Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make NOW the primary focus of your life. ~ Eckhart Tolle


Vietnamese Buddhist monk and author Thich Nhat Hahn tells an interesting story about a visit with his friend Jim Forest.

After they finished dinner one night, Jim asked his friend if he could do the dishes. The monk replied, “Go ahead, but if you wash the dishes, you must know the way to wash them.”

Jim replied, “Come on, you think I don’t know how to wash the dishes?”

To which Thich Nhat Hahn replied, “There are two ways to wash dishes. The first is to wash the dishes in order to have clean dishes, and the second is to wash the dishes in order to wash the dishes.”

Do you see what Thich Nhat Hahn was saying?

If we rush through washing the dishes (or any other task), then we are not washing the dishes to wash the dishes. We are simply getting the dish washing out of the way so we can rush on to our next task.

We are not living in the now, the present moment. We are missing the joy and the power of Now.


If you’re always yearning for another time, another place, another relationship, or whatever, you’re not living in the Now. You’re giving your power away to something that does not exist—the past or the future. Or maybe both.

All your power is in your Now, in this present moment. Neither the past nor the future can shackle you to a life you do not choose to live.

As you know, dwelling in the past often brings guilt and sadness. Focusing on the future often brings worry and fear.

Neither past nor future are real. Only Now is real. Do not hand your power and your life over to something that does not even exist!

Partially adapted from John Cali and Spirit Special Reports

P.S. Thich Nhat Hahn, who was born in Vietnam and is 92, was exiled from his homeland for many years. In November 2018, after receiving permission, he returned home to spend his remaining days there.

Copyright © 2019 by John Cali

How often do you fail to “wash the dishes” the “right” way? I know I’ve occasionally failed miserably at it.

What are some of the “tricks” you use to stay focused in the present moment, the Now? After all, as Eckhart says, that’s all we have.

Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.


One of my favorite spiritual teachers is Alan Watts. In this video Alan offers some great insights into the power of Now.


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