Beyond Happiness, Part 3: Arising From Presence
Real fulfillment – and often happiness too – arises from presence. “Arise” is exactly the right word for what it does. You can’t treat it like a linear process, because it’s not. As human beings, our job is to learn to dance gracefully between form (the world we know) and spirit. Deep joy comes only from doing this. There are millions of ways to do it; the specifics aren’t important. But the basic process is the same every time.
It’s so simple that it sounds silly. But it works!
First, become aware of your own attention and you double down on what’s in front of you right now. If you can’t handle your internal reality yet, start with the external. This move takes some willpower and focus, which Yoga and many other practices help cultivate, but you can do it without knowing anything about Yoga. Yoga is just the documented system of the intuitive wisdom we all possess. So just do it. Now relax, stop trying, and keep doing it. Let yourself become the noticing; dissolve the rest of your being into it.
If you can pay gentle attention with your whole heart and head (which might mean shutting off the head for now; that’s fine and encouraged) and shine the light of your clean awareness on pretty much anything, you’ll arrive sooner or later at an intense-but-gentle being-here-nowness.
And from there, joy arises, like a mist off a lake at sunrise. Every time. That's the light of awareness. If you can hold the attention, stop building and classifying and tearing down structures in the head for a second, and trust that your awareness alone is enough to get you there, you’re there. The truth is that you’ve always been there; you’re just now seeing it. On a very high level of reality, one that most of us don’t see every day, all is well. It always has been and always will be. When you focus your simple awareness and let go of your agendas, you soar over the weather of emotion.
In other words: that real lasting joy you seek is not over there. It’s right here. Moreover, it’s right here right now! Yes, you read that right: now. The stuff in front of you – all of it, yes, even that stuff – is exactly what you need to grow into joy. That’s why it’s there.
Don’t wait for another, better time. A better time doesn’t exist. Time doesn’t really exist, anyway.
Do it now.