I was at my brothers house sitting on his couch, my 6 year old son Silas poking through a big pile of legos on the floor with his cousin (my nephew). I was THINKING about the book again. THINKING about how amazing it was THINKING about what was said and THINKING about how great it felt to be with the words. In the midst of all of this thinking I realized that Eckhart distinctly referred to thinking as a type of actual addiction. Thinking is not helpful, he said It’s simply the noise of the mind. A lot like the noise of a busy street.
It was at that moment that I realized that I was THINKING, I was not BEING present. Then the very next thought was something like. “If I were a child, what would I do?” Right there, sitting on that couch, with my son on the floor playing with Legos; “if I were a child what would I do?”
I stood up, waked close to the open spot across from my son who was sitting and poking through the pile. As I stood up however something was raising up inside of me, something was very powerful about it. The simple act of standing was so deliberate and powerful and automatic that it involved not thinking or analyzing. I sat down just like my son, almost following his example without thinking about it. I started to look for legos that I would like to create with. As I began to put a few together, I looked up, and saw my sons eyes. It was that moment that I experienced presence for the first time since I was 7 years old. I mean BEING PRESENT. I was 28 at the time. His focus and power was of such a huge magnitude, while at the same time content with EVERYTHING. He was PLAYING and yet at the same time immensely powerful. He was not thinking at all he was BEING. He was BEING a 6 year-old, playing with Legos.
There I was, 28 years old. The bills I had to pay were gone, the identity I created for myself was gone, the belief I had that I was Supposed to be a certain way was gone. My idea about what an adult was was gone. I literally had the experience ( not the idea or thought ) that 20 years of garbage just fell off of my back. At that moment my identity fell apart. I was being a child in the body of a 28 year-old man.
For months after the experience this sense of presence and immense peace was quite perpetual. I could not get upset really. It was hard for me to take things seriously, even work. Not with an attitude of “screw work.” It was just a complete realization that the whole thing was NOTHING compared to being a child again. It was a sense that EVERYTHING everyone was so worried about was just so silly and had zero heaviness for me. I would be driving with my wife in the car listening to peaceful music and the beauty of the trees moving in the wind would literally bring me to tears because I was so happy. “I am so present to the beauty ALL around me,” I thought. The beauty in even an angry stressed out mother at the grocery store. I saw something so magnificent about her commitment to keep her child safe or give her child a quality of life that was really behind her actions. Everything was immensely beautiful first, and everything I judged or saw as ugly before i realized was simply a misguided attempt for humans trying to get back to the beauty they had already had as a child. When I was confronted with an angry person my concern was that they were missing out on love, even if the anger was directed towards me. An immense and immeasurable love swallowed EVERYTHING up.
The power of presence (as Eckart describes) once discovered brings you to a realization that all the things you used to do served to try to get you there. Thrill seeking, addiction, relationships, religion, music, art. All of these things are some form of seeking this presence that already exists in limitless quantity and in an unbridled magnitude right NOW within you. You will simply come to a vivid experience of yourself that this power is accessible now it has not been
changed it has not been altered and is waiting for you to uncover it and reveal itself to you. For myself, I was an entrepreneur I used to seek power and fulfillment in sales and business and in making money. I also sought fulfillment in reading books and the arts.
Though I still do things like play the game of being an entrepreneur and read. I understand VERY clearly that none of it is required and NONE of it is the source of my joy. It’s all simply a game. It’s all play. Its Legos.
Silas River Wilson