This past week, being with my mother as she recovers from her eye surgery at home, has been an interesting experience in “no resistance”, being in the present moment, and acceptance. The outcome of her surgery did not go as she expected, as she can’t see well out of that eye. However, it’s evidently not that unusual in diabetics. She is required to have eye drops every two hours, but she is unable to give them to herself, as she can’t see the bottle and how close it is to her eye. This requires my presence 12+ hours a day to give eye drops. This is also an unexpected outcome for me.
Being present here, in this experience, I have seen more cooking shows than I ever realized existed! There is no opportunity here to slip off by myself. It’s a total emersion in a foreign land, where there is constant TV and talking, talking, talking about TV, and listening to criticism of the people on TV, and tales of my father’s old war stories. I am not used to so much stimulation 12+ hours a day. I do not stay overnight as she doesn’t require eye drops during the night. Thankfully.
I am in dire need of quiet, silence and space!
Even as I sat trying to handwrite this blog post a couple of days ag0 - in the living room, with TV on - my mother was trying to hold a conversation with me! Until the phone rang, after which she resumed talking to me…
It took me 3 days for the internal resistance to this particular present life experience to subside. I am present, but there has been internal resistance to what is being asked of me, of where life is going at the moment – this particular storyline in the fabric of Reality. And surrender is not necessarily volitional, I discovered. It just happens out of necessity – when it is realized that there is no other way.
In one brief moment on one of the programs on TV I saw Pema Chodron being interviewed on a local news station. I perked up. At just that moment the phone rang and most of what Pema was saying was drowned out by my mother’s – talking. Timing… But from what I gathered Pema was saying something about not creating stories about what was happening in our life. And the interviewer commented: Even if the storyline is true, because sometimes the storyline is true. Pema agreed. Sometimes the storyline *is* true… When I heard that, some of my resistance around this situation relaxed. I think on this path we get so concerned about whether we’re creating “stories” that we often can’t accept that sometimes the storyline is true! What is happening is happening. It is life being lived. So I’m trying not to create “story” by resisting the storyline that is happening here. And I have found that the “storyline” is often the vehicle for awareness to emerge – if we are aware and open to it.
And what has emerged in this present storyline, is that I feel very little sense of the presence of Awareness! You know – the Stillness of Awareness that just is. Oh I know it’s always there under all this – like the back-light behind the silhouetted clouds at twilight - but I can’t *feel* it, and I miss the *connection* - the felt sense of Presence in this particular situation. I miss having time to be quiet during the day and just resting in the place of Stillness, where I *feel* the connection. I am so over-stimulated during the day, and physically drained from little sleep, that even in the silent 25 minute ride home, I still can’t *feel* this larger sense of Presence… The world has gone numb…
And an awareness has emerged that there seems to be a difference between being in the present moment, and being present to the moment from Presence, or Awareness. I feel the difference. “I” can be present *to* the present moment, participating, engaging – at the surface of life – living life as it is. But the deeper sense of *relating* from Presence is missing.
I miss this sense of personal intimacy with this felt Presence. Just like any other relationship that you cultivate, it seems this primary relationship with Presence needs just as much attention as anything else. What we put our attention on flourishes. That’s why I meditate. That’s why I enjoy the space of Silence – to just listen. And for some reason this week I am being asked to completely surrender this to life as it is… The white flag of surrender has not been raised. However, there is a growing sense of acceptance to the way things are at the moment – acceptance of the storyline that is playing itself out here – without creating “story” through resistance – holding myself open to this particular weave of the storyline.