any situation; in fact it keeps you stuck in it. Any negative state is contagious. Are you polluting the world with negativity or cleaning up the mess? If humans clean inner pollution, they will also clean outer pollution. Just drop the negative feeling.

Shouldn’t it be ok to have negative emotions though? Yes, once you have the emotion, accept it, you don’t have a choice. Examples of unconsciousness: If you catch yourself complaining, it is unacceptance, it is a negative feeling, you make yourself a victim. Leave the situation or accept it or change it. If you want to take responsibility of your life, choose one of the three. Then accept the consequences, no excuses, no negativity, no psychic pollution. Any action is better than no action. If you choose to accept, drop all inner resistance, don’t create negativity about the situation. This is called surrender, it’s not weakness. Stress is caused by being here but wanting to be there. Choose an action and totally be in harmony with that. If you are constantly in past whether in negative or positive feelings, you age fast.

Are you always waiting for something or the other to start living? In this case future will always be better, the perfect recipe for permanent dissatisfaction. Basically you don’t want what you have and want what you don’t have. This creates a conflict and reduces the quality of life by making you lose the present. For example, many people are waiting for prosperity. When you accept what you have, grateful for what you have that is true prosperity. It cannot come in future. If you are frustrated about your present lack, even if you make millions, you will still feel the lack. Give up waiting, snap out of it. Just be and enjoy being. If you are present, there is never ever any need to wait for anything.

But there needs to be a purpose in life and that needs future planning. Yes outer journey may have a million steps towards this and that but inner journey has only one step to focus on now. This is both the purpose and the fulfillment of your inner journey, the journey to your inner self. Does it matter if we fail or succeed in our outer journey? It will matter if you have not realized your inner purpose. Once you realized your inner purpose, you will still keep playing the outer game but success or failure will not matter. In any case outer purpose will eventually fail as everything outside is subject to the law of impermanence.

Chapter 5: State of Presence

When you are in the state of intense presence, your thoughts disappear. To stay present, you have to be rooted within yourself, meaning always keep some body awareness. In this state, your past and future disappears. In the presence of nature or beautiful scenery, the inner essence shines through, and you feel really good because you are totally present without thoughts and it feels great, though only for a few seconds. When being is conscious of itself, it’s presence. Silence is a more potent carrier of presence. When you listen to someone speaking, be aware of the silence beneath and under the words. Be aware of the gaps. To listen to the silence wherever you are is an easy way to become present. Even if there is noise there is always some silence underneath and in between the sounds. Listening to silence immediately creates stillness inside you. Only stillness in you can perceive the silence outside and what is stillness other than presence.

Chapter 6: The Inner Body

You are cut off from being because your mind has taken up all your attention. You can’t stop thinking. Compulsive thinking is a collective disease. Your whole sense is derived from mind activity. Your identity become vulnerable and needs a mental construct, which creates fear as the dominant emotion. One thing that really matters is missing from your life and that is awareness of your deeper self. You need to reclaim it from your mind. A very effective way to do it is to take your focus away from thinking and into the body. Try it now, close your eyes, direct your attention on your body, feel your body, is there life in your arms, stomach, back? Do you feel the energy in your arms? Can you feel it in all parts of the body simultaneously as a single source of energy? The more attention you give it, clearer and stronger the feeling will become, every cell will feel alive. Your body will appear luminous but pay more attention to the feeling. Open your eyes but keep some attention in your inner body.

What you perceive as body, which is subject to disease, old age and death is not real, is not you. But do not turn away from body. It conceals your immortal reality. Truth is to be found within your body. Don’t fight against your body for in doing so you will fight against your own reality. You are your body. The body you see and touch is only a thin illusionary veil. Underneath it lies the invisible inner body, the doorway into being, into life un-manifested. Through inner body you are connected to this un-manifested one life, birth less, deathless, eternally present. Through inner body, you are forever one with god.

The key is to be permanently connected with your inner body, to feel it all the times. The more consciousness you direct into the inner body, the higher its vibration frequency becomes. In this higher energy level, negativity cannot afford you anymore. And you tend to attract circumstances that reflect this higher frequency. If you keep your attention in the body as much as possible, you will be anchored in now. Thoughts and desires will be there but it will not take you over. Do not give all your attention away to the mind and external world, focus on what you are doing but feel the inner body at the same time stay rooted in your inner body and observe how it changes the quality of doing. While waiting for anything, use your time to feel your inner body.

Presence is pure consciousness, reclaimed from mind. Inner body does not change with time. Inner body awareness reduces aging and strengthens both physical and psychic systems. It also strengthens your immune system. Body loves your attention; it is a potent form of healing.

