Q: There have been so many things happening to me over the last few months and it’s been overwhelming at times… how do I deal with it, how do I make sense of it, how do I hold together in the face of this ongoing series of things that have been happening? Why do these things happen, or how do we make sense of them so they’re not just terrible or meaningless? Is there anything I can do?
A: The answer is as easy as it is hard: be present.
If we’re present, the difficulties are still there, but we aren’t quite stuck inside them. There is a distance between the problems and the person dealing with the problems.
If we’re not present, we are part of the problem: our difficulties in dealing with the difficulties increase the difficulties! This creates a feedback loop that is very hard to step outside: often, it takes a terrible shock in the form of a personal disaster of some kind.
So, we step outside the ongoingness of the events that carry us along. How? By directing the attention. Primarily, this is engaging directly with the body. There are many repercussions that follow from this, mostly gentle and cumulative. The Morning Sitting is our foundation. Then, we move to create an interior architecture that gives structure to our day. In time, this moves beyond the day to more substantial and extended periods of time. But, one day of honourably engaging with personal presence is already a considerable achievement.
Monday 25th. January, 2010
Worcestershire, West Midlands, England