Monday, June 24, 2013

The Profundity of Presence

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We are that which is.

That is the truth.

What more is there to say?

The many words and tools and thoughts smeared across this spiritual awakening blog are all leading you to this truth. That's it. It's so delightfully and maddeningly simple. It is why the ego has to be one of the first things to be let go--because most egos don't want something to be that simple. They want something to be complicated to justify its existence. And yet the truth does not negate the necessity of the ego--a lens to interpreting the millions of little bits of information we get each day. But rather, we must be able to see clearly and not color our lenses to try and see something that we prefer. The truth is meant to help us see things as they are, not as we wish them to be.

In the space of abiding presence, you will see the truth. It will be in everything, and that inner profundity will continue to shift and re-shape life around you.

The Continued Swells and Shifts of the Spiritual Path


There is no end point on the spiritual path. For those of you in the throes of initial shifts or the depths of aligning to your awakened self and casting off the old husk of the ego, this may be disappointing. There is no end point. None at all. And while there seems to be a beginning point, even that is an illusion. Rather the beginning awakening or even a small spiritual realization or opening simply points you to the truth that has always been here. A spiritual awakening is an abiding force--it's you really--that relentless moves you to the truth while other spiritual openings simply are glimpses that are easily ignored by the ego. Awakening does not allow for such easy ignorance. No, awakening brings you to the truth of your light and dark, and once you rest there, the world changes. The world changes because your perception changes, and you change. This isn't a mental game. Just because initially changing the way you look at the world seems to change the way the world looks doesn't mean you're looking at the world right yet. People trade out the negative glasses for the rose-colored glasses, and we are no better off. Clear sight is seeing things as they are. But in this inner place where we see clearly, we are also different. That creates a new energy ripple naturally emanating out from us that profoundly shifts life (as some of you have undoubtedly noticed) and continues to shift it.

Returning to Presence Naturally

What happens (well, it's not a happening really) in abiding awakening is that you are always aware of life as it is. This doesn't mean that you are always making the most conscious decisions. Once again, I feel like I have to breakdown this myth of perfect enlightenment that people have. I would say that in being awake and conscious that I am making healthy decisions and interacting with people in integrity. But we are all still human. We still make mistakes. We still have blindspots, and we still grow in this world. The awakened space isn't a growing. It is a being; it is the fertile soil for growing. It is the understanding that growing isn't even necessary, but if that is what arises, then we are okay with that. The profundity of your presence is simply allowing and gently guiding the growth towards what feels the most appropriate, in integrity, and loving. That's really it; the rest is up to you.

The Pervasiveness of Your Inner Presence

Presence never goes away. It was never ever gone actually. It can get covered up, but I've found that the coverings are thinner and thinner these days for me. A part of me is always smiling. I am always smiling even if I am semi-laughing at myself for some of the ridiculous stuff that I still do. Life is so ridiculous most of the time. It's all made-up you see, but yet most people are taking things oh so very seriously. In the continued return to your deep presence--which may feel like the ocean tides, ebbing and flowing, ebbing and flowing--you never are very far from this presence. You are never really gone in truth, but as I said, depending on your path, karma, and remaining illusions, a separation may feel like it arises. This isn't too concerning because all it takes is a gentle nudge, a simple breath, and you easily return to the space that already is. It isn't a chore; it isn't a chore when the ego is no longer running the show.

Old Habits Die Hard and the Return of Ego Stories

You may notice that some of you will re-create ego stories. This is fine. Smile at those too. Don't take them very seriously. It's like if you recently became a father. Different stories in your head may arise about being a good or bad father. Smile at them. Then return to your loving presence; it is the most profound way to be a loving father anyway. Within you are all the tools to support and love your children, and there are few other external mirrors in the world to show you your remaining blindspots than your children. If anything, being a parent can be the master the class of spiritual awakening.

Other habits will reveal themselves throughout your life as you abide in your awakened presence, and then you may notice that you can choose to continue them or not. You may choose to be introverted or not. It starts to not make a difference, which you choose. A lot of people get caught up in defining themselves especially on the spiritual path. Some of the worst come in astrology where people create complex identities around their birth signs, but in the awakened state, you are not beholdened to act or behave any way that you do not choose to. Whatever initial tendencies you may have had at the outset of your life often get washed away. You may return to those tendencies, but from the awakened space, that is much more of choice than anything else. You choose how you are and how you live your life; that is what it means to be spiritually free.

Life Shifts Around You

Presence is so profound that it changes and continues to change life around you. I sometimes watch what happens to the people attracted to me by where I am internally. Invariably if I am very closed, certain types of people like to be around me. If I intentionally shift my inner space to drop into more love and presence, there usually is a shift in the people around me, sometimes quite quickly. It's rather interesting to watch, and it shows how we define the very people in our lives simply be how we are with ourselves. It doesn't mean that being in loving presence brings better people into our lives. It means that we are deeply interconnected with each other, and we draw out and repulse things in others. There's nothing to do with this beyond to gently and loving explore this inner and outer world relationship. This isn't about turning it into a game to see what you attract. Sometimes loving presence can call out a lot of unconscious in others because it wants to be seen, so be mindful of this. I can remember a story from one spiritual teacher about how someone in a restaurant got completely upset because he was in the room. There was no reason for it, and the teacher hadn't even interacted with that person, who eventually had to be asked to leave. So, be mindful of such things. There are always new revelations coming to light often through processes that are painful, but many of you already know that already.

Melting More Deeply Into the Shift

Presence is both dynamic and still. If you now want change in your life, melt more deeply into presence. Follow the flow before you. This requires you to be both open and vulnerable as well as engaged and mindfully guiding. Sometimes the boat needs more paddling to stay on course in the rapids. Other times, you simply need to lay back and see where the river is taking you. This is the power of your own presence. None of this comes from a desire to achieve a specific outcome. Rather, it arises from curiosity and genuine love of living. It's more like coming to an amusement park, seeing a map, and pointing to something that interests you. "Yes, I want to go there." So off you go. Or sometimes, you just go to the amusement park and start walking down the path.

But life is just as dynamic as you are, so the path changes after each step. The opportunities on the amusement park map also change with each step. Because other people are taking steps--unconsciously and consciously--so the realm of opportunities is always changing. That's why future telling is an inexact art form. While many of us have different levels of foresight, things are always in motion in the 3-D world. So what is possible continues to shift, but if we are relaxing into our own presence, the current step before you is always clear.

Staying Clear With Spiritual Self-Care

I often describe meditation as self-care for me. It's what I do to stay clear and find old hooks that I am still carrying. I clear those away--usually in the morning--and then step into my day. I encourage those of you who are resting in this profound presence to continue to do self-care. Every element of you needs a little love and attention from time to time because this is a muddy, gunky world. While even the darkness is beautiful from this vantage point, we all need to take a shower after being covered in mud. This is true on the inner realm as well as the outer realm. We are human; we are not invulnerable to the many difficulties and challenges of this world. Even as we continue to let go of illusions and melt into this moment, we will get triggered from time to time and hooked back into unhealthy cycles. It's actually kind of amusing after awhile because you will see yourself so clearly doing it. But then you know how to stop as well, and you can step back into the space of presence to breathe and let go. Breathe and let go. I've mentioned this before. It still applies.

Loving the Fullness of the Moment

Presence asks us to love each moment as it is. This too is a continued practice because life can still be very painful. A broken leg still hurts even if we are no longer lost in the suffering of blaming someone or ourselves for having broken the leg. So we love the broken leg. We love the broken trust. We love our own mistakes. We keep loving, and we keep melting back into presence knowing that there is nothing else to do but to love.
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