Posts Tagged ‘eternity’

A Better Presence

March 3, 2012

I am never enough. There is always more of me to become. The soul that swooped down from the heavens to nestle among embryonic membranes and permeate my fetal cells captured my infantile first breath and is still emerging.

This life all about how I can do better.

How can I live better?

How can I love better?

I can tweak my communication with others. I can smile more. I can bring more sincerity, compassion, and attention. I can talk less and listen more. I can meet another person’s gaze with single-minded devotion to this moment we are both in . . . my indivisible focus. Just for an instant, I can be perfectly present for another.

In being present to another, I am present to my own soul and I am, after each encounter, more than I was the moment before.

This immutable forward progress makes me painfully aware of why the motion of existence is one-way. There is only growth, becoming, and ending. There is no reversing. There is no undoing what has been done no matter how much I wish I could. Reversal would undo not only the actions (or inactions) that I regret, it would also take away all that I have become.

This is my only opportunity to love myself, my daughters, my friends, and the strangers who come and go. In the next moment, they might be ended. I might be ended.

Will I be complete at the moment of my physical death? I don’t know, and it simply does not matter. Death is an ending and a beginning. All that I am follows me in this eternity. All who I have known live in my eternal memory. My better presence greets this day and from moment to moment, it whispers: what do you want to remember about this moment?

©2012 by Barbara L. Kass

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The presence of story

April 12, 2010

Lately, I have had the feeling that I am running out of time.

At least, that’s the story I have been telling myself.

Joseph Campbell’s words “Eternity doesn’t start when you die. You’re in it now” remind me that I am always in the eternal now. Time is the unending unraveling of the universe and the constant movement of energies. Time is the coming together of energies and the eventual dissolution of those energies.

I am mindful of the fact that the cohesion of the molecules I call my physical body can end at any time. And I often feel as if I am wasting this opportunity because I am imagining that I am not doing all of the things I should be doing. I feel as if I am very far behind in becoming all of the presence that I should be.

Yesterday, I wrote about listening to the story within me. Today, I am mindful of where the story may be coming from. And, I need to be aware that part of my lesson in this existence is learning about bringing my true presence to life. To do this, I need to face the stories within me and find out if they are true or if they are just something someone told me about myself a long time ago.

Don Miguel Ruiz begins book, The Four Agreements, talking about the presence of story within all of us and how we design our lives to make those stories become our lives. We live out the stories other people have told us about ourselves. We live life because someone told us “this is how life is” and we believed that person and continue to recreate that reality over and over again.

Ruiz goes on to discuss how powerful our words are and the stories they create. Words create lives. Words destroy lives. Today, I will be mindful of how my stories are creating or destroying my life.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass

Presence in the present

April 4, 2010

Joseph Campbell wrote: “Eternity is now. It doesn’t begin when you die. You’re in it NOW.”

These words helped me to crystallize the internal knowledge that I am an eternal presence. Still, my mind insists on wandering away from the “now” and I remind myself to “be present.” Just the words imply the assumption that there is a time other than the present moment and that is an illusion. There is no other time. (Actually, there is no “time” at all – but that is an argument for another day.) The present is eternal. We just have this little thing called a brain with a memory that can remember a past (that may or may not be accurate) and can invent a future (that may or may not occur). This knowledge is what helps me deepen into the present moment: be here now. be HERE now. BE here now. be here NOW. Where else could I be?

Being fully present is a little bit like being dropped into suspended animation – not that I know for sure (having never really been in suspended animation) but this is what I imagine it would feel like. I have had moments when life as usual felt like it was in suspended animation. Vacations, yoga retreats, writing workshops – all of these take me away from my normal life. My brain imagines that this normal life will be waiting for me after my time away. I envision this normal life as being a separate entity from me and it is just in suspended animation until I return to animate it again. Somehow, I will be different  . . . changed when I return. Without the normal noise of my busy life-as-usual, it is easier to connect with my eternal presence. I discover that I am not the life I am leading day to day. I am energy conducting a symphony of thoughts, emotions, and actions. I am not who I think, what I feel, or what I do. These thoughts, feelings, and actions are reflections of who I am and I when I really get that, my only desire is to remain present, eternally in the now, even as my mind and body deal with the past and prepare for the future.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass