If proof of Presence is what you want, seek no further than to look closely at your every single experience: because every moment’s very ability to appear to you, confirms the crystal clear existence of an all-pervasive Presence: You. Without Presence, no experience could arise. Experience, therefore, implies—proves—Presence. Now, experience happens all the time, so proof of Presence is always present. When you get this, the direct teacher of Presence is always with you. Bentinho Massaro
This lesson will show you how to utilize your every experience as a mirror for deepening your Self-Realization effortlessly.
Flipping The Card of Experience
Just as there are two sides to a playing card, so too, there are two sides to every experience that appears within Presence-Consciousness.
One side of the playing card has a story to tell that is unique from every other card in the deck. It has a picture on it, a number, a label, a form, and a shape that all tell its story. It has a unique frequency that identifies its individuality, its uniqueness.
The other side of the card shows you only one picture and it is the same picture regardless of which card you draw. This is the non-story side of each card; it shows you the same truth over and over again.
Likewise, one side of any experience is the story-side of that experience—it shows you the labels you and others have given it. It shows you the thoughts, the names, the associations, and the ideas or feelings about what’s arising. The story-side of each experience is utterly unique and different from every other experience in the deck of creation.
Now flip that experience over, so to speak, as you would a card, and recognize that the existence-confirming side of that same experience shows you only one thing: the fact that the experience exists.
Just like the backside of every card in a deck shows a flowery red pattern (for example), the backside of each and every experience has this written all over it: “I exist, you exist, existence exists.”
If an experience can arise, it must have presence; it must exist.
Read between the lines—see past or beyond the stories—and you’ll see that the essence of any experience is nothing but Presence confirming its own existence (as well as yours).
We read books, meditate for ages, chant mantras, and offer ceremonies to the gods, all to experience more directly this divine, brilliant Presence-Clarity that we already are.
While that is all fine and dandy, why not take the direct route first, and stop searching elsewhere for what is staring you directly in the face over and over again?
Learn to flip over any experience, no matter what its story-side suggests, and see it from the other perspective. Emphasize to yourself that the presence of any experience tells you the same truth over and over again: “I exist. I appear to you, so you exist, too. We both exist as part of this singular Existence.”
We must be blind to never have noticed! This existence-confirmation process—the opportunity for life to wake up to its own existence—is happening every nano-second, with every change, or no-change, in your experience.
The man who sees me in everything and everything within me will not be lost to me, nor will I ever be lost to him.
He who is rooted in oneness realizes that I am in every being; wherever he goes, he remains in me.
When he sees all being as equal in suffering or in joy because they are like himself, that man has grown perfect in yoga.Krishna, The Bhagavad Gita
While you read this paragraph, Presence-Consciousness is being confirmed, reflected to you—and therefore to itself, since you’re not separate from existence—billions of times!
So, instead of emphasizing the story-side of any experience, learn to appreciate that same experience from its Presence-confirming side.
It is all about a shift in focus. Where you place your attention—what you emphasize—is what you will notice most.
When you train yourself to emphasize the Presence-confirming side of an experience, rather than its suggested story or meaning, you start to experience greater and deeper ease in the midst of every experience.
For example, the story-side of you sitting in a field of flowers on a sunny day might suggest that life is beautiful, and as a result, you will feel ease and joy. The experience of someone then throwing a rock at your head, while you’re sitting in the field of flowers, might suggest that something unpleasant is happening, and you might feel uneasy and anxious. But all the while, the beautiful flowers, as well as the rock headed your way, are pure Presence confirming this moment.
When you learn to soften your stories by emphasizing the Presence within them, you start to transcend your own definitions of “good and bad” or “ease versus unease,” and a stable sense of well-being begins to emerge and take up residence in the heart of your being—always available. You stop taking life so seriously and you start feeling freer, lighter, and in general, much happier and more empowered, because you know the truth of your being.
