The Openness of Presence
The Simplicity of What Is
Here-Now: Plain and Simple
If we drop all the labels, ideas and beliefs about life and what’s going on here, if we let go of everything that can be doubted, what remains? Is it not the undeniable knowingness of being aware and present, being Here-Now, and being this present experiencing, just as it is?
When we look closely at actual experience, we can notice that it is ever-changing, impermanent, ungraspable, dream-like, and impossible to pin down. We may also notice that whatever time, location or experience shows up, it always appears Here-Now, in this timeless, eternal, infinite, ever-present immediacy that has no opposite, no inside or outside, no before or after. By shifting attention from thoughts and stories to the sensory-energetic actuality of bare experiencing, we may find that the supposedly separate self and its apparent boundaries cannot be found. We may discover that every interest, urge, thought, action and apparent choice emerges choicelessly from an unfindable source. We may discover that even what we consider to be terrible mistakes and misfortunes are all part of this undivided, seamless happening—that it all goes together as one, indivisible whole.
Realizing all of this is sometimes called liberation or awakening, but these words are misleading, for they suggest something special and out-of-the-ordinary, something that is not already fully present. But in any moment we stop and check, we are always Here-Now, free and unbound. Only in thoughts and stories do we seem to be a separate entity encapsulated inside a body, living in an “outside world” made up of separate, persisting things. This discovery of the boundless, undivided, non-dual nature of reality is not a personal achievement or a finish-line that somebody crosses. It is not a mystical experience or a metaphysical understanding. It is this simple, open presence Here-Now and this present happening, just as it is.