Inner  Frontier
Cultivating Spiritual Presence

 

Inner Work


For the week of March 2, 2020


Simple Presence

(Relationship Presence: 10)

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Sometimes the bare fact of being with another person casts a warm glow over us. The simple, organic experience of being here in this body with another person brings us together both outwardly and inwardly. Here we are, being human and doing whatever we are doing. Breathing, sensing, seeing, feeling, hearing and thinking — the whole human package in all its ordinary familiarity and its extraordinary wonder. Fellow-feeling and friendship, family and strangers. Every one of us in the same condition of ceaseless time, with growth and aging, hope and fear, dreams and duties. Finding a friend and looking for meaning. Stalking fulfillment, where enough is never enough, whether materially or spiritually. Here we are, my friend.

In seeking fulfillment and meaning, we begin where we must: right here, right now. Can this be enough? Can we take this moment as it is and be content, perhaps more than content? Can we allow the natural joy of just being alive to shine through? Can we allow the natural joy of being with another person to shine through?

What gets in the way of that? Yes, we want more and we want better. Yes, we have places to go, things to do, and people to see. Can we honor all of that, act on all of that, yet be inwardly free? Can we pursue our dreams and fulfill our duties while living every moment of it? To be present is to be alive: inwardly alive, outwardly alive.

To be present is simple: being in contact with the whole of our immediate reality in this moment. To be free is simple: not to be stuck on or identified with any of the constantly mutating mass of thoughts and emotions that seek to occupy and dominate our center. Here we are, my friend, present and free.

Presence begins and is rooted in our body. When we are with another person, we tend to get lost in thoughts, emotions, and attitudes. If we are in conversation, then we may be inwardly reacting to what that person is saying to us and planning what we are going to say. How simple it would be to just listen, letting the thoughts and emotions come and go without going with them! Or to just speak, saying what we need to say, what is appropriate and useful. How simple to be with another person, to relate to another person, without any baggage getting in the way!

Keeping presence rooted in our body, in contact with the sensations of being in our body, is simple and keeps us simply present. Body presence, especially whole-body presence, does not get in the way of relating. Indeed, it enhances our ability to be with another person, because it brings us here into this moment and helps us stay present and not get lost in all those thoughts and emotional reactions.

For this week, please practice simple presence, especially when you are with other people.


        

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