Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the week of January 27, 2020

Savoring Presence

(Relationship Presence: 5)

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People are a stunning and awesome miracle. Everyone. Yet through familiarity, we become jaded and oblivious to the remarkable nature of each human being walking through our lives. Young children remind us of this. Everything is still fresh and new to them. That is one reason they are so endlessly fascinating and lovable.

As we enter our teenage years, we start to lose that sense of freshness. That effectively shortens our life by putting less life into each of our days. We start dismissing and disregarding entire swathes of our time as unwanted or boring. We do our best not to experience those moments, just enduring them and hoping they end soon. But this is our life, our only life, that we are killing. And so we live less than we could. Out of a whole day, how much of it do we dispense with and look past? How much of it do we savor?

There are degrees in this. We might be in a state of waking sleep some of the day, wherein nothing much penetrates. We might be half-alert much of the day, just enough to function passably. Or we can be fully engaged, fully present in what we are experiencing and doing in any given moment. The notion of quality of life comes to bear here. For a moment of our life to have any real quality, we need to be there and experience it whole-heartedly.

One approach to that quality is to practice intentionally savoring each moment. We could savor our food as we eat, actually tasting each bite, noticing how it is. We could savor being in our body, our primary blessing. What does it feel like to have a body? What do my arms and legs, my face and hands feel like? We can be in contact with our body and the fact of being in it, which is the spiritual practice we call sensing our body. We could savor the sunset and more generally our experience of nature. We could savor all we see. We could savor all we hear. We could savor our ability to think and to feel. Like a young child, we could savor every moment as if it were new, because it is new, and we could live more thereby.

And we could savor our moments with other people, those we see often, as well as those we see only rarely or just once. This means truly being there with other people. It's about respecting, listening, watching, and exchanging. It's about appreciating each person for who they are, not for what they can do for us. It means opening toward the perception that each person has this Divine emanation at their core: each person whether they know it and honor it or not. In front of another person, we are in front of the Divine, however well hidden. All of that enhances and deepens our relationships, even the fleeting ones.

In presence we live more, we live fully. Savoring experience is a way into presence, because in savoring something we bring ourselves into contact with our perceptions of that thing. Being in contact with our perceptions is the first stage of presence. It both awakens our sensitive energies and brings consciousness to bear. Thus, through the practice of savoring, we enrich both our outer life and our inner, spiritual life. It becomes one life, with the spiritual infusing the material.

For this week, please practice savoring more moments, ultimately each moment, of your life. Please practice savoring your time with other people.


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