by Donna Quesada: We often discount the power of simply being present with others. We feel like we have to say the right thing and sometimes resort to platitudes, thinking that if we don’t say something… anything, then we won’t have been of service. I have written before about how my Zen teacher, when he was a young disciple, “stunk the place up,” when he was called to give comfort to someone who was in the hospital. This funny Zen expression captures the sense of trying too hard, of filling up the silence with words, as we believe this is what others need from us.
We were never taught to trust in our companionship alone. We don’t have confidence in the silent power of our presence. Although this is slowly changing, as we wake up as a species, we were never taught, in our schools, and in our busy over-stimulated lives, to appreciate the beauty and the uncluttered potency of the present moment.
When we fill it up with unnecessary words and noise, we in effect, withdraw ourselves from reality itself. But when we dwell in the immediacy of the here and now, it expands and becomes absolutely abundant with a kind of richness and magic that is beyond any words we could speak.
Life is only available in the present moment. In the here and now, we dissolve all anxiety of the future and regrets of the past. Here and now, we are in touch… with each other, with all that is, with the magic all around and with the miracles that are always hiding in the folds. And that is felt, rather than said.
To get here requires presence. But distractions abound. Life’s constant demands make it challenging to fully embody our bodies. At every turn, there are internal distractions, like random thoughts and worries, as well as a multitude of external ones.
In the tradition of Kundalini Yoga, we accelerate the process of coming into presence through various techniques and meditations, which cleanse the subconscious, so as to further remove obstacles and hindrances. The idea is that when the facets of the mind are unclouded, we become clear channels to the infinite. We become radiant with light… conduits of divine energy. This makes us capable of healing through our very presence.
This is a very simple meditation, but it very powerfully conditions your powers of stillness. Sit on a meditation cushion or pillow and lengthen your spine. Interlock your fingers and raise your hands over your head, so that your arms create a halo above you. Bring your concentration to your navel point, which in mystical teachings, such as Kung Fu, Tai Ch’i and Kundalini Yoga, is our source of inner power and life force.
Close your eyes softly and remain quiet and still with long, deep breathing. Start with 3 minutes, and try to work your way up to 11 minutes. When thoughts come to the fore, gently remind yourself to let them go and stay present.
This meditation wakes up the flow of spiritual energy, which usually lies dormant at the navel center, and in turn, activates our healing force. This is part of the awakening process, which not only increases our own vitality and sense of overall wellbeing, but also enables us to be a source of healing for others, through the power of our presence, alone.