A Disencumbered Now

Expecting anything from the next moment will make you leave the present moment. Holding on to anything that took place in a past moment is a hindrance. It will curb your ecstasy. It will dampen your freedom. It is like the surging of time in a timeless moment. It will throw a cold. Now is always timeless. Otherwise now is not now anymore. Now then mingles itself with thoughts of past events, and with expectations. It is sullied. Eternity is lost, replaced by the movement of separation. Stillness is disturbed, transformed into endless seeking. Now is being encumbered with time. And time is nothing but the main constituent of our limited, illusory, suffering self.

The present moment can never be a moment. It would make it of time. It would make it last. Nothing lasts in the field of the now — which is pristine being. Something that lasts is already stained. But presence is only shining in purity. It is an empty container, even when it is full to the brim with multiple appearances. Presence is unencumbered by anything past. It doesn’t need to accumulate. It doesn’t need to expect, hope, project, prepare. How do you accumulate in fullness? How do you prepare for the inconceivable? How do you expect the unanticipated? How do you hope for the unexpected? Presence is like a pure diamond. Any impurity, the slightest stain, will lower its intrinsic power and value. For the diamond of being needs clarity. This is how it takes ever more light. The diamond of presence has to be unadulterated. This is how it is made genuine and innocent. Disencumber the now. Unload it from anything that is coming from thought, that finds its origin in the memories of the past and the images of the future, and expresses itself as fear and lack. Your apparent self is made of such thoughts and images, with their concomitant feelings. They are like the soldiers of the separate self’s army. Take a time off from these. Stop indulging in them. Don’t be fooled and misguided by them. You are not made of the past or the future. These are only the now in disguise. Now is who you truly are. Now is all there is. So go for the now. Allow it to shine freely. Disencumbered.

.

~~~

Text and photo by Alain Joly

~~~

.

Other ‘Ways of Being‘ from the blog…

.

A Story of Lack

‘Melancholy’ (Part) – Odilon Redon, 1876 – WikiArt

.
When the ‘I’ is divested of the ‘I’, only ‘I’ remains.”
~ Ramana Maharshi

.
Don’t run in the other direction. Don’t take a sense of lack for a need. For this is what we do, when we sense in ourself an insufficiency, we want to fill it up, by all means necessary. We think it important to grant its wanting, its craving. But a lack is never a need. A lack is a fact that needs no repairing and no repairman. By bowing or giving allegiance to it, we submit ourself. We give up all power of understanding. We place ourself at the level of that lack. We become small. We don’t respect it. For this is not to respect it, to obey a random sense of lack. For lack comes as the supreme teacher, and our genuine bowing to it rather takes the form of listening. This is how we bow to a teacher, how we respect it, fulfil its function: by listening to it. So we listen. We stay motionless and invite its teaching. We don’t run away in the other direction.

[…]

A story about how a sense of lack can be the real teacher… (READ MORE…)

.

The Ways of Being

Have you ever tried to live just above yourself? Now look. There is a whole set of activities going on down below, but you don’t need to get involved. It’s all conditioned reactions anyway, so don’t get entangled with any of it. You know this ceaseless activity: The ‘thoughts’ and the ‘felts’. Perceptions mesmerising you with their belly dancing. They will precipitate you down. They will be your fall. As for the body, it can take care of itself for the biggest part. Attend to it only when it’s required. To go to the dentist or to the cinema. To give the mind a vehicle. Fair enough. These are the contingencies of life. Feed the body well though. And give it something to do to keep the joints going, or for pure enjoyment. Joy is not some kind of negligible. It’s a necessity of life.

