A Window is Where the Wall is Absent

The life impulse to express and to connect arises in me and in all of us. This blog is a celebration of these life impulses. Please feel free to join in the conversation or to just visit. There is a Family Photo Album beneath the posts so you can "meet" my family and I. Welcome!

Monday, January 25, 2010

What's the big deal about the present moment?

I have been perplexed at the brouhaha about present moment awareness. What's the big deal? Here I am, sitting in a room, there's some furniture, that's the present moment; now give me something interesting to pay attention to, such as thoughts about all the stuff going on in my life. Thoughts about the not-present moments in my life seem much more interesting than this ridiculously ordinary and uninteresting present moment. Why waste time in present moment awareness? It's painfully boring and unproductive to boot.

When attention is dispersed in the fields of thought, present-moment awareness is fuzzy and dim. But when the energy of attention coalesces into the space of the present moment, something happens.

We all know what this is like, those sunset moments of total presence and luminous clarity. The wattage of consciousness is increased when the energy of awareness no longer leaks into the city of a thousand worries. There's a heightened alertness as attention is streamlined into present reality.

Every moment is a sunset moment, whether it's recognized or goes right by.

What is awareness and how is it different than thought? This is a question that draws me in more deeply every day. But it's not a question to ponder so much as something to experience directly. "Right now you exist; you are aware. Without taking a thought, you are absolutely sure of your being... This is not the result of some fantastic ability or spiritual prowess. It is just a matter of simple looking...You cannot deny the fact of your own being. It is palpably obvious, and yet, from the time we were born, no one has pointed this out." John Wheeler, Awakening to the Natural State

The simple obvious fact of being alive turns out to be the meat and potatoes of the present moment. It is quiet and electric and abundant, this neverending now, and it is worthy of attention.

3 comments:

Cindy said...

Spiritual prowess - what a great phrase, yet we are all guilty of wanting it. :) I like how accessible you make it Colleen, and the quote "and no one has pointed this out." It is a thing we experience and love but when we are not experiencing it it seems so paltry.

Colleen Loehr said...

Hi Cyn! On the surface the present moment can look very boring- stopped at a red light, waiting for the computer to boot up, standing in line at the grocery, and all the millions of mundane moments that make up the bulk of our lives. Many times I've felt that to sit in meditation is a torture of boredom. I can remember asking Jon Kabat-Zinn, "Uh, why do we pay attention to our breath? One breath is like the next and it seems like a boring waste of time." He wouldn't answer my question and said I had to find the answer myself, and this was actually very helpful, and I have really, really looked for the answer to that question. And somewhere along the line I bumped into the obvious invisible fact of being or awareness which underlies every moment and makes it miraculous. Boredom results from lack of attention, not from any inherent boring-ness to the moment. When attention is given generously to the moment, even to the moment of doing nothing, boredom disappears.

Cindy said...

Yea....!