How to meditate to heal your body (first thing in the morning, last thing at night)?
1. Close your eyes. Lie flat on your back. Focus on breathing. Focus on each body part for 15 seconds each. Feel the life energy in each part as intensely as possible. Let your attention run through your body like a wave a few times. Feel the inner body in its totality as a single field of energy. As soon as a thought occurs, return back to body.
2. If it is hard to focus on inner body, focus on your breath. Feel it expanding the stomach or chest. Then feel that you are surrounded my luminous energy. Breathe in that light. Feel the body getting filled with that light. Then focus on your feeling.

When you want to be creative, focus on your inner body for a few seconds, become aware of the inner stillness and then go back to thinking. When thinking, don’t just think with your head, think with the whole body. Most human relationships are through mind, without any real communication. Being in touch with your inner body creates a clear space of no mind, within which a relationship can flower.

Chapter 7: Portals into the Un-manifested

When your consciousness is directed outward, mind and world arise when it is directed inwards it realizes its own source and return home to the un-manifested. When your consciousness returns to the manifested world you resume the form identity that you temp relinquished, you have a name, a past, a life situation, a future but you are not the same, you would have glimpsed a reality, which is not of this world. Keep some attention to your inner body when in the external world. You become a bridge between manifested and un-manifested. Use your inner body as the portal through which you enter the un-manifested and keep that portal open so that you keep that source open all times. Inner body is timeless. If you are not able to feel the inner body, use some another portal. Now is another main portal. You need to open any one portal to stay in touch with un-manifested. Another portal is cessation of thinking. When you are present, thinking stops. Surrender, the letting go of mental emotional resistance is another portal. Inner resistance cuts you off from everything. It strengthens the feeling of separateness. It is up to you to open just one portal. Once a portal opens up, love flows.

Pay attention to the silence than sound. Paying attention to outer silence creates inner silence and a portal opens up. Even in conversation, pay attention to the gap between the words. No sound can exist without silence; nothing can exist without the empty space that enables it to be. Every object is surrounded by nothing and eventually will return to nothing. Even in solid matter, most of the space is empty. Essence of everything is emptiness. Pay attention to the space. As you do that a shift in consciousness inside you happens. When you don’t think of objects, the thinking stops and a portal to un-manifest opens.

If there was only silence you won’t know it. Similarly if there was emptiness, you won’t know the objects. There will be no distance or speed. Similarly world is needed for the un-manifested to be realized. You are here for the divine patterns of the universe to unfold, that’s how important you are.

Chapter 8: Enlightened Relationships

Relationships appear fine for some time but after some time they oscillate between love and hate. When the negativity increases, the relationship collapses. They become addictive, either negatively or positively. How can we change an addictive relationship into the true one? For love to flourish, the light of your presence needs to be stronger to take over the thinker. Stop judging yourself and your partner. Accept them as it is. That immediately takes you beyond ego. All mind games are over, there are no victims, no perpetrators, there is no accuser and no accused. Love is a state of being. It is not outside, it is deep inside you. It cannot leave you. It does not depend on others. When you can feel your own formless and timeless reality, you can feel the same life in everything else. This is the realization of oneness, the love. Love cannot flourish until you are permanently free of mind identification.

So whenever your relationship is not working, whenever it brings out madness in you and your partner, be glad that what is in unconscious is brought to light, it’s an opportunity for salvation. Know the reality and hold the knowing. If you observe unconscious behavior in your partner, hold it in your loving embrace of knowing so that you won’t react. Unconsciousness and knowing cannot coexist for long. Energy form behind the hostility finds the presence of love intolerable. If you react, you become unconscious yourself. Relationships are not to make you happy and fulfilled. The relationship is here to make you conscious, instead of happiness, the relationship offers you salvation and you will be aligning yourself with a higher consciousness.

Never mind if your partner is acting out, you be conscious. Don’t wait for the world to become conscious. It may be okay to point out the partner’s behavior without blaming and proving the other person wrong. Learn to express without blaming. Learn to listen in a non-defensive way. Give your partner space to express. Love cannot flourish without it.

Use pain body for enlightenment. At first sign of pain, catch it before it takes over. For example if you are getting irritated, put full attention on it. Feel energy charge behind it. Know it is pain body. Be aware of your conscious presence. It will subside. If it was purely physical symptom, it will not turn into emotional symptom. Stay present. Do not let the pain body take over your mind. Watch it carefully. It gets transformed into consciousness. If your partner is conscious enough, whenever the pain body takes over, your partner will not mistake you and take no offence. When pain body attacks, he will hold the space of intense presence.
When you are enlightened, there is one relationship that you no longer have, the relationship with yourself. Once you have given that up, all the other relationships will be love relationships.