So bodily activity doesn’t need your full involvement. Stay aloof. Enjoy the show. As for the rest, you can be with being. You know this place that’s immobile, that never changes. Trust it. It will keep you safe. Stay there, just above yourself as it were. And don’t think that you are being haughty or bourgeois in this. Being is not that sort of being. It is not really above. It mingles with the lowly too. Actually it is everywhere. It cannot be taken apart. It’s the very fabric of experience. Only give it a little attention, and it will take you with itself. It will invite you at its home. Beautiful. Spacious. Silent. Well situated. You wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. You can bring there all your messiness. She doesn’t mind. Even these noisy and shameful friends of yours. But give them a warning though. They might not be served their usual cheap wine. Being has its ways. Her friendliness is contagious. Your friends might fall in love. They might shrink eventually and disappear. And make ‘being’ their home… move there for ever… even marry her… and be happy hereafter. You know the whole story that goes with it…

.

~~~

Text and photo by Alain Joly

~~~

.

Other ‘Ways of Being‘ from the blog…

.

How Difficult is That?

Isn’t this strange to have that constant race towards being when we are already fully being, and furthermore, doing it with absolute perfection? We keep projecting another better being than our present being, which we have judged not enough, un-sufficient, un-perfected. But we couldn’t be being any more or better than we are now already doing. What would I want to be but what I am? Why this be-coming? It is such a plain, inescapable evidence: I am this awaring presence. Presence, or being, is my natural abode. This is who I am.

Yet I’ve had all sort of ideas about it. And fanciful ones, believe me! That this presence was a me-person located inside a body. That it was an idea, a point of view that needed nurturing and developing as I — the me located inside this body — desired it. And if ‘I’ couldn’t do so, that would make this ‘me-majesty’ a sad, upset little ‘me’. And that sad little ‘me’ would go on living the life of a body located in space, projecting all the beings and things it senses as representing an ‘other’, a ‘world’ out there in which he roams about alone, gets scared, and craves, until he finally dies. That’s the end of ‘sad little me’. Body dies, he dies.

Hell no. That’s not the way it is. God forbid. There is no sad little me. That’s not there. It’s an idea, an image with no reality. I am not sad. I am not small. Not located. I am presence itself. I am this sweet, loving, sensitive, subtle knowing of everything that presents itself in this field. I am this field of knowing. This tenderness taking all in. I am the big, soft, loving eye of knowing. Knowing is my home. As for the rest, I am homeless. I don’t need to crave, grab, grip, grapple, grabble. None of that. God forbid. I am free. Unattached. Deep diving into the very substance of my self. Experience is my constituent and I am in love with every bit of it.

How difficult is that?

.

~~~

Text and photo by Alain Joly

~~~

.

Other ‘Ways of Being‘ from the blog…

.

The Guard and the Prison Breaker

‘The Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog’ (part) – Caspar David Friedrich, 1818 – WikiArt

.

Without freedom there is no self-knowing 
and without self-knowing there is no meditation
.”
~ J. Krishnamurti 

.

Few sensations are as boisterously exhilarating as freedom is. Freedom is something that we all love to feel. To be freed! Freed from all weights and limitations. Freed from everything that bullies us and pins us down. But most of the time, this feeling is experienced from the vantage point of the little thought in our head that thinks it runs the show. This entity thinks that its freedom comes from being separate, and from its capacity to do what it wants. This is what being free means to most people. But is this really what freedom is, where freedom lies? In expressing all that comes from the lack and desperation of a limited, vindicative little self? If that is so, then this freedom takes us nowhere but in the already known boundaries of our self. How could that account for the power and magnitude of this feeling? Freedom cannot be so small and contrived. What is it then? Where is true freedom to be found? 

Freedom can never be fully felt within the conglomerate of our thoughts, feelings and perceptions, between the four walls of our prison cell. We may feel some occasional bursts of pleasure but this is not the real deal. If you search for freedom through that portion of yourself that is fleeting, fragile, untrue, you will by definition prevent the advent of any meaningful freedom. You will have limited freedom, something to be achieved, something to be added that becomes just another object, another aim in view. And don’t forget that this limited freedom can never be achieved anyway, for we in truth can never do what we want. And of what advantage would it be to follow the clumsy, limited, fanciful ideas of a mind that stands on false premises. Because of this impossible claim, we feel bitter, sad, violent, jealous, regretful. Let’s move away from such dangerous idea. 

