Constantly Refreshing Our Commitment to What Is Essential

All forms of expertise are rooted in mastery of the basics, and most of what is considered “advanced” remains elusive and inaccessible until the basics are mastered.

In our way of teaching, nowness is basic number 1. Nowness is the core access point beings have to the dimension of presence. It is the bridge by which we contact what is essential, real and authentic in us. It is the window through which our true nature shines into this world and all of our various relationships.

The bridge must be strong. It must be grooved and reinforced by the repetitive shifting of attention from being lost in conditioned states to being present with ordinary, sensory reality. After many years of practice, awareness becomes the default mode. Thinking occurs when needed and as a conscious choice, rather than as a habitual tendency that cannot be regulated or stopped.

As we take up residence in awareness, we become more sensitive to where mind states are coming from.

Am I thinking, feeling and acting from presence or from some kind of conditioning – some kind of delusion?

In a way, this inquiry is an elegant summary of the whole path.

Before discovering presence, it is very hard to distinguish wisdom from delusion. And even after we do, it can take years before certain mind states and behaviors are seen clearly as forms of suffering. We rely on the unfolding of presence, and the increased sensitivity it engenders, to show us what we could not see before. Presence takes a magnifying glass to all that was bypassed!

This unfolding – and the new insights we gain along the way – is natural and unforced. We are not generating or managing the healing process in any way. What we are doing is committing and re-committing to it.

Again and again, we purify our intention. We speak to ourselves, from the deepest stillness, from the deepest place in the heart. We say what we really long for. We express our longing to be fully ourselves, to be authentic, to be real, to be at peace, to be in service, to be free.

We completely allow for the fact that the intention will be covered over and forgotten at certain moments. But our love for the truth, for what is real in ourselves, is totally unswayed. We simply “begin again.” We acknowledge that we were lost, that we went on some kind of tangent. Now we’re awake again. And we are still on fire with our intention. It is still all we want.

Re-committing is easy when it is a true love affair. Nobody is making us do it. It’s just what we love.