Simply be open. Not ’open‘ like a straw dummy. Be open with the presence of wakeful attention. It is natural. Make no extraneous efforts to ’do‘ or ’be‘ anything.
—Gilbert Schultz Everything is Clear Obvious
Resting in presence is as natural as swallowing. Like the air we breathe, it’s in us, in front of us, all around us.
For this there’s no need to sit stiffly for hours in tomblike silence. Or master the fine points of The Gospel of St. Thomas or The Ashtavakra Gita. If that’s what we’re drawn to along the way, that’s fine. That said, the presence that we are is already here, available to each of us right now without doing a thing.
All that’s needed is to stop and allow things to be just as they are. When we're conscious in the moment—aware and fully present—the thought stories that upset us about people, work, and everyday life vanish. In the silence of letting go, where worries and fears fade, we find serenity.
Everyday problems die down. Life, no longer burdened by difficulties, feels lighthearted and serene.
A brief pause...
At first some find turning to this awareness obvious, even dull. At one point I wondered, What’s the point of sitting around doing nothing? But as I kept acknowledging presence, an all-embracing silence arose in the midst of the emptiness. It was unfathomable, yet unmistakable. Peace itself.
In this simple pause, so easy to dismiss as insigni- ficant, something magical occurs. We realize that we’re not the body-mind contraption with its muscles and blood, skin and bones. Nor are we the thoughts that come and go or the feelings that ebb and shift like the desert sand. We are nothing less than presence itself.
Right now as you read
this you exist and you are aware that you exist... This awareness is what you are; it is what you always have been... This is undeniable and certain. Be willing to stick on that point and linger a bit.
—John Wheeler, Awakening
to the Natural State
Ask yourself this question: What is wrong with right now if I don't think about it? To do that, you have to pause a thought. In dropping the thought there is just pure wakefulness, awareness, beingness. You can’t say it’s good, you can’t say it’s bad, you can’t say anything. There is nothing wrong with right now unless I think about it. It’s the thought that is the problem.
—Sailor Bob Adamson, from Only THAT: The Life and Teaching of Sailor Bob Adamson, by
To be here is freedom from insanity, fear, worry, struggle, striving, the urgent need to control, and the habitual yearning for security and escape from pain.
—Steve Hagen, Buddhism Is Not What You Think