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Persuading in the Moment, Revisited

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My son at one with the moment, the scene, and his camera. (Copyright 2012, Jon Katz.)

The moment is the only reality we have. Consequently, it is in the moment that we must persuade.

Here are some of the many reminders I use to stay in and return to the present moment:

– My son, who lives in the moment, including here, recently being one with the camera and the scene while taking a picture with his iPod.

– “A Japanese warrior was captured by his enemies and thrown into prison. That night he was unable to sleep because he feared that the next day he would be interrogated, tortured, and executed. Then the words of his Zen master came to him, ‘Tomorrow is not real. It is an illusion. The only reality is now.’ Heeding these words, the warrior became peaceful and fell asleep.” From Zen in Martial Arts. “The Present Moment”.

– Rushing back to work from lunch on a busy day in 1990, an old purple Cadillac approaches me with a large gray-longhaired hippy messenger. The California license plate counsels AMOMENT.

– Eliminating fear, and being powerfully and persuasively fulfilled and joyful, calls for summoning, keeping and tempering the fearlessness of one’s child within, filled with wonder and living in the moment, as detailed in the Zen story of the man and the two tigers: A man is chased in the wilderness by two tigers, only to be forced off a cliff, hanging for life from a vine. One tiger waits above and the other below for a human meal. Two field mice start gnawing away at the vine. The man espies a wild strawberry growing from the side of a cliff, and, with his life hanging in the balance, reaches for it, tastes it, and for the moment can only think of and experience how delicious the strawberry tastes.

– Returning to the moment can be as simple as focusing on one’s breath.