Often when my friends meet as a group, the discussions will revolve around the Present moment and Awareness. Many people struggle with this because they cannot see what lies beyond being present. I have had the opportunity to discover a world unseen, one full of spender. Like a dark vale lifting over one’s eyes and seeing light for the first time. This has been my experience in the past. The one I’m working to get to again.
My dear friend asked me again: “What if Awareness is not enough?”
By that, I mean that sometimes, for me anyways, I can be aware that my ego (or mind) is sending me negative self-doubting messages but the paralysing feelings are still very strong l…that is when I feel that even though I am aware that my mind is only telling me a story, I still believe it.
Your feelings are well justified. I too have and often feel the same way you do. The real issue is that “Awareness” itself is the problem because it’s a word and we try to give it and a small experience of it the entire meaning of life. “Is all there is?” comes to mind. Ok, I’m present, now what? That is paralysis and your mind is trying to reconcile the universe into a small experience and rationalise it in thought. I hope that my explanation makes sense.
This “New Age” though of “Awareness” and the “Present moment” has taken hold and so many people struggle with it. Many people believe they have arrived and that enlightenment is theirs. From my experience, many say they are aware as they have glimpsed it but very few stay there. Those who are there mostly are like the Buddha or those teachers that have incredible clarity of mind. Their love, respect and honour for others is very apparent. Just look at how the Dalai Lama is with others. NONE of his views are imposed and everything that comes out of their mouths is specifically directed to help you get to Enlightenment. When they speak their words have profound impact.
Now to get back to the issue of the word. The word and the idea behind the word is there to help you remember to get out of your mind, so you can “Witness” the present moment. Eckhart Tolle said it best;
“The words are no more than signposts. That to which they point is not to be found within the realm of thought, but a dimension within yourself that is deeper and infinitely vaster than thought.”
If you start relating some small experiences of awareness with the idea of awareness your mind will certainly start to try and make sense of it. This is the problem. It cannot. Well, not yet as your mind is still not “Enlightened”. When fully enlightened, all issues, problems, rationalizations make sense. Everything makes sense, the whole world makes sense. This is a strong statement I know. There is such a clarity of everything when you are Enlightened. Again, the word Enlightened is just a word. It’s only pointing to the experience. When I was on my voyage to enlightenment years ago, every day I stayed present as much as possible and even though I thought I was very enlightened there was always something else to know. A new realization that brought me closer to Life and God; closer to every living thing; closer to seeing the unseen move and make it’s magic.
You need to hold onto the thought of being aware to stay focused on the present moment. Once there, the entire universe begins to unfold to you. That word, that idea is one thought to help you remember. As soon as you are present you have to let go of it. It did what it needed to do. It was just a signpost. Make any attempt to “understand” the word and how it relates to your experience and you’ve gone back into your mind and will not be able to make sense of it. That is the trap.
In that present moment, the universe will unfold and your journey of self realization really begins. It will take you out of your comfort zone because your comfort zone is all made up of your ideas about yourself and the universe. In a way we all think we are self realized but we have it backwards, that’s why enlightenment is about undoing what you think you know. Our past experiences make up who we “think” we are and that is not your reality. Your life as you “think” it is not real. It is your story as many would say. You can never be just a thought or an idea. You were created from Life itself. It is the great mystery and so are you. Can you really define yourself? If you do, then you are playing pretend :) just like kids do.
The saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” is a call to be present. Follow your heart for it will lead you the way back home in Heaven where God and all his Creations are. What you are seeing now is a thick vale and it’s showing you a reality that you “think” is real because you made it up that way in your mind. Like a house of mirrors you see the reflection of what you think you’re seeing. Getting out of your mind is what the practice of presence is. Many people would say that the mind is the problem but it is not. It is a part of you. Your mind is a mirror for you to reflect originality, to be creative, to receive inspiration. Clarity of mind is essential to master as you cannot know reality if it cannot impress upon you its reality.
I can go on and on this subject. More later :)
I really enjoyed writing this for you. I hope it inspires you in some way.