Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Presence is Natural ~ Katie Davis, Author, Awake Joy

Presence is natural and does not require anything more. In other words, Self-realization is not an attainment or something you strive for. This Being-Consciousness-Bliss that you are is ever-present. It is right now.

The situation seems to be that a the thought “I” arises. In the old world, out of habit alone, we misidentified with the concept of "me” that is the “I am the body” idea. When this misidentification takes place, the “dreaming” I has extraordinary pulling power and suddenly all the other thoughts appear. So the thoughts are really not problematic. It is our misidentification that is at issue.

“I” is just another word. Where is the word pointing? We were taught that it was pointing to the body. This is true on a relative level of course. But is it true that your identity is limited to the body? I say this is not so, but this will be for your direct investigation. It requires huge curiosity, because you want to know the ultimate Truth. Ideas and concepts remain philosophical … instead we need to notice directly through direct experience.

When this misidentification with the “I” thought occurs, a veil drops and we are unable to be conscious of the being-consciousness-bliss that we are. To remove the veil, it requires that you seek this “I.”

Sit quietly for a few moments right now. Just close your eyes and be aware of how exquisite the air feels as it moves in and out your nose.

Then ask this question, “Who am I?” and listen with every cell in the body. We are not looking for a thought in reply. If a thought arises, such as “I am my given name”, ask the question again, aware of your breath, “Who am I?”

That question alone with lift the veil to perfect peace. Where is this thought arising?

It is beautiful to practice being present. The best tool for this is attending the breath. Breathing is always occurring right now and the present moment is the portal to the perfect peace within.

The body’s sensing is another tool. What do you hear right now? Do you smell anything? The body is part of the content of the present moment and therefore the key to the inner body.

But let’s take this a step further. The “I” that is practicing is the ego, the separate sense of self that needs more time and experience to realize. This is actually a postponement strategy of the ego. The more appropriate question might be, who is practicing? Who am I?

You are aware when you are driving your car, aware when you are shopping, aware when falling asleep. Are you aware that you are always aware? You are this Pure Awareness that is closer and more intimate to you than the body. YOU are appearing within this Awareness. You ARE this Pure Awareness. Another word for Pure Awareness is Presence.

So we are naturally present all day long during everything that is being done. However, most often, we get carried aware by compulsive thinking and lost in the thought stream in the head, instead of consciously being in the body.

The resolution?

1. Bring the “I” thought home by asking “Who am I?“ and then truly listen.

2. Are you aware of breathing?

3. Are you aware of sensing.

It does not take much effort to become aware of breathing all day long. It is always happening in every day life.

This is a first step and perhaps even unwise to move forward from here. Eventually the outward going mind (on its own accord) will remain within the Heart.

Of course eyes are looking outward, the body is functioning and sensing as it does, we are just deeply at rest … being still … while the body does what it does.

Body movement and activity can become Zen-like. During the morning shower, be aware of every movement. If there is a set habitual routine, change it. How does the soap feel as you pick it up in your hands? How does the water feel? Are you breathing? You become consciously present without rushing to the future about anything. Even if you are rushing, we are consciously present with that.

You soon find that the real effort is the misidentification with thought, having to maintain all of the ego’s ideas; constant thinking is exhausting! Day in and day out, how tiring is it to maintain the story of "me?"

When we misidentify with “I”, we move into time and space and then are caught in the world of duality. Relative happiness will eventually cycle to the opposite duality of sadness. Sadness will once again within time cycle to happiness. Neither are stable … where the Bliss and unending Joy are permanent.

Now, don’t go looking for it. You ARE it! When you are seeking, it cannot be found, which is why I say be STILL and notice what truly already is.

Katie's book, "Awake Joy: The Essence of Enlightenment," is available by clicking:

Awake Joy

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