• June 13, 2019

    I am sure you know this, but I will say it anyway. There is a great difference between entering the present and being present. But perhaps this is a distinction that is easy to lose?

    From my perspective, entering the present is perhaps the most important transition that I can make of my own will. I voluntarily bring attention into my sensations and surroundings. I enter present time…not the illusory future or the invented past where I tend to spend most of my energy. I sacrifice thinking about the things that are not part of my immediate experience.

    Now, you may disagree that this transition is an action of my will. Perhaps I am surprised by something beautiful, a sound, a word, a gesture that draws me into the present. True, but even then, I agree to be drawn or the drawing quickly passes.

    But who enters the present? Why me, of course. I have identities, history, future engagements, places to go and people to meet, but I have temporarily brought attention out of them and into the present. Nonetheless, these realities inevitably shape and limit the present that I engage with. And if I react to incoming stimulus, my reactions will likely be my standard, habitual reactions.

    If my presence should happen to become present in the present, something very different occurs. I am no longer me. The presence of my presence has entered the present and I am temporarily unidentified. This immediately opens up space for seeing and responding differently. Past and future still exist but they are not me, they can be present in an expanded Present Moment without determining my state. What is it that makes the invocation of presence into the present possible? In my experience, it is an act of submission, of giving myself up.

    Tags: , , ,

  • January 24, 2018

    A group member writes:

    I remember: Early in life I adopted specific postures, gestures and ways of speaking to express and interpret my world. These came about through mimicry and necessity, shaped by my nature and predispositions.  Mostly I am so inside of these habits that I cannot see how I appear from the outside. They are me and I am them. There is no separation.  It is all part of my identity. Different roles that I have taken on have perhaps altered these slightly to suit societal expectations but I would say that my identity was determined at a very young age.

    I watch my new born granddaughter look out from eyes which cannot see as we see, where nothing is familiar, nothing is recognizable except the warmth and compassion that she is held. Yet her being is overwhelmingly present. Watching her over the last several months discover herself, the possibility of movement, the slow and steady occupation of her body, fingers, toes, arms, legs and torso. Her struggle with gravity.  And then taking that body out into the world. Where everything is a wonder. Somewhere in this journey, surprisingly quickly, a personality takes shape. Underlying this personality is the being who first arrived, naked and without the imprint of all of us who claim her as our own.

    Does that being continue to live in us throughout our life? Can we return to our being?

    It seems to me that if I could describe the essence of being it would be all perception and sensation. There would be a newness to everything, a wonder.  Of course we cannot eliminate our experience, but perhaps it could cease to be a blindfold to what is here now.

    Tags: , , , , ,

  • January 9, 2018

    The aim of work on self is dis-identification. The means is impartial observation of self in my life. It is clear from doing this work that identification is sleep, loss of will, slavery to habits, a loss of my capacities.

    It therefore follows that to become less identified is to achieve greater fulfillment and satisfaction, does it not? It does not. Being unidentified, unidentified and therefore being, is true, when it is true, in the moment it arises. And then I fall into identification again. But not as before. Because now identification is not innocent, not easily justified, not satisfying but deeply disappointing.

    Falling into a habitual identity is contracting, painful, shameful. The reliable motivations of sleep slowly wither leaving…questions, doubt, disenchantment, inaction. When spontaneously present, these issues have no substance, they are swept away by responsiveness to the possibilities of the present. But when I fall, I do not have a comfortable, self-indulgent, self-important self to catch me.

    Once I have left the matrix often enough, I cannot go back. I cannot stay where I am; the pain is too great. I can only go forward. May a way forward be shown to me.

    Tags: , , , , , , ,