Category Archives: Meditation

Practising Presence

empty_spaces_500x500I have already been writing on this subject but it is not redundant. I am not writing to entertain or feed the mind, I don’t write essays, I build bridges between the impermanent and the permanent.

I use words because I don’t have any other choices. It has been said before, “the best instructor is silence”. The essence of my message is beyond the words, beyond the thoughts they triggered. The essence of my message is what is left when the sound has faded, when the thoughts have vanished. When the activity of the mind stops, what is left is Presence, you are essentially that Presence, it is my message.

The mind can conceptualise Presence but it can never be in Presence, Presence can only be “felt” by Presence. By analogy, for those of you who have some programming knowledge, Presence would be a recursive function that calls itself from within itself and can only refer to itself from within itself.

So let’s try to describe what is happening in consciousness with a bit more details. How does consciousness suddenly move from, “Me, John Doe, I think of Presence” to “I am Presence”? It is fairly easy. If you think of something, it is a mind activity, when the mind activity stops, and to a certain extent all identification to labels and forms, all that is left is Presence, it is not more complicated than that. What often takes time is to become aware of the dictatorship of the mind and to slowly regain that conscious space, filled with thoughts, that it occupies while usurping your true identity.

Another name for Presence is Awareness or Consciousness. Not Awareness and Consciousness as in “I am conscious I have a beautiful haircut” or “I am aware that I am late for dinner” but I am talking of pure Consciousness, pure Awareness, in its pristine unidentified state. What do I mean by “pure”? I just mean that it is consciousness aware of itself at the source before it has morphed into mind activity, before the labelling and identification process started.

That pure transparent Presence is what humanity call “God”, a word that has been so overused and trampled over the centuries that I don’t think it is a great idea to ever use it. I am only using it here because I have judged that it is important enough to mention it in order to reconnect some dots.

Presence is that clear conscious space in which, objects, sensations, thoughts and emotions arise. Like a dream “exists in” and is “made of” the consciousness of the dreamer, the world “exists in” Presence and is “made of” Presence.

If there is one “dreamer” and the world is the dream then we have the power to awaken within the dream. In a “real dream” it is called lucid dreaming, while awake it is called spiritual awakening.

In this article, I won’t elaborate on a point that is essential in spiritual awakening but I will mention it nevertheless as you need to keep it in the “back of your mind” at all time. Awakening to Presence is only half of the story. That realisation is only the beginning. Once you are clearly established in your permanent self, Presence, your impermanent identity and personality will align itself on that new found clarity. Every personality has its lines of least resistance, imperfections and particularities and make no mistakes, spiritual awakening doesn’t brutally change any of that, it just brings a new “point of view”. That vision will progressively manifest through the personality as true compassion and with vision and compassion comes the correct action.

Finally, I would like to add that Presence, pure consciousness, does not exclude anything, it embraces all because it is the source of all. You will hear in some spiritual circles that the ego is the enemy or that there is “nothing to do” because there is “no person”. Those claims are never made in Presence, they are the claim of spiritualised egos. In Presence the permanent and impermanent are essentially one, embraced and united in Love.

From someone to no one, from no one to someone , I am complete.

Calwen

Presence and the Dream Analogy

dreamYou are dreaming that you are chased by a werewolf in a dark forest, you feel fear, you try to find a shelter or a weapon, it is all very real for you, but is it? What are the components of that experience? We have the chased, the chaser, the forest, all the emotions and thoughts that arise and…the dreamer, the witness.

If we dig a little bit in the nature of the dream experience we realise that the substance of the dream is not to be found in its drama and content but in the essence of the witness. Many movies can be projected on a screen but the screen always stays the screen, it is not affected by the movie. The chaser, the chased, the emotions and thoughts present in the situation and the forest are one in essence, they all arise in and from the consciousness of the witness.

If, while dreaming, you realise that you are essentially the witness experiencing a dream then you are having what is called lucid dreaming. You realise that you created the chased, the chaser and the dark forest. You were identified for a time with the chased but now you might, if you want, become the chaser or the bat in the tree or you might even…try another dream 🙂

The analogy of the dream can be used to approach the nature of our daily experience as a defined individual, a mind, in a body, in a world. Are we dreaming? Who is the witness? Could awakening be a form of lucid dreaming ?

The analogy of the dream can be used as a seed of meditation to approach the reality of Presence which is essentially witness and witnessed, the One reality behind appearances.

Calwen

Presence and the Hidden Object Analogy

Presence

If approached correctly from an intuitive level, as an analogy,  the little experiment I am describing here can act as a powerful doorway to PRESENCE.

Ask a friend or your partner to hide a little object under a box in front of you without telling you what it is.

In order to label an object, the mind needs to be able to frame a couple of attributes for that particular object, for example, its colour, its weight, its size, its shape. Because it is hidden under the box all the attributes of the object are unavailable and obviously the mind can’t label it. But does it really prevent you to acknowledge the reality of the presence of the object? if you pause for a little while and look at the box it will become very obvious to you that the presence of the object cannot be hidden from you, only its attributes. Although the mind cannot label the object, you can feel that the object is present. It does not need to be perceived by the senses to be present, its presence is just self-evident.

This analogy can be applied to Presence. It does not need to be labelled or “found” to be present.

WHAT IS does not need to be acknowledged, found, recognized or approved to BE THAT WHICH IS.

Calwen