Author Archives: 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

Spiritual Awakening – Into Presence

Searching for TruthI started my spiritual quest when I was a teenager. I remember devouring mountains of books on religions and spiritualities, I was very enthusiastic about it all. I could intuitively feel that there was more to life than what I had been told or shown. I had to find what it was.

I quickly realized that most sincere spiritual approaches were pointing to the same direction, the words were different but I could feel that there could only be one thing behind the multiple appearances, and I would find what it was.

Nature has always been the source of my inspirations, the subject of my meditations and contemplations. The sky, the trees, the rain, everything was a symbol pointing to a living reality, Nature was a gateway.  I eventually came to realize that there was nothing like “me and Nature” but there was just Nature, there was just Nature contemplating itself, it was my first glimpse into Oneness.

One day, as I was watching myself meditating, it suddenly became very clear that there was no need to make any effort to find reality. That reality was directly accessible to me through the realization that there was only What IS and it was just about surrendering to that obvious IS-ness, The Presence of What IS

Another major way point was reached when I realized that it wasn’t me who was experiencing the world, it was Presence experiencing it all, my mind, my body and the world.

That awakening was nevertheless a temporary illusion, a consciousness switch from the form to the formless, from being something to being nothing/everything. A necessary awakening from the ego had happened but it was just a temporary station, there was more to it.

The path to realization goes through the complete integration of the form with the formless, of the born with the unborn, of your human impermanence with What IS, with Presence… and it is an embrace of Love.

This blog offers insights into a spiritual experience, there is no final destination and we all are eternal students, I have nothing to teach, I am only projecting my experience. It might resonate with you, it might not, I am just singing my song in the universal choir 🙂

Calwen

The Spiritual Teaching Syndrome

Crazy Guru

Awakening does not turn you into a Buddha, it only does unlock the capacity to “see life” from a new “point of view”. Awakening does not change the nature of your mental, emotional and physical “substance”, the colours and vibrations of the forces and energies that constitute your personality.

The ego does not dissipate magically after awakening, awakening is just the beginning, the post-awakening integration can take a long time.

The post-awakening impulse to share often morph into a desire to teach, it can be a natural move but it can also be a choice driven by the remains of an ego which haven’t fully dissipated more than a real spontaneous impulse coming from Presence.

Awakening does not turn a bad teacher into a good teacher. An ill-equipped mind won’t be able to choose its words very carefully, and they might be misinterpreted. A non-transparent emotional body might radiate a misguiding aura of nihilism, a lack of integration might reveal a poor capacity to adapt to the current vision of the students and to adjust the teaching accordingly, we can all share, not all of us are equipped to teach.

A quick tour of YouTube will reveal a growing number of individuals, mostly coming from “neo” or “pseudo” Advaita, presenting themselves as teachers. Some of them had genuine “experiences”, but most of them are mistaking awakening for realization.

They are offering a takeaway version of spirituality, finely tuned to our world of consumerism, to a crowd of young souls stuck in their egoic loop searching for a quick fix to their craving for an “awakening-lite”.

Those “self-appointed” teachers can be easily detected through their obsessive claims that they have annihilated their ego and that there is nothing left. They are particularly fond of sentences like “there is no one talking here”, “there is no me”, etc. Of course, what they say is not false but their OCB attitude is an indication that they have a poor comprehension of what the “ego” is and no comprehension at all of the process of integration into Presence.

A student that suddenly understand the principles of trigonometry might be very excited about it but it doesn’t suddenly make him a fully-fledged maths teacher, obvious to many not so much for the fans who are gathering in their YouTube video channel or Facebook page.

A growing number of those individuals have started to organize “teaching sessions” in their lounge or bedrooms, often the “teaching” manifest itself as an outpour of spontaneous “beingness” from a consciousness lost in wholeness, often funny, mostly harmless, excessively untamed.

A good spiritual teacher is not necessarily a man of good character and an enlightened man of good character is not necessarily a good teacher, but I do personally give more credits to a good teacher who is a living example of what he teaches.

Until real group consciousness starts kicking in, the compulsive spiritual teaching syndrome is well on its way, soon to a town near you, brace yourself and keep your eyes opened 🙂

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