Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The power of presence

When you have all the time in the world and no fixed agenda then the tendency is to while away the time. But then I realise that this thought is coming from a pre-conceived notion that time should be well spent. And I also can see that the satisfaction that comes from doing something also arises in the mind. It is the mind that says, ‘I must do something’, ‘this or that is the right thing to do’ and it is the mind that says ‘well done’ or ‘you have wasted your time’. When the mind is still, I find that the urgency to do anything does not arise, there is no desire for movement, no desire to fill the moment with accomplishment. Things arise naturally and get done naturally. Because there is no agenda, there is no disappointment. There is no feeling of achievement either because I had not set out to do anything. There is however a feeling of fullness. Whether anything is done or not, whether anything is accomplished or not. I realise, the fullness comes from being present, present in the moment. Because presence fills you up. You are already full of it. You become aware of  your own fullness. Which is quite different from the flush of achievement that the mind conjures up, which lasts for a while and then disappears. Which then prompts the mind to find another goal, another milestone to cross, so that it may revel in its own importance.

The sun plays hide and seek from behind the clouds. A bird calls out. Its call, crystal clear and sonorous falls on my ears. For a brief moment we connect. But then, are we really separate? The collection of atoms that I call my body and which I perceive to be different and separate from the collection of atoms that is the bird gives the impression of separateness. But this perception is being projected by the mind. When the mind is still we do not perceive ourselves to be a collection of atoms with sense faculties. There is a presence which has no physical boundaries and may yet be one with the bird, with all of everything. To think of ourselves as just a physical entity with sense faculties and a mind-created self-image, concepts and belief structures seems very limiting. And a travesty. So then what is the truth about ourselves? The mind cannot conceive it, nor grasp it, let alone explain it. It can only be reached in stillness, when the mind is put away. Then silence yields the truth.