Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice

 

Inner Work


For week of June 29, 2015

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Fluid Presence

(Living in Flow: Part 6)

Our body, heart, and mind have differing agendas, frequently at odds with each other. Furthermore, our mind and heart often distract us from the present moment. All of that hampers our ability to live in flow. In the previous weeks, we have seen that for a fluid mind we need to abide in the stillness beneath our thoughts, and that for a fluid heart we need to abide in the peace and equanimity beneath our usual emotions. At that level the agendas align.

Indeed, the stillness beneath thoughts and the peace beneath emotions are one and the same. In the unity of consciousness we become whole. Body, mind, and heart merge. We flow through life, and life, in its fullness, flows through us. No inner obstacles, no inner divisions block the flow. What we experience, we experience with our whole being. What we do, we do with the whole of ourselves. We allow a higher unity to take root in us. Each of our parts, instead of going its own way and rebelling, takes its place in the whole to such an extent that our divisions evaporate, leaving us in the purity of unfiltered, uninterpreted, immediate perception.

But pure perception and awareness, stillness and peace, though wonderful, are not the whole story. For completeness, we look to presence. And the core of presence is us: the one who is present, the one who is aware, the one who does what we do and experiences what we experience. The most direct and immediate way to come into your own I, into your will, is through being the source of your attention, being the one that directs your attention and receives the perceptions that come back, the one who inhabits your body, mind, and heart. This is who you really are, your true center.

Paradoxically, though, it does not seem to have a center, or rather it seems to be centered everywhere. This is due to the fact that our will, our I, is not based in time and space. You might rightly protest, “I am here right now, in my center.” But what’s happening is that your I is entering time and space and you from a deeper dimension, thus the quality of being centered everywhere.

When we marry unfettered will with unfiltered perception, we have fluid presence. Inwardly all is quiet. Or if not quiet, then at least we reside in the stillness and peace below the surface thoughts and emotions. We reside as our I, our will, as our core. Our I reaches into and unites all our parts under its umbrella. That is presence.

But fluidity of presence goes deeper still. If our presence begins in us, in our I, then it has a static quality. If instead, we come into our I and open our I to what is above, deeper than us, beyond our I, then the sacred flows through us. Will flows. Presence, no longer seemingly our own, nor not our own, flows. Our I has become a pivot point, not just oriented outwardly toward what is below, toward our body, mind, heart, and external perceptions, but also oriented toward what is above and beyond us. Then the higher can flow through us, as us, and, at least for those moments, we live in the flowing freedom of perfection.

Our I seems to have two faces. One looks downward, toward externals, toward body, mind, heart, and senses, and seems to be centered in us. The other looks upward, toward the Sacred, toward the Source and seems to be centered nowhere and everywhere. In opening upward and simultaneously facing downward, we discover that the two faces become one, and the flow of will and energy comes from above down through us. We can focus, for example, on inhabiting our body and at the same time opening to the Sacred, and the flow comes, as if it were the Sacred inhabiting our body, inhabiting us.

If we wish for more than a rare and fleeting taste of fluid presence, we must practice. We practice awareness of body, heart, and mind. We practice focusing and holding our attention and being that attention. We practice being in, inhabiting, our body, mind, and heart. We practice being our I, the director of our attention, the chooser of what we do. We practice being the one that is inhabiting our body, heart, and mind. And we practice letting go in our very core, pointing ourselves upward, deeper, opening to the Sacred, and living that inner freedom.

For this week, please practice fluid presence.


     

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