Peace of the Present

Experiencing a noticeable lack of awareness of ‘me’ recently. Or at least the thoughts aren’t so strongly self referential. I am aware of myself of course, though I feel more blended in with what is around me, with whatever action is happening, being carried along by that.

I don’t really understand the non-duality philosophy though I have tried, or Buddhist technicalities of all of this, and I’ve pretty much concluded that my mind is not suited to understanding that way, think I’m more of a feeling into and experiential learner.

The interesting part of it is the experiential effect of it, and the byproducts. When there isn’t such a strong habitual referring to myself, a lot of the normal commentary inside is lessened, such as ‘I like this’ ‘I don’t like this’, ‘this is boring’, ‘what will happen next?’.

A lot of the time that internal dialogue would effect my current mood, and I’d feel contented or discontented depending on how the mind judged. If discontented I’d often make an effort to adjust my mood by reminding myself what I feel grateful about. Now that gratitude and appreciation is much more centre stage and obvious.

The internal running dialogue has quietened down. And what is left is a space. A space to experience moment to moment existence more directly. Just the intimacy of the experience in present time. And appreciation seems to be the natural response. I used to feel afraid of that space and fill it.

The present wasn’t noticed quite as much before because the mind was allowed to push and pull on what is happening moment to moment, wanting it to be better, thinking about things not happening right now, rehearsing conversations it might have, should have had, thinking ahead or into the past. Anything but be right now. For some reason the mind had a big resistance relinquishing it’s hold. There isn’t so much for it to do here in the present.

What has arisen is a higher level of joy. At least in the current cycle I am in. I’m at my happiest when I forget myself. When absorbed completely. I wonder if we all are. Suspension of self awareness in the action. The looking at the sunset, dancing, cooking, painting a picture, playing with the dog or a child. I suspected for a long time and now am more convinced that joy, peace, love, appreciation are all our natural state, just waiting to be let free.

It didn’t occur to me yesterday to feel lonely spending a whole day alone. I didn’t want or need company…just wanted whatever was happening. Previously I might have considered the day not satisfactory, or not entertaining enough. I just experienced the day moment by moment through the senses, rather than through the mind and it’s preferences. And little spontaneous experience arose out of the normal routine, like a second walk last night in the woods in the evening, much to the dogs utter delight.

I’m processing fear as it arises around all of this. That’s understandable. It’s the unknown. I am very much in the process of adjusting to this, and some of the things I still cling to, I cling harder to. Even though they don’t satisfy any more. Like cups of tea and also food is used sometimes as something to do, even though not hungry. Or reading or watching something unnecessary. Sometimes I’m a little spooked by all this stillness and feel an urge to fill it with something. Be busy. And that’s okay. Just noticing and going with it all and trusting.

“Situations don’t make you unhappy. They may cause you physical pain, but they don’t make you unhappy. Your thoughts make you unhappy. Your interpretations, the stories you tell yourself make you unhappy.” Eckhart Tolle

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