18 August 2011

Presence ~ Power ~ Now

My life grows in




Over and over the sensational thought comes:

How  did I miss this?  How did I not see this before?

Enlightenment:  not as a place finally reached or a level finally achieved.  More like a mirthful "duh"...realizing I was "there" all the time. Like discovering God was sitting right next to you the whole four hours you were wailing and gnashing your teeth, on your knees, beseeching "Please, please come..."

Yesterday morning I overheard a bit of conversation between two young women at a nearby cafe table. I was meeting a friend of my son's for the first time, a young woman new to the area with some pressing issues in her life situation. I was primed for listening and primed  to play the elder sister adviser.

In the eavesdropped conversation, I heard my own words from 25 years ago; the voice was different but the inflection was almost identical. What a breath catcher!  What an attention grabber!

Before I knew it, I was standing at their table..."Excuse me. I hope my interruption is not obtrusive. I just heard one of you say something that I said, almost verbatim, many years ago. This moment feels like a chance to take the hand of my younger self and share guidance...  Like a friendly time-warped 'pssst'..."

They were both extremely gracious young women. As our conversation unfurled in shimmering strands, they invited me to sit.  I declined because another young friend was waiting.  We shared a powerful, vibrant few moments more together before I finally took my leave and joined my son's friend. Judging from the temperature of the food on my plate, I was detained longer than I realized. The encounter happened outside of Time.

Later, as I was pulling away from the curb, one of the young women ran out of the restaurant and across traffic to ask one more question and ask for contact information.

In contrast to the singular nature of Now and Presence,

the not-Now has a million faces and gimmicks.  A popular egoic strategy lately, as I spend more and more time in Enlightenment looks something like this:

In my temporary guest lodgings, I share communal space with a middle-aged woman, her elderly father and several little dogs. One morning, I woke up to find a pissy mood bumping around inside me, looking for something to attach to.

As I drifted into wakefulness, I tried unsuccessfully to get clear on why I was in a bad mood.  Was it the elderly father?  Was it the dogs?  Was it jealousy or self-pity or arrogance?

Over and over I mentally approached a possible/likely notion but the closer I got to it, the less distinct it became. It was as though the bad mood could only exist in an unlit, shadowy, unexamined corner.

I didn't want to change the bad mood or understand it or heal it. There was no judgment. I just wanted to see it clearly and call it by its own name -- rather than allowing it to masquerade as me.

By the time I sat up and put my feet on the floor, there was nothing.  Nothing but the vast unruffled light-drenched vibrancy of Now.

And by the time I stood up, mind was frantic:  This is crazy! Freedom from mental suffering cannot be this easily achieved. Wait a minute!  Let's look at this again...there must surely be some perfectly good grounds for misery...  For several minutes, for example, from edge of bed to bathroom...through peeing, teeth brushing, face washing....I swing between Being and trying to get a closer look at that bad mood.

Finally, I decide to let it go and return to Now. But before I can take a full deep breath -- usually a reliable device for returning to Now -- my mind panics again.  Yikes! What was it Tolle said? What chapter contained the instructions for return?!  Damn!  I don't remember my way back to Now!

There, in the mirror. My eyes...  I catch my eye. Eye contact reminds me

There is the noise in my head and there's the One who is the awareness of the noise in my head. The one who looks out/in at me through the baby's gaze in the mirror.

In that instant, I am home again.  On the other side of the glass. I am God again. It is Now and I am free.

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