[…]

An inquiry into the question of freedom… (READ MORE…)

.

The Virtues of Shopping

Shopping is not an activity that I‘m particularly fond of. Quite frankly, I only get on with it. One of these things that I just have to do. Sometimes, it comes with some extra difficulties. Today it is pouring rain. That just came suddenly to annoy me as I’m walking back home with my bag of groceries. Well, I’ll clench my teeth and show some bravery. But my inner world is screaming out loud. A whole company of thoughts that march in my mind, and on it. For they numb me, make me blind and deaf to the world. In short, I’m complaining about all sorts of things: my stiff body and this cumbersome umbrella; a walk far too long from the shop. Now I long to be home and hurry my steps. I fiddle for my keys. Three storeys to climb. No room for a view…

Well, that’s one version of it. The other is to be simply present. But that’s easier said than done. Unfortunately I don’t master it yet. I get lost. Forget myself. Maybe I’m trying too hard. For this quality of presence often comes unexpectedly as a gift when you really let go of yourself; of that little babbling, pestering mind. In those precious moments, you come to know precisely what you are doing. It is such a gift, to know what you are a part of. Life then comes with its own explanatory notes. It unfolds; shows its brightness and dumbfounding simplicity. I know with a childlike clarity that I am now — actually — coming back from shopping. Not in a vague and lazy way but clearly. I am fully participating. There is a slowing down. I become interested. Present.

There is a body walking here in the street. And I’m grateful for it. It’s even a thrill to feel it. To be alive. To have this pain in the shoulder. Nothing much. The little price to pay for carrying the shopping bag. There are not many thoughts around, so the world does not appear somewhat darkened, in two dimensions, as a flat and dull projection of a mountain of resistance. There is some relief, profundity. It is three-dimensional. The rain has stopped and the houses around appear with their various pastel colours, as it is commonly seen in this region. This is really beautiful. Many bicycles are negligently resting against the wall by my side. Some are standing under the trees with elegance, and a certain artistic composure. I feel truly happy. 

I don’t feel constrained by my shopping. On the contrary. It comes with a gentle and subtle sense of pride. To bring back home the necessary food that will substantiate us. It has purpose. What a lovely thing to know what is exactly going on, and not what we project and finally invent. To have a clear view. To see meaning. All these things that come easily when we do not impose unnecessary barriers on our living experience. Countless drops of water are now falling leisurely from the trees onto the pavement. It is a soothing thing to see and hear. It is music. A few high green plants grow around a nearby trunk, stand erect, dance even, stretching towards the rain, blessed. Even plants can show some eagerness of living, some gratefulness, and finally this strange sense of happiness that pervades the world when it is seen for what it exactly and truly is. It is my turn, today, to feel just that!…

.

~~~

Text and photo by Alain Joly

~~~

.

Suggestion:
– Other ‘Reveries’ from the blog…

.

An Unnoticed Pathology

In our relationship to truth, we often find ourselves in the position of somebody who, on waking up, tries to remember his dream. Any searching, any effort to remember, the slightest doing towards that goal, is pushing the dream away, dislocating it irremediably.

The problem is that we want something. This is our state. Our unnoticed pathology. One that we have inherited from society, and that we have integrated to the point of being it — this wanting, craving, searching. We mind what happens and want to control it. Fair enough. But we should do it from a position of truth, of relaxation, of not minding. We should let the story go, the one that tells us that we are incomplete, not enough, needy of a thousand things, and that prevents us from seeing clearly this presence that we are now and of all eternity. 

We cannot even say that we will let go of all seeking and just sit down doing nothing, for our ‘not doing anything’ is already a cathedral of doing that we have patiently and methodically put together over the years. As the French philosopher Blaise Pascal once noticed, “all of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” 

[…]

Some thoughts on our unfortunate propensity for seeking… (READ MORE…)

.