And so, after fasting and praying for days, he goes out on the ledge and there’s this huge, thundering wind blowing the rocks loose, and he figures, “Now I’ll get an answer,” but the text says, God was not in the wind. Then the wind dies down and an earthquake begins rumbling, threatening to bring down the whole mountain, but God was not in the earthquake. Then a firestorm scorches the desert, but God was not in the fire.

It’s only then, after a whole day of epic storms and upheavals, once Elijah has quieted the wind of words racing through his mind; when he’s focused beyond the earthquake of sensations assailing his eyes, ears, and skin; when he’s silenced the fiery images of fantasy, memory and imagination; it’s only then that he can exist now, in the moment, only then that he experiences kol d’ mama dakka, the thin, fine silence that is a glimmer of the Divine.

The Rabbis says that the name of God cannot be spoken. This isn’t so much a rabbinic decree as it is a fact of nature. We can’t pronounce the four letters that represent the Hebrew name for God because they’re essentially all vowels. We try and speak it and it’s just breath. We get frustrated that it is just breath — as opposed to an actual something, an actual sound — and so we stop trying to speak it. We call it a law and don’t go near it. The name is forbidden, and we give up trying to apprehend the nature of the Divine name.

God is not in the wind, nor the earthquake nor the fire. God is in that fine silence of breath where our exhausted ego vanishes and there’s suddenly room for something more than ourselves. That breath is the Now. Focus on that breath, to the exclusion of all else, and you are in the moment — you are Here. The endless chatter in our heads is a repeating-loop recording of the past and the future and the maybe and the might have been. It is everything BUT the Now.

God is NOW. Enlightenment is NOW. The better and more complete person we each know we can be is NOW.

To Be Here Now involves developing sufficient will to maintain focus regardless of the storms raging within and around us. Only when we maintain focus and Be Here Now can we see the world and ourselves as they actually are.

Every other perspective is an illusion

So, after killing the priests of Baal with his own hands, Elijah runs to a cave at the mountain of God to somehow figure out why everything he tries to do goes wrong and what he’s supposed to do with his life now that the king and queen want him dead and the people aren’t listening to him. This is in I Kings, Chapter 19.

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