For the first time in 25 years, I did not make a big dinner for Thanksgiving day. My kids were elsewhere, and I took the day off. I bushwhacked several miles through the woods to a remote cabin on the edge of the Boundary Waters.

No power, no plumbing, no phone service. No distractions. Just me and the trees and the sky and the snow. It’s quiet out there, away from the thrum of civilization. Amazing to think that humans used to live in this kind of environment all the time. Today our survival depends on activities like driving cars and paying bills, which pull us away from our inner selves. Back then, our survival depended working as a team, watching the weather, understanding animals and plants, communing with Nature—all things that require the marriage of inner and outer awareness.

I was only out in the bush for three days, but I could feel my life slowing down and connecting with a larger context. I was living in a meditative state. And I wondered:
How close to The Exact Present can I bring my awareness?
How would I know if I reached that point—would I somehow pass into the past?