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More on the power of the now, interconnectedness, and openness

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Many of my blog entries are about battling in the now, including here, here and here. The only reality is the present, the now. To be in harmony with the now is powerful. To fight or complain about the now is weakening.

Is being in the present overrated? Probably the opposite. The present moment is the only moment we have. It is a precious moment that will never return. The samurai who thinks about his or her next move rather than being present in the battle will have his or her head lopped off, which is not the right antidote against dwelling on the future.

Closely related to the power of being in the present is having no question that we are connected and interrelated with all beings and with nature, and that in the end we are as limitless as time and space.

If we all are connected, then how can I be ready to inflict severe harm on my opponents in the course of defending my clients? Once we truly believe in our clients and their causes, then this battle is about harmonizing our clients’ imbalance as much as possibe  to end up having a better world; that works for me. When a lawyer is representing a client whose cause the lawyer does not strongly favor, then at the very least the lawyer can see the representation as strengthening the lawyer for future more noble battles.

Here are some recent ideas I have jotted down about the foregoing ideas:

– My peace teacher Jun Yasuda and the late Buddhist monk Beopjeong Seunim exemplify applying being powerfully tough to pursuing a noble path.

– Seung Sahn: "The ten thousand questions are one question. If you cut through the one question, then the ten thousand questions all disappear." To me, this points to the power of simplifying even the most otherwise complex-seeming challenge.

– Seung Sahn: "If you want to understand your true self, you must return to ‘before thinking,’ because you are not your thinking." To me, this underlines the importance of quieting the mind.

– Taijiquan master Cheng Man-Ching said a Boxer had to focus attention on the shooting rifle before the bullet would bounce off him. Therefore, the bullets did hot bounce off the Boxers when multiple guns fired on each Boxer. Similarly, we are at our most powerful when we focus our full time and attention on each task, avoiding and minimizing multitasking.

– My clients, jurors, judges and everyone else know when I am paying them my full attention, as do I. We do not need to wait until all is going right in our lives to pay our full time and attention in each moment.

– We persuade better when we fully and honestly open up to others, ditching the script, risking vulnerability.

– We persuade better when people know we like them and care about them.

– We persuade better when we know we are interconnected and want every being to be happy.

– When we are in the present, memories of bad experiences with other people do not exist. All we have is the possibility and power of the now.

– Brainstorming has its place, but not as a substitute for taking personal responsibility to find solutions to obstacles.

– Just as Fallen’s villain Azazel can jump from person to person, greatness can be spread from person to person, and can overcome villains. My clients may come to me feeling at a low point, but together we can do great things for them.

– If someone is grumpy, focus on the preciousness of their humanity rather than on their grumpiness, even if it seems directed at you. See what happens when you engage a grumpy person in well-placed humor & conversation. Even if the frown remains, the seed has been planted.

Be here now.