My main aim in pretty much everything I do is to help people come closer to presence, recognize it and experience it.
Over the years doing this, one thing I have noticed is that many times people confuse the idea of presence with a good feeling, with something positive, something nice and pleasurable.
But presence is not necessarily about something good and pleasant, is not about springs, birds and flowers, but about ‘what is’. It is about allowing and being connected to ‘what is’, independent of the pleasantness or unpleasantness of it.
I am thinking about this as I just came back from a small dental surgery, and as I write these words I am experiencing quite a bit of pain. For me, right now, this moment does not feel particularly good. But, independent me liking or disliking it, this moment is exactly what it is.
The mind tends to resist what it does not like; it tends to find reasons and excuses why what is happening should not happen, or should happen differently, and looks to place blame and criticize all and everything.
Right now, I can see lots of resistances to this moment but, in presence, I can also see that these resistances are neither necessary nor useful.
Resistance is something that the mind adds, and it does it because it thinks that our ideas of what should be are what should be.
But in reality what should be is not what I think, but only ‘what is’. And the evidence for that, the very hard evidence, is that it is: this moment ‘is’, and resisting it, or better said, believing the resistances (as they will appear with or without our consent) is to lose presence.
Presence is not about a good or a bad moment, a positive or a negative one, but is about recognizing ‘what is’ and, without believing or getting lost in the resistances, allowing it deeply.
In this respect, the mind can be like a little child that keeps protesting, keeps wanting and asking for what is not here and is not available.
A sweet example I have of this is when my son was very little and we were at the sea side and suddenly he started to cry because he wanted to be with his grandma. At that time his grandparents were living very close to us and it was quite easy for my son to spend time with her. But that day, we were hundreds of kilometers away, and because he could not understand distances, he kept crying and asking for her.
Often, this is exactly how our mind is: something is happening, and if for whatever reason we don’t like it (even when the reasons are reasonable, like the pain I am feeling right now), we tend to reject and resist ‘what is’, wanting ‘what is’ not to be.
But ‘what is’ is beyond our likes and dislikes, is beyond our ideas of how it should or should not be.
Of course we can and need to do everything that is within our power and possibilities to change, improve and/or enhance the moment, but ‘what is’ is precisely that which is not in our power to change.
What has the potential to be improved is the next moment, even the next instance, but not ‘what is’, not the present moment. ‘What is’ is exactly what is appearing in the moment right now, and it is set in stone.
Presence is about recognizing and allowing ‘what is’, the inevitable and unavoidable expression of now.
And this recognition is a power, is a wonderful possibility that is given to us.
It is the power to seize this sacred moment and to live it fully, without all the resistances the mind tends to create.
Life is not about our likes or dislikes.
Life is about ‘what is’.
And ‘what is’, from its own point of view (the point of view of the whole), is always perfect.
We are given the power to rise up to that perfection and, in it, independent of our likes and dislikes, to find peace*.
Then, from that peace, when necessary, we act, move and respond.
* Peace is only one of the possible expressions that arise from that discovery. There is also fulfillment, fearlessness, happiness, fulness, meaning.