“Being Present”

17 November 2010

“Being Present”

by Esther Veltheim

Each action precipitates a reaction and, as you know, and we call this cause and effect.Unfortunately, as long as the word cause is personalized we believe we can, by our ownvolition or will, make things happen in life. When a practitioner abides by this kind ofthinking it is impossible to avoid personal involvement when ‘treating’ a patient.

Much of the terminology practitioners use serves to rigidify the belief that apparentresults that take place in a body are due to personal actions. Practitioners use such wordsas ‘treating’ and ‘healing’ and this immediately conjures up the connotation of some-onedoing something to another person. This may seem to be the case, and the operative wordis ‘seem.’

When Reiki, BodyTalk, or any other modality is used, specific actions appear to result inan effect on the patient. If a practitioner believes actions are effected by personal will andintent, she simultaneously believes that she is the cause of any results that occur. Whenthis is the case, the practitioner can only act from a place of involvement.

There is a big difference between being involved and being present.

For example, if you have a small child who is having problems at school there are variousways of addressing the situation. You can worry about him or you can admonish him. Ifyour stance is either of these you are involved, and any resulting action will be from thepremise of your relationship with the child.

“How can I help him feel better?”

“Why can’t he be more like other children?”

“What have I done to cause this?”

“How can I help him?” etc.

Either way you will appear to fuss over the child and your interaction is one that isfuelled by the need to attain a specific result. As soon as need is combined with intent,focus is lost. This is because your mind is split between personal fears (over-reactions)and personal expectations.

An alternative way of dealing with a child’s problem is to remain present to the situation,consulting the child as to his feelings. Then you may offer the child various options as tohow to resolve the issue. The child may ask you to intervene, or may discover a way ofdealing with things on his own. Either way, the interaction between parent and child hasbeen exactly that—an interaction. Not two over-reactions. The child has participated indecision-making with the parent. Whatever the outcome, it is more likely to be one thatoccurs via mutual, focused, practical steps rather than involved over-reaction.

If, as a practitioner, you believe your role is to ‘fix’ your patients this will be your intent.Which means you cannot be focused on the practitioner/patient interaction. You can onlybe ‘focused’ on what ‘you’ seem to be doing to the ‘other’ person.

When we use Reiki we have come to understand that the practitioner receives a treatmentwhilst ‘treating’ another person. In BodyTalk it is evident that the practitioner’s bodyreceives benefits while the person is on the table.

If you close your eyes for a moment and focus on BEING you will discover that theexperience is not confined within your body and does not stop at the person next to you,or anywhere beyond your body. Every-one has the same experience when doing thisexercise. This tells us that Experiencing is all there Is. It is only the idea that experiencesare personal that causes the idea of limited experiencing.

When a patient appears to experience disharmony, the practitioner sets about trying toharmonize him or her. As long as the practitioner believes ”I Am causing” results theyare acting from the standpoint of personal limitation. You may feel you have the power tocause healing. If this is your belief, you cannot be free of the belief; “what happens to thepatient is ‘my’ responsibility.”

When you practice from this premise, actions are involved. When you personalize the‘treatment’ process in this way, you are more likely to feel drained as the result oftreating. When you personalize any action, it requires increased energy on your partbecause your personal identity is at stake. “I must do this,” “I should have done that.”

Where BodyTalk is concerned, the innate wisdom directs all actions and it is easy torealize that you, the practitioner, are simply acting as a medium for healing to take place.Where Reiki is concerned, the energy goes to where it is needed, despite any intent youmay have. This makes these two modalities wonderful examples of the power of simpleinteraction. Treating is happening, rather than some-one is treating some-body else.

Whatever your modality, if you have been practicing for a while, you will know thatspecific results are never guaranteed. This tells you that the precise effect of any action isun-assured. If you believe you can, and should, obtain specific results, your mind isforward focused. Your mind is split between your identity (as a practitioner) and yourgoal for the patient. In other words, the process of ‘treating’ is far from focused.

The desire to feel ‘One’ with the world and others is simply a sign that you intuit yoursense of separateness to be unnatural. From a philosophical standpoint the sense ofseparateness is a dis-ease—a misperception. The instinct to feel at one with life,consciously or unconsciously, fuels all actions. We are constantly trying to bridge the gapbetween the world and ourselves.

This dilemma precipitates the minds focus outward, towards others. This rigidity of focussolidifies the belief that there is external separation that needs to be healed. From thisbelief arises the desire to fall in love, to bond, and to heal others—that which appearsexternal to the self. When this desire presents itself as a nigh impossible one, we blameourselves and, or, blame others. This is why the world appears to be made up of ‘fixers’and ‘blamers.’ Some may appear to embrace, others to reject, but all have the same innerurge—to dissolve the sense of separation.

