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The Power of the Presence

The longing for Liberation, the impetus of the Fire of the Heart, arises in response to our sense of confinement within the limited destiny of separate selfhood.  We intuitively sense that we are living a lie and long to realize the Truth. 

That longing sets us on the path of spiritual seeking, but whatever we attain by seeking is necessarily an occasion that arises and fades away and hence is not Truth.  If we are sincere in our longing at some point we weary of seeking for changes of state and illusory consolations of “spiritual” sustenance. 

We come to understand that Truth is not discovered through any reaction to the present conditions of existence or any progressive search to attain “higher” states or conditions.  We recognize in our own experience how the movement of seeking overlooks the Truth in this moment in order to pursue it as a future goal in time and space. 

Then we realize that Awakening to Truth cannot be attained by the search for Truth, because whatever is Absolutely True must be True in this moment and in every moment regardless of the content of experience.

Thus we confront an existential challenge, which is that there is no Awakening or realization of Truth other than the radical presumption of Truth right now.  The self-contraction of the ego “I”, which is the presumption of separation, lack and limitation in this moment, must be replaced by the radical presumption of non-separation, inherent fullness and no limitation in this moment.

Presuming Truth and Freedom now is not a mental or self-willed exercise, but a gesture of mind-transcending trust in a Mystery that we can never see or know in the “I” of the mind. 

In that mind-transcending trust we discover a Presence that is prior to all meaning. 

When we enjoy the communication of this Presence we are free of all the complications of mind, of problem, of separate self.  We do not know who we are or what anything is and we are deeply happy, at rest.  All is extra-ordinary.  We recognize that we are being moved and lived by a single Reality, which is gracefully revealed to us as Presence. 

This Presence is a literal Power in Silence that quickens our insight into the process of experience in the present moment.  This insight is the recognition that whatever is appearing in the field of our experiencing, whether pleasurable or painful, gross or subtle, is a modification of that Presence that is our own prior Being.  That Presence is Wide-Open Wonder, is Mystery, is Radiance without a center.

No matter how much time passes, no matter what happens and no matter how often we recognize this Presence, it is ever new because the fundamental Mystery at the core of who we are is Eternal.  Hence it cannot be reduced to an experience that arises in time and space. That Presence is Awake as you right now.  It is pure Intuition, pure Being, prior to all knowing.

Presence is Consciousness awake to Itself.  It is not progressive.  It is instantaneous.  Yet paradoxically the revelation of Truth, of Freedom, of Consciousness Itself, is never-ending and ever unfolding like a stream of infinities that leads us into ever-new realizations.

Whenever we experience some measure of Presence, of Freedom, we are happy and our heart sings because it is always a revelation.  We could say that Awakening is an ongoing discovery of Presence.  The ever new revelation that is Awakening, that is Freedom, always opens a new horizon for our view of reality in any given moment or situation.

The more we coincide with the bright flame of Awakening, with the indefinable Mystery that we are, the more we relinquish the motivated reflex of contraction toward a separate, independent “I”. 

Liberated from self-concern we are spontaneously moved to expansion, to love and service.  We find ourselves unattached to a particular way of being or not being.  We cease to define and box ourselves and our creative dynamism begins to manifest effortlessly.

Because it is free from perspective and position, we don’t really know who it is or what it is that is enjoying this Presence, this Freedom.  Freedom is free from any sense of self.  Yet at the same time we experience ourselves as a particular individual for whom this Freedom is significant.

The more Presence and Freedom there is, the more there is heart, the more there is love, there more there is enjoyment and gratitude, the more there is understanding and clarity.  Then all of life becomes spiritual practice.  Then meditation is not only happening when you are sitting on your cushion, it is potentially happening all the time, because Meditation IS Presence.  

Real Meditation is resting in resonant attunement with What Is without struggle or strategy.  Through that attunement, that discipline, we rest in the intuition of the Mystery, of Presence, of Consciousness Itself, prior to all subjective contraction and every preference relative to experience.

The self-perpetuating reactive suffering that is the theatre of the ego “I” is gradually undermined as naturally responsive, creative adaptions come into play.  

Merging into the Mystery subject and object dissolve.  We simply ARE and everything simply IS extra-ordinary. 

Illumined with Brightness life is transformed into a sacred occasion.

Pete Bampton, June 2017

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About the project

The Awakened Life Project is situated in a beautiful and wild ecological reserve in the mountains Central Portugal. We offer volunteer programs, courses, events and retreats to support the liberation of the human spirit in a context of evolutionary emergence and communion with the ecological web of life.


Quinta da Mizarela
3305-031 Benfeita
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