Is it enough to be present ?

Here be dragons

A conversation between Angelika and Michaela

A: Good morning, Michaela! What´s up today?

M: Good morning Geli. Its raining cats and dogs here – thank god I do not have to go out today.

A:  Same here. The weather is similar to November´s, even though the trees are still green and it is still quite bright outside. It is almost a contradiction in terms. Which leads me to what I would like to talk to you about :

Why is it not it enough to be in the present moment and all ego gets transformed or burned up?

M: Good question. Why is it not enough to be in the present moment and all ego dissolves. Actually the present moment  is all that is needed. If I am really present, there is no thought or identification of past and future,  I am just here and now and recognise everything else as an illusion. The ego does not “exist” in the present moment, because it does not latch on to a thought. In such a moment I have a chance to recognise the illusion of it all and everything that  is real. This is understanding Truth. However, what happens when thoughts come in and pull me out of the present moment again ?

A: When I am “in the Now”, as Eckhart Tolle calls it, I feel open, warm  and alive. I can feel something flowing in my body and a Stillness comes from the heart, extending into my body.
Sometimes the Stillness comes all of a sudden, while I am busy doing ordinary things.
And then I shift back into contraction, I feel tense or dizzy or simply uncomfortable or blank.
I am pulled back into thinking.

M: Well, that’s the thing. We shift back into contraction. And it is not always so simple like “ not thinking about past or future”. Shifting into contraction can be an automatic process, a reaction triggered by an unconscious thought, some wanting or grasping or avoiding. Something in me wants the current situation to be different than it is and entirely unnoticed by me,  I go into contraction. Often I cannot simply “pull myself back into presence”, because that nervousness or contraction actually prevents this from happening.

A: I heard Eckhart Tolle saying that his “becoming aware” came about one night after he had suffered from an anxiety attack and became aware that there must be two different “self” within him.  He continued that after this insight, he was pulled into a void and passed out.
When he woke up again, he was in a different state of being, “detached from ego.”
As far as I understand, his actual  process of awakening took place without him being conscious about it.   My own process of awakening includes my waking consciousness, at least for the most part. Some medical interventions can be done either in general anaesthesia or in local anaesthesia. While locally done I can observe what is happening.

My awakening seems to be done with  local anaesthesia or even none at all.

M: Funny notion. As far as I am concerned it too happens while I am watching the procedure. But of course I cannot see everything, it really feels like “being done” and I have to have faith in the process.  Anyhow, the important thing is that in a state of true presence, we do recognise the “solution” – everything is simply dissolving, if we bring awareness to it. And this is also the pointer to any other state of being “deluded” again – the moment we bring awareness to it, it can no longer persists. Ego formation is really a process and it is largely unconscious or automatic. So I really need to understand how these processes work and “where” they take place, in order to bring awareness to it. This is just another word for acceptance. But I can only accept, what I actually recognise or sense. So if there is something that is pulling me out of being present – a thought, a feeling or an emotion – I have to enquire,  what that actually is.

A: Oh, now I see something for the first time. Since the process of forming an ego or a personality takes a certain period of time, the resolution of ego / pain body / personality takes a period of time as well. Would you agree on this?

M: Well, I think this is different from person to person. If it happens overnight – then it takes some time to grow “ego” back, to be able to function again in this world. This actually happened to Ramana Maharshi and to Eckhart Tolle. But in general I think you are right – it took as a lifetime to grow our “egoic, conditioned mind”, so it will take some clock-time to “ decondition” it again. I really like the word “deconditioning”, because it describes what actually happens: by bringing awareness to a reactive pattern (let us say I get annoyed whenever I have to wait), I start to understand that a thought is triggering a reaction, like a feeling of uneasiness or an emotion. By uncovering this mechanism, I have a chance to understand and “unlearn”. So the next time I run into this situation, my “action” might be to accept it as it is. I accept the situation and my own reactive pattern, and this is how I  change to the process of “letting go”. I do no longer want something else, but accept what is right now.

A: Yes,  I understand. I once saw a movie, called “What the bleep do we [k] now?” Although I know that the movie is merely touching the surface of “physical reactions and brain functionality” it shows the correlation between actual thinking and physical processes.
Can you tell me please, if it is necessary that becoming aware is accompanied by changes on the physical plane?

M: I am not sure, but what I “feel” happening is simply an “opening up” on a physical level and the feeling of warmth and energy flowing unobstructed. Physiologically  I think this is a dilation of blood vessels. Whenever we are under “stress” – or pressure – the muscle fibres in the wall of the arteries contract due to the influence of stress hormones. They increase resistance and this is what we feel. If we “let go”, we are no longer in resistance and experience a relaxation. So to bring awareness to anything that is going on in me right now, has the same effect. I relax into being, I “let go”.

A:  And we feel “Life flowing again.” Thank you very much for bringing light into this.
Your explanation is a great help for me (my ego..:-)) to deepen my trust in the process, which enables the letting go. “The Laundry”  is calling me into practical matters again.
Thank you again for your time to listen and respond!
See you soon!

About Michaela

I am a wanderer and a wonderer, like you are. I love our journey and to walk in the company of friends – to learn, experience, share, laugh, cry and above all I simply love this marvelous, magical, mysterious life. I have no plan (cannot believe I am saying this) and my only intention is to be truthful to myself and others.
This entry was posted in On the sofa and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Is it enough to be present ?

  1. Eileen says:

    Dear Angelika and Michaela,

    Thank you so much for touching on the subject of “deconditioning” and the resolution of the ego/pb. This talk really helped open up some resistance and created some space today.

    Thank you for defining deconditioning- i never realized the power of a word and what it could do, or at least point to.

    love,
    eileen

    also, i wanted to mention that i am reading a book on finding an approach to building loving relationships called : Hold Me Tight-seven conversations for a lifetimeof love by Dr. Sue Johnson. It really delves into the reactive patterns and triggers in a relationship. It helps to decondition, as you say, the patterns in relationships.

    Decondition, decondition, decondition, decondition, decondition—- i really love that word!!!! I think i will put sticky notes all over the place today with that word on it. maybe even write it on my forehead-LOL

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