As long as the mind is split between ‘me’ and ‘others’ we experience the need to controland modify our life experience.

What we do not understand is that the external world of seemingly separate objects issimply a reflection of the split between the personalized self and the impersonal Self. Thedesire to heal the split between self and ‘others’ is merely a reflection of what is going on‘between’ our true nature (the impersonal Self) and the person we think we should be (thepersonal self).

The belief we need to become a certain way in relation to others keeps the minddistracted from who we Are beneath all the facades.

When it is understood that our seeming ‘split from life’ (manifestation) mirrors our splitfrom Self, the mind gradually turns its focus away from the need to change ‘others,’ oraffect others. We realize self-healing is an inside job that is not dependant on, or limitedby, the actions or viewpoints of others.

Like someone looking for their eyeglasses which are on the end of their nose, you mayfirst blame others that you can’t find them. Then you may blame yourself for misplacingthem. This is how the existential dilemma appears as the Self looks for itself first via thepersonalized identity of the ‘me’ bodymind object.

As long as you believe you need to ‘fix’ and improve how you are, the mind remainsinvolved—split between a limited identity and unattainable goals.

When you recognize that the seeming split from life occurred despite you, you mayrealize that its healing, likewise, can only happen despite you.

As the belief in personal effort and control incurred this split, it makes no sense to useeffort to heal it. This would be similar to someone removing a thorn from their foot andcontinuing to dig around in the wound.

The ‘thorn’ is your belief in effort, which keeps you in an involved mode. If you want toremove the ‘thorn’ of efforting, you simply have to live life as it presents itself. Thisrequires acting ‘as if’ actions and their results are personal, all the while understandingthat everything happens despite you.

What happens, just happens, within experiencing. If you need to alter experiencing withthe intent of a specific outcome, you cannot be free of the need to struggle.

The only reason you have needs is because the memory of past experiencing fuels thedesire for similar, or different, results. To act out of fear and the need to ‘attain’ a specificoutcome is involvement, and requires emotional and often physical struggle.

Using past experiences to assess your dealings with a present situation is very different.Taking practical steps to deal with a situation and having no rigid needs as to outcome, isto remain present to, and focused on, what is. Anything can result (as is always the case),but you are open and present to whatever happens. When something results, if you dealwith it in a similar way, you remain focused and present.

Therapists and practitioners are engaged, perhaps more than most, in apparently ‘healingothers.’ This is indicative of a very strong desire, albeit often unconscious, to heal self.There is a personalized role of a practitioner wanting to harmonize seeming externalimbalances. This simply mirrors the dynamic of the ‘me’ identity seeking the impersonalSelf and thus harmony.

Philosophically, we understand the Self we seek to be impersonal. We understand thatrealization of the impersonal Self will lead to the falling away of all sense ofseparateness. This is why we give lip service to the words “we are One.”

Unfortunately our minds have fixated so long on the idea of ‘me’ and ‘others’ that wethink Self-realization is an altered state of consciousness wherein duality somehowdisappears. Whilst such an understanding remains, we feel fear each time any of ourmasks fall away.

We want ‘oneness,’ which, we understand, requires the disappearance of the false selfwith all its masks. But (if we are honest) the idea of enlightenment is so appealingbecause we think it will make us appear special in the eyes of others.

We desire the dissolution of our masks whilst yearning for the masks to beat all masks –specialness. Whilst this tug of war persists in our minds we struggle to be free ofstruggle.

What is rarely understood is that another word for Self is Experiencing. Duality is themedium of Experiencing. All there is Is Experiencing.

In other words, there Is no experiencer and no-thing to be experienced. No-thingness andthing-ness are merely concepts that serve to describe the indescribable—the nonconceptual.However, as long as the mind is split by the idea of diametrically opposingideals—nothingness versus thingness—it cannot conceive of life without a personal ‘me’needing to control it.

From the perspective of each individual with their contradicting ideas about what is‘good’ and ‘bad,’ it is impossible for only ‘good’ experiencing worldwide. This is theidealistic paradigm of those who tout the goal of world peace.

Clearly, (and actually not that clearly to many people) world peace is a ridiculous goal.What is ‘good’ in the eyes of one is seen as ‘bad’ in the eyes of another. Or, as my friendso beautifully illustrated, “in a ‘perfect’ world the goalie would stop all the goals and theshooter would get all the goals in.” This simple imagery shows you that perfection is aridiculous ideal.

When the Self is ‘realized’ it is clear that all there Is, is Experiencing.

Manifestation does not disappear, and Experiencing continues to contain a richness ofapparent changes. The richness of duality continues unfolding within Experiencing. Theone difference is that there is no desire to control any happening.