Chapter 9: Beyond Happiness and Unhappiness there is Peace

Happiness depends on positive things, while peace does not. Seen from higher perspective, things are not positive or negative, they are what they are. There is no bad thing. If you are conscious enough, you know that there is always a higher good in everything. Suppose someone close to you dies or you are about to die, you won’t be happy but you can be at peace. Acceptance releases you from mind dominance as a result usual ego motivation for doing like fear, greed, control cease to operate and a different consciousness will flow in doing.

When one or more egos interact, a drama is created. Most people are in love with their life drama. They fear the end of their drama. Once you are conscious, the drama ends. You can still put your point across without any reaction, there is no drama. There are cycles of success and cycles of failure. You have to let them go. If you cling or resist, you will suffer. It’s not true that upcycle is good and downcycle is bad. Growth is considered positive but if it keeps on growing, it will become monstrous and destructive. Downcycle is required. Everyone fails, sooner or later. You can still be active and enjoy new circumstances. Your physical energy also has cycles. Many illnesses are created in fighting the downcycle. Illness is created to stop you from resisting. Cyclic nature of universe is closely linked to impermanence of all things and forms. It will change, disappear or no longer interest you. The prosperity of today becomes empty consumerism of tomorrow. Nothing out there can satisfy you permanently. Things and conditions can give you pleasure and give you pain but they cannot give joy. Joy arises from within. It is essential part of being. Peace is your natural state.

Then the question is that if there is nothing that can give peace then what is left in life to strive for. Accept the impermanence nature of things and that makes you peaceful. When your inner dependency on form is gone, then general condition of your life tends to improve greatly. Things, people and conditions that you thought you needed for happiness now come to you with no struggle or effort on your part and you are free to enjoy and appreciate them while they last. Cycles will come and go but with dependency gone, there is no fear of loss anymore and life flows with ease.

Being takes you beyond the polar opposite of mind and frees you from dependency on form. Even if everything were to collapse and crumble all around you, you will still feel a deep inner core of peace. You may not be happy but you will be at peace.

All resistance is negativity. Negativity stops desirable outcomes to arise. No other life forms know negativity except human. Watch plants and animals teach you acceptance of what is, integrity, how to live, how to die. Let it teach you how to live peacefully. They don’t keep past in their mind. When you notice some negativity, it’s a signal to wake up and be present. Let everything pass through you. If something irritating happens, instead of reacting, let it pass through as if nobody is there in your body. Someone says something rude to you, you let it pass through you, offer no resistance, that is forgiveness. You can tell the person that their behavior is unacceptable but they don’t control you.

Chapter 10: Meaning of Surrender

The question is that if we accept things as they are, there will be no progress, we will not improve anything. To surrender is to accept now unconditionally without any reservation. It is an inner phenomenon. Accept the is-ness of the moment and then take action to get out of your current situation. This is positive action instead of the negative action being generated by anger and frustration. Through resistance emotional and physical body become hard and inflexible. Surrender is perfectly compatible with initiating changes, taking action and achieving goals but in this state different energy flows into doing. Surrender reconnects you to the source energy of being and if doing is infused with being, it becomes the joyful celebration of life energy that takes you more deeply into now. The results reflect the quality. No truly positive action can arise from un-surrendered state of consciousness.

When you are in argument with your partner, observe your attachment to your point of view, the need to be right. You could surrender and let go of the argument and iIf you feel peace that means you completely surrendered. Then observe the partner. As you are not energizing his resistance, true communication happens. Nonresistance means doing it in a nonreactive way.

When you are ill:
Don’t blame life or yourself.
Use it for enlightenment.
Withdraw time from illness.
Be in present.
Don’t give in to past and future.

When a disaster happens, know that there is another side to it that you are just one step away from something incredible..

If you can’t accept outer condition, accept the inner condition. Witness the pain, allow the pain to be there, surrender to grief and embrace it. Then see how the miracle of surrender transforms it to peace.
When your pain is deep, you want to escape it but there is no escape. Drugs, anger etc. may look like an escape it won’t free you. When you deny emotional pain, you broadcast it. Don’t turn away from it, feel it. Don’t think about it. Give attention to the feeling. Don’t create a victim out of it. Keep feeling the grief, pain, loneliness. Stay present and as you do so, you are bringing light to darkness. You are already in present. Present removes time. Time removes suffering.
Enlightment means to relinquish your attachment to past and future and focus on now.