*The Quality of the Present*

*The Quality of the Present*

Deep awareness of the present moment feels both strange and free.

In me there is a kind of inner lake. The lake now contains waves and now has turbulence subsided. I am at once the lake and a person gazing on the lake. My identity is both, and both are essential to me.
There is calmness, but with no particular colour. The quality of the present is like this, I feel. It takes on the colour of the moment. It is like water which is not held in any container. It is like the next breath of air which is inhaled. There is no existence to the air as a “before inhalation”. The inhalation, as far as it can be framed as such, is its own life-giving self.
The present does not stain, nor will it be tainted, because the present continually returns to silence.
The present returns to its own nature, with the dignity and simplicity of a deer who, satisfied there is nothing untoward external to itself, gently lowers its head to graze again.
The present holds no sense of itself. It is in a curious way truly Entity Without Identity.
For me nowadays, there is no emotional attachment or colour to my experience of “now”. But oh, there used to be! Sometimes the chaos of competitors for attention had the garishness of a haunted house fairground ride.
I’m talking about jaw-clenched lurches towards shapeshifting colours of eagerly or anxiously anticipated futures, and the imagined burns and shivers from hot and cold cauldrons of endless swirling pasts.
All of that was attachment. It was attention misdirected or distracted away from the Moment. In a word, all that was “pain”. Pain, unnecessary, useless, worthless, senseless. And in the final reckoning, most remarkably, avoidable pain.

~ Love is present EveryNow

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