the presence of absence

I have been absent from my blog for several weeks now. The space I created in my life for blogging is currently snatched away by other seemingly more important, more pressing issues. My classes at Loyola require extensive reading and writing. I am learning much from all of that reading and writing, hoping, waiting for the day to return that allows me space to reflect and write something coherently special for my blog.

Meanwhile, I am on a leave of absence. Absence is the word we use when we are not present where we (or others) believe we should be. Perhaps we have made an agreement to be at a place and others expect us to show up. Sometimes, we contract with ourselves to show up at a specific time for a specific purpose. Other times, people simply delude themselves into believing we should be where we are not.

I contracted with myself over a year ago to show up on this blog as a way of bringing my true presence to life. Writing is my connection with myself. Blogging is my connecting with others. It is where I am my true presence in hypertext. It is a way of memorializing where I am in that moment. I like being able to go back and reconnect.

I am still fully present in my life. My absence from Eternal Presence acknowledges that I am elsewhere. What is necessary is that I look at my reason for being elsewhere. What have I put ahead of the commitment to be here on Eternal Presence? What story am I telling myself? Am I deluding myself about what constitutes my reality? After all, I made the space to write this blog today. What obligation do I have to myself to show up?

No one is biting their fingernails waiting for my return.

Except me.

©2011 by Barbara L. Kass

12 Responses to “the presence of absence”

  1. holessence Says:

    And me.

    I was famished waiting for a delicious helping of food for thought. Ahhhh, now my brain is content.

    Thank you.

  2. passionatepresence Says:

    Nothing is necessary other than what you have been doing… paying attention to school. Seems like the straight forward thing to do.

    Thought loves to make it all sooooo serious and lay a burden of meaning (not to mention guilt) on the situation conjuring up complexity.

    I like what Zen Master Bankei said. Everything is perfectly resolved in the unborn Buddha mind. If a dog barks, you know you are hearing a dog barking without thinking about it.

    If you are walking down a busy street and a lot of people are coming towards you, your body can easily weave through the crowds based on seeing.

    If you are taking a class, then you attend the class and do the homework. If there is no time for anything else, there is no time.

    There is what you are doing Barbara! It couldn’t be any other way or it would be. All those questions are coming from some assumptions and a perspective that what is happening has something wrong with it. Watch thought and see how often, it loves to do this and create the associated feelings. It blows the door of perception wide open!!!

    Life is spontaneous. We don’t have near the control over it our thoughts try to tell us we do. Seeing that in day to day life is the deeper work. More important than blogging… in my case.

    All Is Well from this perspective!!!
    Glad to hear you are enjoying the classes!

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Hi, Ben! You are so right about those commandeering thoughts. Gosh but they would just have me running all over the place, taking care of EVERYTHING. I occasionally do this waking meditation thing where I will get very quiet and watch my thoughts. After awhile I notice this ping-pong game, and then the game that resembles pin-ball. If I wait even longer, I become of aware of the me who is watching the thoughts . . . this third presence who determines if I am going to pay attention to any of it. I love my classes at Loyola and they are as much a commitment to me as my blog. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. dadcraige Says:

    The only reason I write : to acknowledge a connection with your
    “this walking meditation thing,”I have practiced walking meditation
    for a big bunch of time and space during the last ten years.

    Allow me to acknowledge a conscious breathing practice that generates
    the living presence of mindfulness. Its a process that dissolves distractions
    and clarifies our perception .

    Awakening to reality establishes our alignment with heaven and an
    integration of settling down and opening up.

    I appreciate your honesty. Thank you for your warmth and radiance.

    David Craige

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Hi, David — thanks for coming by. I am relatively new to walking meditation (thought that my thoughts were my master for a long time) and my experience has been one of becoming more centered, more aware, more mindful. I used to think that I had to wait until I got home and could get a few minutes alone to “meditate” on something. Now, it is just a matter of supporting myself to take a few minutes and just watch myself think. Namaste.

  4. jeffstroud Says:


    I saw the email for this last night and wanted to rush to open it to read your words but alas I didn’t, I was much under the weather…
    I am glad to know that you have walked your way through your thoughts and found a few moments to share with us!
    As Laurie wrote above, in my words, this fills the well for a while. As Ben stated too you are where you are suppose to Be…
    For we know when your classes are finished you will have so much more to share/write…

    I am Love, Jeff

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      thank you so much for visiting me, Jeff! I really dislike being so busy that I don’t have a moment to stop, reflect, and connect. It is a matter of priorities and the consequences if I let anything slip. The repercussions to me of not blogging include not getting to see you guys. But I am, just as you said, exactly where I am supposed to be.

  5. redpresence Says:

    I too have not kept up my weekly commitment.
    It is when The pressure and difficulties get ‘ high’ and I sit at the blog space thinking only of what is hapening . I am about to recommit write as a draft and then massively delete.
    From doin a freefall writing experience I’ve learnt write to find the gold so I plan to take my own good advice
    neri at redpresence wordpress

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      neri — welcome back; sometimes, I just post my drafts and don’t worry about making them pretty. I’ve just spent this past week being the Question of the Day person at Gaia and that took about two hours a day; I have something to post tomorrow here at Eternal Presence though! Freefall writing is splendid. I will be looking for your words at redpresence.

  6. sandiwhite Says:

    Well, no, I wasn’t biting my nails, but I do miss it when you don’t write. I am subscribed to this blog and don’t understand why I am not receiving notifications. At any rate, not that I use you to measure me, but I do like to see how and where you have gotten to on this Earth Journey. We have walked similar paths, not the same, and I like to see how you manage and if that would work for me. Walking meditation, would that be like the meditations done in a labyrinth? I would like very much to do a labyrinth walk sometime. Of course, I can get out in the fields and woods around my house and walk as much as like, meditate too, I suppose. I could not be trusted in traffic.

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Hi, Sandi — if you would like, I would be happy to send you a personal notification after I have posted a new blog! I am just wondering if your e-mail connected on this blog is your current e-mail or an old one.

      A labyrinth walk can be very meditative unless you are focused on finding your way out. Some people get a little freaked out because everything looks the same and they can’t see the end . . . which is one of the purposes of walking a labyrinth — being willing to stay present and just trust yourself and the journey.

      I am working on two blogs right now (one on illusion and another on spiders). My writing time is being used up by writing for class but I can see the end of this labyrinth and should have something new to say in about a week.

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