Practical steps are still taken, for example, to dress warmly when it is cold, to avoidhaving the body hit by an oncoming truck, but there are no needs with regard obtainingspecific outcome. There may still be a requirement to earn a living so that one can eat,but if money problems arise they are dealt with without fear—practically.

Experiencing continues, as before, with so-called ‘good’ and ‘bad’ experiencing, but it iscompletely uninhibited by personal desires and fears. Everything happens as it happensand the body is the instrument through which practical concerns are acted upon as theypresent themselves. This describes Being present.

The difference between the common man and the ‘sage’ is simply that the latter isuninvolved and totally present.

The common man is, most of the time totally involved struggling between past feedbackand yearned for goals. He is essentially absent, with one foot in the past and one in thefuture—filling the void. When the need to ‘fill the void’ disappears, the Self, the Now, isrealized.

Be as you Are and there you Are! Be as you think you should be, or as you think youwant to be, and you will keep on missing the very Self you seek!

The Self is no-thing to be ‘attained,’ because you Are the Self. You know this becauseyou experience ‘I Am.’ It is because you think ‘I Am some-thing’ that should be a certainway or be experiencing only this or that, that you have lost sight of your true nature. Infact, your true nature is, paradoxically, always ‘in sight’ as long as you experience ‘IAm.’ The labels you attribute to ‘I Am’ are what blind you to, and distract you from, theSelf.

The self of shoulds and should nots, and goals and involvement, is what prevents youfrom knowing you Are the goal. That, in fact, there is no goal, because the Self isunlimited and has no location or limitation. All there is, Is Experiencing.

If, intellectually, you understand thus far you, will realize that the mind’s focus towards‘doing with intent’ is your only ‘problem.’ As a practitioner, realize that the treatmentprocess of another person is a reflection of the impersonal healing that is occurring‘between’ the ‘me’ object and the Self. The reflection of practitioner and patient ariseswithin the Self, and has given you the idea that ‘you’ are causing something to happen inthe ‘other.’

If you deeply understand that essentially there are NOT TWO - that there is no ‘other,’only impersonal, unlimited Experiencing—then needs and intended outcome willdissipate.

The involvement of practitioner towards patient will dissolve into Presence. When therole of practitioner unfolds in a focused way, anything is possible. When involvementgives way to Being present you will be amazed at the reflection within duality. Then, andonly then, do you realize that nothing, absolutely nothing, is as it seems.

If you make a robot, before you wire it up and press the ‘on’ button, the robot does notmove. Once electricity flows through it, it will be able to move in various ways—walk,pick things up, maybe even talk. Despite these actions the robot cannot feel anything.

Likewise, the body is an inanimate object that functions only when it is animated byexperiencing (Awareness). When experiencing ceases, the body is again inanimate—‘dead.’ In the same way a television cannot feel the pictures that animate its screen, thebody object feels absolutely nothing. This is because no object can feel.

As a practitioner, if you understand this simple logic, your way of treating will change.You will no longer focus on making the body feel a certain way. You know that yourtelevision isn’t the generator of the pictures that animate it. So, you adjust the settingsand maybe move the aerial so that the ‘receiver’ functions better.

Similarly, when you ‘treat’ the body, a fine-tuning of the physical mechanism ishappening, so that it is a clearer medium for experiencing. You cannot make a body feelbetter because it cannot and never has felt anything.

If you understand this, a paradigm shift will occur in the way in which ‘treating’ happens.Until now you have been involved in improving the physical body so that the ‘person’will feel better. Little, if any, differentiation has been made between the object and ‘who’you are treating. You have thought of the object and its animation as one and the sameTHING.

While you believe you Are the practitioner with personally directed skills, actions areinvolved—efforted. This dynamic is evidenced by the words so often used bypractitioners— focus and intent. To use these two mutually contradicting terms inconjunction with one another makes no sense.

Focus means being present to what is Now. Intent signifies the mind’s objective in thefuture. The use of these two words together is an indication that the mind is ‘split.’

What has caused this ‘split’ is the belief that ‘you’ and ‘others’ Are objects with feelings.This has lead to the thinking that ‘you,’ the object, can control and alter what feelingstake place in the ‘other.’ As long as the belief in personal control exists, you are neverfree of involvement.

When you realize all actions happens despite you, albeit via your body, focusing is themodus operandi. Rather than one object affecting another, there will be ‘treatinghappening.’ Minus personal involvement, the practitioner’s body is a clearer medium forthe impersonal functioning of Awareness.

When the practitioner’s personalized role is out of the picture, the patient is no longertreated as an object. The sense of one object affecting ‘another’ disappears from theperspective of your body. When this happens you are focused, and it is more likely thatthe focus of the patient will change accordingly. Then focusing is happening, not merelyfrom the perspective of the practitioner’s body, but also from that of the patient.

