A Zen Moment:
What do we mean by presence?
The simplest description a state of relaxed, natural intensity?
Can you imagine your mind quiet, no thoughts, no stress just ... well ... present, all of you immense energy reserves available to the moment.
Let me digress, bring into your imagination the image a cat stalking its prey. What do you think it is thinking about, what do you think is going on in its head as it expectantly tracks its dinner?
I can tell you what it is not thinking .... "do these stripes make my butt look big" , "I am so worried, if I don’t catch this next sale my wife is going to kill me, not to mention what my boss is going to say", "my kids school fees are costing me a fortune”, "will I impress that girl over there if I take this gazelle down with a sideways swipe from a backward pike position with a two and a half twist" … I am sure you get the idea.
In a modern society we have been educated to be in our head, to be constantly thinking about this that or the other thing. The absence of our awareness from the present moment is responsible more mistakes, missed opportunities, accidents and even deaths than you can possibly imagine.
We are accustomed to the incessant noise in our minds, so much energy is taken up by random thoughts, and these randoms thoughts have an affect on our body and our emotions.
The good news is, that the mind does not need to remain as the master, you can take back this valuable tool that has been given free reign to run amok in your life. Through reclaiming your inner process you create more peace and inner space a sense of relaxation and a diamond like clarity of thought.
Your thoughts and your thinking are a habit, with the application of your intention and some simple practices you can break the habits of mind and restore the inner peace and clarity that is your natural state.
The Tiger who thought he was a sheep.
One of my favorite stories is an Indian tale about a little tiger who loses his parents at birth. This poor baby tiger wandered around for some time, looking for his mother. Lost and hungry he came upon a flock of sheep. Now, this little baby tiger was not threatening to these sheep. So, they took in the tiger and raised it as their own.
Naturally he mixed with the sheep, lived with the sheep, behaved like a sheep. He had no idea, not even in his wildest dreams, that he was a Tiger. How could he have?
All around him were sheep and only sheep. He had never roared like a Tiger; a sheep does not roar. He had never been alone like a Tiger; a sheep is never alone. She is always in the crowd – the crowd is cozy, secure, safe. If you see sheep walking, they walk so close together that they are almost stumbling on each other. They are so afraid to be alone.
But the Tiger started growing up. It was a strange phenomenon. He was identified mentally with being a sheep, but biology does not go according to your identification; nature is not going to follow your mind.
He became a beautiful young Tiger, but because things happened so slowly, the sheep became accustomed to him, just as he became accustomed to the sheep. The sheep thought he was a little crazy naturally. He was not behaving just right – a little cuckoo- and he went on growing. It was not supposed to be so. Pretending to be a Tiger! But they knew he was not a Tiger; they had seem him from his very birth. They had brought him up, they had given their milk to him. He was a non vegetarian by nature – no Tiger is vegetarian, but this Tiger was, because sheep are vegetarian. He used to eat grass with great joy. They accepted these small differences, that he was a little big and looked like a Tiger. A very wise sheep said, ‘It is just a freak of nature. Once in a while it happens.’
And the Tiger himself also accepted that it was true. His color was different, his body was different – he must be a freak, abnormal. But the idea that he was a Tiger was impossible! All those sheep surrounded him, and sheep psychoanalysts gave him explanations: ‘You are just a freak of nature. Don’t be worried. We are here to take care of you.’
But one day an old Tiger passed by and saw this young Tiger standing far above the crowd of sheep. He could not believe his eyes! He had never seen such a thing nor had he ever heard that in the history of the whole past a Tiger had been in the middle of a crowd of sheep but no sheep was afraid. And this Tiger was walking exactly like the sheep, grazing on grass!
The old Tiger could not believe his eyes. He forgot he was going to catch a sheep for his breakfast. He completely forgot breakfast. It was something so strange that he determined to catch hold of the young Tiger and find out what was happening. But he was old, and the young Tiger was young – he ran away.
Although he believed that he was a sheep, when there was danger this much of the identification was forgotten. He ran like a Tiger, and the old Tiger had great difficulty in catching him.
Finally the old Tiger got hold of him. He was crying and bleating and saying, ‘Just forgive me, I am a poor sheep. Please let me go.’
The old Tiger said, ‘You idiot! You simply stop this nonsense and come with me to the pond.’ Just nearby there was a pond. He took the young Tiger there. The young Tiger was not going willingly, he went reluctantly, but what can you do against a Tiger if you are only a sheep? He may kill you if you don’t follow him, so he went. The pond was silent, with no ripples, almost like a mirror.
The old Tiger said to the young, ‘Just look. Look at my face and look at your face. Look at my body and look at your body in the water.’
For a few moments the Tiger looked back and fore, back and fore. Then in a moment there came a great roar! All the hills echoed with it. The sheep that had been looking on a from a distance disappeared; He was a totally different being – he recognized himself. The identification with sheep was not a reality, it was just a mental concept. Now he had seen the reality.
The old Tiger said, ‘Now I don’t have to say anything more. You have understood.’
The young Tiger could feel a strange energy he had never felt before – as if it had been dormant. He could feel a tremendous power, and he had always been a weak, humble sheep. All that humbleness, all that weakness, simply evaporated.
This is an ancient parable about the Master and the disciple. The function of a Master is to bring the disciple to the realization of the truth of who they are.