There was an error in this gadget

Labels

'Sailor' Bob Adamson (2) "character" (1) "me" (1) A.H. Almass (1) abandonment (1) abundance (1) addictions (1) Adyashanti (1) Ajahn Sumedho (1) Alan Watts (2) Albert Einstein (1) alchemy (1) alienation (3) alignment (2) aliveness (1) allowing (1) anatta (1) anger (1) Annette Nibley (1) Anthony de Mello (1) anxiety (1) apathy (1) apology (1) arguing (1) argument (1) Aristotle (1) Arjun Ardagh (1) Ashtavakra Gita (1) attention (4) Authentic Heart (1) authenticity (1) Awakening Joy (1) awareness (13) awareness aware of itself (1) Babies- the film (1) Background Field (1) being (14) belief (1) belonging (1) blame (1) blogosphere (2) boredom (1) breathing (3) Buddha (2) Buddhism (1) burdens (1) busy day (1) Byron Katie (1) Challenge Day for Teens (1) Chameli Ardagh (2) Chinese proverb (1) clarity (1) clutter (1) complaining (2) conflict (2) confusion (2) consciousness (4) consent (1) control (1) criticism (1) cup (1) current (1) Cynthia Bourgeault (1) David Carse (1) David Foster Wallace (1) David Lipsky (1) David Loy (1) death (3) deeper self (1) depression (1) discontent (1) documentary (1) doer (1) Dr. Patricia Gerbarg (1) Dr. Richard Brown (1) Dr. Vijai Shankar (1) drama (1) dream (1) e.e. cummings (1) ease (1) Echart Tolle (1) Eckhart Tolle (22) effortless (1) effortlessness (2) ego (8) emotions (1) emptiness (3) energy (1) equanimity (1) essence (1) Everyday Enlightenment by Sally Bongers (1) experiments (1) expression (1) Facebook (1) family (1) fear (3) feelings (6) fire (1) form (1) Franklin Merrell-Wolff (1) freedom (3) Gabriel Rosenstock (1) good (1) gratitude (1) guilt (2) happiness (3) harmony (1) heart (1) Heart Sutra (1) hero (1) home (1) honesty (2) Huang Po (1) Hubert Benoit (1) Huffington Post (1) I am (1) identity (1) impermanence (1) inauthenticity (1) insanity (1) insignificance (1) integrity (1) internet (1) Jack Kornfield (1) Jack Loehr (1) James Baraz (1) Jan Frazier (3) Jane Hooper (1) Jean Klein (1) Jeff Foster (2) John Wheeler (2) Joseph Campbell (1) joy (2) judging (1) Karate Kid movie (1) kindness (1) koans (1) liberation (1) life (10) life flow (1) life situation (1) light (2) looking (1) love (2) Magritte (1) Marcel Proust (1) Mark Matousek (1) marriage (1) Mary Oliver (3) meaning (2) meditation (2) Mick Jagger (1) mind (8) mirror (1) moods (1) Mooji (1) motivation (1) Mukti (1) my son Christopher (2) naming (1) Naomi Shihab Nye (1) narcissism (1) Nathan Gill (1) nature (1) Never Not Here (1) New York Times article (1) Nisargadatta (3) no-thing (1) no-thought (1) not knowing (1) noticing (2) obesity (1) oneness (1) openness (1) pain (4) paradox (2) paranoia (1) Paul Hedderman (1) Pavel Somov (1) peace (2) Pema Chodron (1) planet (1) play (1) poem (1) poetry (1) pointers (1) power (1) presence (4) present moment (1) pretending (1) problems (4) procrastination (1) projection (1) psychiatry (2) qigong (1) quietness (1) quotes (1) R.S. Thomas (1) Ralph Waldo Emerson (3) Ramana Maharshi (2) Raphael Stoneman (1) reading (1) reality (5) relationships (1) relaxation (1) release (1) repression (1) resistance (1) respect (1) rest (1) ripples on the surface of Being (1) Robert Adams (1) rocks (1) Rodney Stevens (1) Roger Housden (2) Rumi (1) sadness (1) Sailor Bob Adamson (1) samsara (1) Sara Exley (1) Scott Kiloby (1) searching (1) seeing (1) seeking (2) self (2) self-compassion (1) self-indulgence (1) separation (2) Sharon Ebert (1) silence (3) sound (1) Source (2) space (1) specialness (1) spirituality (1) Stephan Bodian (1) Steve Carrell (1) story (4) straw-into-gold (1) Stuart Schwartz (3) suchness (1) suffering (7) suicide (1) surrender (1) Tao Te Ching (1) the two dimensions (1) Thich Nhat Hanh (1) thinking (1) Thomas Keating (1) Thomas Merton (1) thought (5) Tim Freke (1) time (1) Tony Parsons (1) transformation (2) trees (2) true nature (5) true self (1) Trungpa Rinpoche (1) trust (1) trying (1) unconsciousness (1) Unmani (1) Vicki Woodyard (1) wealth (1) Weird Al Yankovic (1) well that never runs dry (1) well-being (1) William Blake (1) Wizard of Oz (1) work (1) writing (1) You Tube (1)

Followers

Translate blog posts

Google-Translate-Chinese (Simplified) BETA Google-Translate-English to French Google-Translate-English to German Google-Translate-English to Italian Google-Translate-English to Japanese BETA Google-Translate-English to Korean BETA Google-Translate-English to Russian BETA Google-Translate-English to Spanish
Powered by
Grab this Widget

About Me

My photo
Greetings and welcome to this blog.

My Kids

My Kids
Mary (14), Chris (15), Jack (9)

Chris

Chris

Mary

Mary

Jack

Jack

Greg and Colleen

Greg and Colleen

Cluster Map

Networked Blogs


View My Stats