If you ski or snowboard, you have probably witnessed the powder frenzy that ensues anytime the snow gods dump a foot or more of snow from the sky. Elbow to elbow, people line up for the chairlifts or stampede through the rope drops, hoping to get fresh tracks in the snow. It is not pretty.

Last week some unfortunate 14-year-old was brutally trampled in the mad rush in Telluride, ending up with a broken femur. No one stopped to help. Some people even skied right over him. What ever happened to civility? Patience? All the beauty of the day, the effortlessness of flying through powder and the way it seems to slow down time, seems to have been lost in translation, somehow.

This is not just limited to ski resort etiquette. People jump in their cars after barely taking a moment to swipe away the snow from their windshields. You need to see to be able to drive, don’t you? Isn’t that why we take driver’s licenses away from your 80-year-old grandparents? I saw two cars on the commute this morning that still had four feet of snow on top of the roof. Yes, their windshields were clear—for now. But what happens when their roofs avalanche onto the windshields, or the cars behind them? Is there a broom shortage I haven’t read about in the Economist? I know Telluride doesn’t have a laundromat, anymore, but I believe you can still pick up a broom for a few bucks at the hardware store.

I understand the jonesing, the desire to devour all the great snow after such a dry early season. The way that the vision of perfect turns in fresh powder can cloud your thinking, make you anxiously run through your morning routine in order to get up on the mountain. But Eckhart Tolle doesn’t sympathize. Tolle, the great philosopher and author who gave us A New Earth and The Power of Now (which you should read, if you haven’t already), reminds us to live in the present moment. Maybe that present moment is cleaning the snow off your car, having breakfast with your kids or even stopping to help a teenager who has just broken his femur. All of these things are much more important than what you will be doing after them—they are what is happening now.

“All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry— all forms of fear—are caused by too much future, and not enough presence,” says Tolle. “The present moment is all you will ever have.”

This may be little comfort to you on a powder day. You might never recognize that the past and the future don’t actually exist, and that the only thing that is real is the present moment—it is a pretty enlightened concept for us to grasp. You might still hurry through the mundane tasks like walking the dog or shoveling the sidewalk, dreaming of the rest of your day. But if you think about it while you are making those perfect, swooping powder turns or having some other blissful experience—if you are able to be fully aware and focused during at least those present moments—then that’s a great first step.

Oh, and please sweep off your car. I might be driving behind you.

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