Category Archives: Presence

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 is the True Self

PresencePresence can be seen as the boundless and permanent container of impermanence. Objects fall and rise in Presence which has no beginning nor an end, it is eternal and infinite.

Presence is not an object but it is the source of all objects, the essential nature of objects, the essential true self.

It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you have a self but it is really the wrong way around, the self, Presence, has you.

Presence is the essential nature of all objects, of all forms, it has no boundaries or limits, it permeates everything, from the atom to the galaxies, it is immanent and transcendent at the same time. “Having impregnated the universe from a portion of myself, yet I remain” say an old Hindu scripture.

Presence is sometimes referred as “nothing” being the source of “everything” this can be a source of confusion. Presence appears as nothing if we try to define it from an object oriented point of view because it has no identifiable attributes or limits like objects have. Nevertheless, Presence is made of Presence so in that sense, it is not nothing. Also, the approach nothing/everything is dualistic in essence and doesn’t convey properly the essential unity of all that IS.

Presence is the reality behind the “I am”, Presence is the true self.

Calwen

What is Presence?

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Presence is what remains when thoughts are absent, when emotions are like a peaceful lake under a blue sky, and when you are aware of being aware, it is the light of pure consciousness.

Presence is just a word, a reference for the mind, it was my choice to call it that way, but you must feel totally free to call it as you want, you don’t even need to name it at all, it is up to you.

Words are just shells, pointers, they evoke a reality but are not the reality, they are just a convenient way to create a ladder in the mind. That ladder will eventually collapse, and the essence of what the words evoke will appear to the silent presence of WHAT IS when all mental constructs have collapsed.

Spiritual teachers insist that Presence cannot be understood with the mind, this can initially be very frustrating for the seeker who might conceive Presence as an unreachable and overly complex abstraction that can only be perceived by the selected few, nothing can be further from the truth.

The first thing I would like to tell you is that the reality behind Presence is simple. When you will be in Presence you will laugh and say to yourself, “I can’t believe it was so simple, it was always there, I just did not notice it.”

So why can’t Presence be understood by the mind ? simply because mind and thoughts are objects contained in Presence. Presence is that to which the mind appears, and not just the mind as we will see later on.

The witnessed cannot put the witness in a box, because the witness, Presence, does not have identifiable limits or attributes like objects have, as soon as it is framed it is lost. Only Presence can know Presence.

In programming language, we could, by analogy, say that Presence perceives itself very much like a recursive function works, it calls itself from inside itself and never leave its own scope. If you are a programmer, you could rightfully ask me “Where is the initial function call coming from?”, this event is triggered by the cessation of identification to forms, body, mind and emotions.

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Can you see the sharks ?

You have probably heard of  “The Magic eye” phenomenon in the 90s. Some people can see the 3D effect very quickly, and it can take a lot longer for others. It is just an analogy, but what is happening to consciousness when it “perceives” Presence, is very similar to what happens to someone who sees “The magic eye” effect.  It is obvious for those who can see it, but it is very hard to explain with words to someone who is still struggling to see it.

Presence is simple once you approach it through beingness not thinking. I will develop that point in more details later.

For now, just remember that it is simple to stand in Presence because it is essentially what you are, it is your natural state of being.

Calwen