I Am Already There

My intention these days is to carry a sense of presence with me throughout my daily activities. I have gotten to the stage where the time I spend meditating is very enjoyable and rewarding. I enjoy turning my attention inward and can feel a deep sense of restful awareness when I do. However, as soon as I start to “do” something, the busy mind takes over, and, instantly, I am in a race against time and in resistance to reality.

Here is a funny story I read on the toilet this morning from The Teachings of Sri IMG_0380Ramana Maharshi, edited by David Godman that might elucidate the conundrum.

The seeker questions the guru about the difficulty of maintaining one’s peace of mind when you have to work and tend to the needs of one’s family. “Everyday life is not compatible with such efforts,” he laments.

The guru replies: “Why do you think you are active? Take the gross example of your arrival here. You left home in a cart, took a train, alighted at the railway station here, got into a cart there and found yourself in this ashram. When asked, you say that you traveled here all the way from your town. Is it true? Is it not a fact that you remained as you were, and there were movements of conveyances all along the way? Just as those movements are confounded with your own, so also are the other activities. They are not your own, they are God’s activities.”

In other words, if we are inwardly quiet, not forgetting the Self connected to the All, we can be present during all of our movements and activities. There is no doing. There is nothing to accomplish. There is no getting anywhere.

I tried this today as I was getting ready to teach my class. I kept reminding myself. “I am not doing anything.” Then when I was driving there, I told myself, “I am not going anywhere. I am already here.” That was very different from my usual modus operandi. Usually I am filled with anticipation, hustling and bustling to go sit with presence once I get there.

What a shock! I am already there.

Synchroncities Galore

Are you experiencing more synchronicities these days?
Part of being a modern day mystic is to be able to recognize and acknowledge the existence of synchronicity.  Synchronicity is a concept developed by depth psychologist, Carl Jung. It is the simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related, but have no discernible causal fullsizerender_4connection. Even though these phenomena are not testable, the modern day mystic takes that leap of faith that allows him or her to perceive meaningful connection with seemingly unrelated events.

Lately I’ve been notably aware of undeniable, multiple synchronicities.  There are many different types of synchronicity, but I will only talk about a few here.

  1. The Out-of-the-Blue Synchronicity. I attended a workshop and the workshop leader mentioned the work of some teachers that we had both studied 10 years ago. The next day I had a long drive. I blindly reached into a bin of CDs I have in the backseat of the car. I pulled out a stack and the exact CD she was referring to was on the top of the stack. Mind you, I had completely forgotten about it, and I hadn’t play that CD for 10 years. I called the teacher right away, and she was duly impressed. She wanted to borrow it from me because she couldn’t find her copy.
  2. Synchronicity of Convenience. On the way to shopping, I walked past my neighbors garden lamenting to myself that her peach tree had finished producing. I had several different errands to run including getting a few items from the grocery store, most importantly –  some zucchini. I did the other errands and ran out of steam for the grocery store. On the way past the garden again, I was pleased see a large zucchini placed in the “Please Take” bowl.
  3. Be Careful What You Wish For Synchronicity. I was shopping at a discount department store, when I saw the cutest cat bowls with the inscription “Eat, Play, Love.” I thought to myself “If I had cats, I would get those for sure.” We have two dogs and that’s plenty. Then two weeks later, my husband, who is really not that fond of cats, mentioned that the cat rescue people were at the local pet store. I said, “That’s nice, hunny,” without giving it a second thought. Then ten minutes later I was over there and ended up adopting two darling, orange tabby farm kittens.

Synchronicity can be explained by the Law of Attraction, and it can be worked so that instead of the connection being seemingly unrelated, you use your intention to bend the outcome in your favor. That’s involves more intentionality. Being a little on the lazy side, I prefer to delight in the surprise factor of synchronicity. Sometimes my higher self has a better vantage point on what I really need, and what would support my higher purpose.

I’d love to hear about what kind of synchronicites are happening in your life.

An Experiment with Being Present

Of course I want to be more conscious and more present. Who doesn’t? Being able to sustain longer periods of presence is an on-going goal of mine. Yet I spend most of my time lost in my thoughts. For simplicity sake, let’s say there are 3 major energy centers where your attention can land – your head, your heart space and your pelvis. In general, your head includes thoughts and also spiritual connection to source. Your heart space can be about connection, expansion and sense of self. The pelvis includes the whole pelvic bowl and is about creativity and power. It is interesting to consider what percentage of time you spend in each of these energy centers during an average day.

img_2810I decided to do an experiment. I set an intention to spend the whole day being present with what is in this moment. I not only wanted to be present with “this,” but attempt to take it one step further to be One with it.

I started the day sitting at the computer and became aware of a nagging pain in my sacroiliac joint. This is not new. Usually I try to ignore it and hope it will go away. Today I gently nudged right into it and heard something make a slight popping sound. I didn’t think much of it until I stood up and realized it had adjusted itself.

Okay. Good start.

Then I was in line at the gas station and saw a young man drive by in a truck. I thought about my adult son who is having some troubles and, long story short, lost his truck. I was immediately triggered and started to feel really sad as my mind sunk into that whole story. There is a bottomless pit of heartache around that, and, for a moment, I was concerned that going there and being One with that would swallow me up for the whole day. I stayed with it though and road the wave of emotion and sensation. I included my pelvis for grounding, and it was truly intense. I won’t sugarcoat it.

Okay. Not good.

I was beginning to understand why it is tempting to simply ignore this present moment. It’s intense! I had a momentary distraction doing some shopping and was starving by the time I got home. I gobbled down my salad so fast I got food stuck in my throat.

Okay. Not mindful.

I slowed down, but what was that about? I became present and got in touch with the little kid inside that was starving and wanted food now. That greedy, hungry, little animal that wants what she wants and wants it now! Do I really

fullsizeoutput_5dwant to be One with that part of myself now? Do I have a choice? Not today. So I sat down to meditate and let that part express herself fully. She goes something like this, “I want, I want, I
want. I need, I need, I need, etc…” After a while I remembered a compassion exercise in which you enlist your witness consciousness self to say “I’m sorry that you have unfulfilled wants, needs and desires.” And you keep going with specifics about your feelings at the time until you have exhausted all possible avenues. That felt deeply satisfying, and then, when I opened my eyes, this beautiful, compassionate lady (Kuan Yin) was looking straight at me from the mantel.

Okay. Not perfect, but it’s a start.