Consequently, the mode of treatment is incidental to the ‘results.’ It may seem as if thisor that technique caused specific changes. Relatively speaking, the body object appearsaffected by certain techniques. However, changes in the body are simply changes that arenot felt in any way by this mechanism. The body has simply become a more finely tunedvehicle for the impersonal functioning of Awareness.

In BodyTalk, Consciousness is termed innate wisdom when, via the body, indication isgiven as to what needs addressing. If a consciousness treatment registers as a priority, itdoes not mean ‘you’ the practitioner can shift the consciousness of the patient or ‘other.’

Perhaps you, by now, understand that Consciousness is always expressing through thebody object. Even when rigid ideas about personal identity exist, they are an expressionof impersonal Consciousness. When rigidity of thinking is ready to fall away, ‘innatewisdom’ indicates this. This means that when a consciousness treatment shows up as apriority, the patient’s body is already a clearer vehicle for the expression ofConsciousness. Any technique that happens is, yet again, an expression of Consciousnesshappening by means of the mechanism of the practitioner’s body.

Consciousness does not need any-one to ‘shift’ it. There Is no-one doing anything to another.There are merely actions happening within Consciousness that are not in any wayseparate to Consciousness.

In the same way water cannot make itself wet, Consciousness cannot, and does not, needto make itself ‘more conscious.’

Let us say that while addressing a ‘problem,’ thinking arises with regard ‘me’ (thepractitioner) and the ‘other’ (the patient). From a relative (objective) standpoint, thismight appear to signify that the practitioner body is, itself, an unclear vehicle for theexpression of impersonal Consciousness.

To think in these terms gives the body immense significance. It is easy to fall into the trapof thinking that the body object is responsible for that which animates it. If we continueto think in this way, the belief persists that the body must change before Consciousnesscan.

What needs to be understood is that Consciousness does not need to change and does notchange. When waves appear on the surface of the ocean the ocean is still an ocean. Whenwater freezes it is still water. Changes are only relative from the objective, limitedparadigm.

Like an ocean that is one moment still and another turbulent, the expression ofConsciousness is rich in nuances. Whatever expression Consciousness takes, from arelative standpoint, it is still Consciousness.

What needs to be understood is that the body is a clear medium for that which animatesit, even if that expression arises as a ‘misperception.’

What then is meant by fine-tuning the body to make it a ‘better vehicle’ for Expressing?

“What is the point of even bothering?” you may ask.

The point is, that there is no point—no reason. There is also no reason for not ‘treating.’Whatever is happening is the expression of impersonal Consciousness. The idea of ‘finetuningthe body’ is simply one that has arisen impersonally. The idea of purpose arises inthe same way.

Purpose is a relative concept, as are all concepts, of course. As long as it is a concept youbelieve in, you remain involved, missing what is, thinking about what might or should be.If you realize that anything that happens via your body is essentially impersonal, the ideaof ‘getting results’ for a certain reason will fall away. If ‘fine tuning the body’ ishappening, it is happening. The mind likes to attribute reasons to what is happening andso it helps to think the body will be a better vehicle for Consciousness. If this gives themind a better sense of focusing when addressing the body, then the idea is helpful.Ultimately there is no reason or purpose to any expression of Consciousness; it just Is asit Is.

‘Treating’ and apparent ‘results’ are simply expressions within impersonalConsciousness. When this is understood, questions do not arise as to why this role isengaged in—until they perhaps arise. All actions will continue happening one way oranother, despite you, until they cease. All you can do is live life as it presents itself,minus any sense of purpose.

The body is a phenomenal appearance within Consciousness. This means that the bodyobject cannot be affected by other objects. When changes appear to take place in anyphenomenal object, it is never because another object has acted upon it. When changesappear to take place in a body after ‘treating,’ it is because Consciousness is animatingthe body in a different way.

The perception of change happens within Consciousness. No individual practitioner andindividual patient are perceiving this change.

It is because Consciousness has identified with the ‘me’ (practitioner) and the ‘other’(patient) that perceiving has become personalized. Despite the phenomenal manifestationof perceiver and perceived, there is merely perceiving happening. The seemingpersonalization of perceiving is the effect of the impersonal Consciousness.

When this is understood, gradually the idea of the ‘me’ and ‘others’ begins to dissolve.Then, that which animates the ‘me’ and ‘other’ objects is recognized as the Self.

If your role is one of BodyTalk practitioner, it must be understood that this ‘shift inConsciousness’ is never the result of any personal action. Self-realization cannot beinduced by any treatment or particular personal action. When treating is happening,Consciousness is both the effect and the affect. Consciousness is simply reflecting boththe existing appearance and the apparent result.

As your role as practitioner continues to play itself out, within Experiencing, it is helpfulto understand this paradigm.

For further articles on consciousness and philosophy by Esther, go