I'm on the verge of being present in a way I didn't even know existed. And I'm writing about it as a way of feeling the texture of it, immersing in it to get to know it more deeply. Even though I know theoretically that there's no such actuality as "inside" and "outside" when it comes to consciousness or the Absolute, that it's one big everything/nothing/everywhere/nowhere, directly experiencing it is a whole other matter. So there's this direct experience that's been making itself known over the past week while my Mom was visiting. That in itself is wholly fascinating to me as well -- taking a leap in awareness while intensively with family. Habitually, those were the times when I'd feel I'd lost a lot of the muscles for presence and awareness by the end of a week.
So this sense of something is becoming increasingly more apparent. I had to laugh that the most noticeable spike of Awareness to seemingly kick off my noticing of whatever it is that's going on (I know, I know....could that sound any more vague? Ha ha ha....), happened while watching BURLESQUE with my Mom on Friday afternoon.
I found myself magnetized by Christina Aguilera's character's unwavering focus, passion, and commitment to developing herself, for being the absolute best at her craft without suppressing or damaging anyone or anything else along the way. This fierce laser-like focus is undeniable. (As a sidenote, that I'd be getting head-to-toe goosebumps in a musical-like movie with Cher and Aguilera made me question my butch-ness, ha ha ha).
Watching Aguilera's character, I immediately went to the thought, 'What if I gave that kind of consistent focus and attention to the Presence (this is what I call 'Reality' or the 'Absolute' or the 'One without a second' or 'Pure Consciousness')...what if my attention to this Presence were unwavering, allowing it unfettered movement through all of my being? What would be possible for the people who come to work with me? What would life be like?
The answer felt a bit like walking in the airport and suddenly getting on one of those moving sidewalks, only at hyper-speed...everything accelerated, and immediately. The only way to have some sense of balance is to completely let go of control, to relax, keep focused on the Presence, and wait to be moved and directed.
As I came out of the theatre, I stayed with it. And I noticed that it was drawing focus. People were turning to look. This was the first test of remaining focused on the Presence. It's not about me. It's not me they're looking at. It's the same Presence that moves through everything, and somehow it's more noticeable in this moment. Rather than need their looks to fill up any empty places within me, my job is to let the Presence fill in those places, as only it can.
In the following days, up to now, something keeps reminding me to let go, relax, and return my inner gaze to this Presence, and to be noticing it everywhere.
It's strange to attempt to articulate it at this point. But there's a felt difference in looking at the trees outside the window by my writing desk in an old habitual way as separate objects that I'm looking at, or looking at them, and even feeling them, as part of this same energy flow that I'm feeling moving through and as my own Awareness. And yet the eyes still "see" trees. The feeling is very different though. It feels more Whole. There's a diminished sense of urgency within me. I didn't even know how urgent I can be a lot of the time (about who knows what, just urgent), except in retrospect, in these moments where there's so much less of it.
Writing about it is such a paradox for my mind. There's this ease-full contented feeling of nothing to do, nowhere to go, and yet knowing there are things to do and places to go today at specific times. The sense that's becoming more pronounced the more I focus on it, is that none of these activities are about getting something.
Back to my thought in the movie, 'What if I let my job be to 100% give all my heart and focus to this Presence?' And the response is a loud, "HELL YES!" Going and seeing 127 HOURS last night made this focus even more compelling. This guy must cut off his own arm to survive (true story).
Suzuki Roshi, a great Zen teacher, often taught, "Death is certain, the time is not. What is the most important thing? Focus on it."
I know I'm not my body, my thoughts, or my emotions. Yet I can still be seduced into those worlds. And it's not about avoiding or denying my body, thoughts, or emotions either. It's this in-between place of focus. I'm on the verge of in-between.