An extract from Stillness Is The Way.
Stillness Is The Way is the record of a 3-day intensive meditation session with Barry Long. Faithfully represented in the book, you follow the questions and dialogue as if you were in the room. And you participate in the deepening consciousness of being with the master.
Let me demonstrate what it is to be totally present
Usually, when two people have a conversation in this world, neither of them is 100% present. They can be in very concentrated conversation and yet not be present, because they are always either thinking of the next thing they are going to say or relating to their experience of whatever the other person is talking about. So they are in the future or the past - not the present.
It is very difficult for us to be present when we are talking to someone. No one can listen any more. No one truly listens because the mind is trying to work out what the other person's saying or how it relates to its own experience. So the mind is busy. You can't be present.
In meditation what we are trying to do is to be totally present
What we're endeavouring to do is to be true to all the men and women we ever meet, including our children, including our lovers; that is to be totally present when we are with them.
To be totally present with me now is not to want to be somewhere else, not to be thinking about something. Whatever you are thinking about is where you want to be.
Either go and be with what you're thinking about, or be here. Don't try to be in two places. Don't kid yourself that you are being true. You must have the strength, the rightness, the honesty to be where you are.
It is a great teaching. Very simple. So simple you wonder what I'm talking about. But you can hear the truth of it. If you think, you are not where you are.
In this meditation, if you can feel yourself internally, you are certainly present because what you feel is NOW: there's no thought. You can feel your solar plexus or your stomach now: there's no doubt about it. The question is: can you stay poised in this presence - feeling yourself within and at the same time staying present in the room with me?
Do you see the tightrope you're on? Unless you can stay poised in this state of presence you cannot know the truth; you cannot know God; you cannot find yourself.
There is stillness here now
You are in it now. You and I are holding this space. At this moment. You are truly present. This is truth. This is true being.
We are truly present - a very rare thing on the face of this earth. Only in such stillness, such humility, such love, can there be a true communication of being to being. This is timelessness. This is eternal. This is wonder. This is to be yourself.
Barry LongExtract from 'Stillness Is The Way'