Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the weeks of August 26 & September 2, 2019

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Earth Presence

(One Earth, One Love: 2)

If we are locked within our own skin, the world around us barely exists. If we are not here within our skin, the world around us barely exists. The answer is to be here and be open. Indeed, they go together. The more alive we are inside, the more we connect with all the life outside. The practice of presence is not just personal. If we are present, the Earth is present. The Earth is present through us. Our presence is the Earth's presence.

Though presence is intimate and maximally personal, it does not exclude. The image of presence as being so contained, so self-involved, that we have blinders on, is misguided; presence is not navel-gazing. In presence, we become awake and firmly rooted, our boundaries porous. We come into consciousness, universal and boundless. We come into full integration, into wholeness. This personal oneness does not put others on the far side of a wall. It has no walls and thus no other. Oneness is one, not two. It includes you and me and everyone. This the fruit of the practice of presence.

Yes, our senses still function in presence. We see the million things, but feel connected with all of it, not separate. Every perception that our senses offer keeps us connected.

Take gravity. Always there. The Earth exerts its continual force on us, holding us invisibly tethered toward its center. Cars do not drift off into the sky. Rivers, lakes, and oceans do not float away. The glasses and dishes stay put on the dinner table. We live within the Earth's gravitational field. Always there. We live and breathe and move within it. Indeed, the very air we breathe is only here because the Earth keeps it here. The Earth's gravity embodies the Earth's constancy. Can we be as constant in our presence as the Earth is in its?

Consciousness has a boundless and ever-present quality to it. Gravity is like that. Indeed, those very qualities lull us into ignoring both gravity and consciousness. Can we instead open our perceptions to this force of the Earth, to this field of gravity that surrounds us? Can we be present in it and with it? Can we let the field of gravity lend weight to our presence and stabilize our presence?

You might try this. Pick up something nearby, something with a little heft, even just a glass of water. Feel its weight. That weight comes from an invisible force, a force that bends space. The weight comes from the enormous mass of the Earth, which creates the gravity we experience. In feeling the weight of the glass of water, we feel the pull of the Earth, the whole Earth. This simple experience of weight connects us with the whole Earth.

Consciousness has a space-like, timeless quality to it: invisible, empty, and ubiquitous. Gravity is the curvature of space-time: invisible, empty, and ubiquitous. Consciousness and gravity have an intimate connection, as neither is separate from space. Could consciousness be an emergent quality of space, a manifestation of the universe becoming spiritualized? Does presence affect space itself?

In opening our perceptions to the field of gravity that surrounds us, we open to consciousness. Just as gravity keeps our body rooted on this Earth, it keeps consciousness rooted as well, if we let it. We cannot say that our consciousness is separate from the Earth's consciousness, for consciousness has no boundaries. We live in that.

Gravity touches everything. If I am in and open to the field of gravity, then I am in touch with everything. Everything has and keeps its place in gravity. Gravity is how the Earth touches me directly. Notice something nearby, something held in place by gravity. For example, a clock on the desk. The clock sits there rooted in the field of gravity, just as I sit here rooted in the field of gravity. As I look at the clock I am in consciousness, in gravity, the same gravity that is in the clock. I am in touch with the inside of the clock and the inside everything else.

For this week, please work on being present on this Earth, with this Earth. Open to the presence of the Earth as continuous with your own presence. Be in touch with yourself and with the force of gravity exerted on you by the Earth, connecting you with the Earth. Make this a direct, visceral experience, not just a posture of your thinking. Let the Earth be conscious through you.


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