Emphasizing Presence, instead of seeing only stories and definitions, is somewhat similar to Lesson 3’s exercise of seeing the Is-ness of an object, rather than the label you’ve learned to apply to it. The subtle difference between the “Object Has Presence” exercise and the “Flipping Over an Experience” exercise in this lesson, is that here we place the focus not so much on the fact that an experience has Presence, but on the fact that every experience confirms Presence.
We do this to let go of ideas that we need anything but this moment to confirm the already present enlightenment of (our) existence.
In this way, we move from doubt to conviction by letting the obviousness of every-day appearances confirm the here-and-now existence, as often as we desire to see this truth.
Remember: an experience’s existence and our own existence are essentially the same Beingness. The experience is an immediate extension of Presence-Energy, which is also what makes up your body, your thoughts, and everything else that has form or presence.
As you know by now, everything is bathed in, and shares, the same sphere/field/body of Presence-Energy, infused with intelligence—or Consciousness.
The beauty of utilizing everyday experiences as a teacher (confirmer) of Presence (or Awareness!), is the fact that experiences occur all the time. In other words, you’re never even an inch removed from your next instruction, your next confirmation of Presence-Consciousness, your next enlightening moment.
If discovering your eternal, all-pervasive, unchanging nature is what you’re after, you’re never without a teacher. Your every moment, your every experience, can become a mirror convincing you ever more deeply that you are present; that Presence is present.
Soon enough (or even right now) you realize with great confidence that Existence continues to exist—no matter what arises in the field of Consciousness—and that all appearances (experiences) are bathed in, and made of, Presence-Energy.
The “Jewelry Store” Analogy
Imagine yourself stopping in front of a jewelry store window. Mesmerized by the jewelry on display on the other side of the glass, you marvel at the form, shape, size, color, material, name, price tag, and design of the necklaces and bracelets that you see.
You are mesmerized by form and name, by label and thought. You are automatically emphasizing the story-side of that experience.
Suddenly, a pigeon flies by, about a foot behind your head, at 45 miles per hour (pigeon’s are fast 🙂 ). You hear the swooshing sound and feel its wind trail hit your head. At the same time, you were also shocked awake by the sudden flash that you saw in the reflection in the jewelry store’s window, of this pigeon flying by your head.
At that moment, you are snapped out of the story-dream of the price tag of the jewelry displayed behind the glass, and you become self-aware once again. You remember that you are in a city, in front of a jewelry store, and that you have a body.
This time when you stare into the jewelry store window, you see your own reflection in the glass, rather than the necklaces and bracelets behind it.
Both the jewelry behind the glass, as well as your body’s reflection in it, co-exist within the same space, within the same line of sight, but you can choose to focus more on one, or the other.
As soon as you emphasize the jewelry’s sparkle and price tag, you lose sight of your reflection in the window. As soon as you emphasize your body being reflected in the window, you lose sight of what’s behind the glass.
Whatever you emphasize becomes your experience; everything else disappears from view—from your consciousness.
This analogy helps us see that every single experience works exactly like that: we can either be mesmerized by the form, shape, size, and labels we have learned to see our experiences through, or we can notice that the presence of the experience reflects our true and changeless existence.
When you apply this analogy to your own experience, you can see that within the space of an experience arising, you can either see (emphasize) the experience, or you can choose to see (emphasize) that its very presence confirms Presence-Consciousness.
Arguably, this is the most immediate and profound way to free yourself from needing constant confirmation and reminders by books and teachers: to develop the habit of looking at your immediate surroundings and using the ever-present nature of experience itself as a way to confirm and convince yourself of what’s obviously true—that you always are.
Save Yourself Years of Seeking
The above exercise—when applied—becomes a handy short-cut to conviction, bypassing years that would have otherwise been spent in unnecessary cycles of seeking confirmation of what’s already naturally the case.
Indeed, this almost overly simple exercise—when applied—can eliminate years, even decades, of vague instruction, books, trips to India, the search for teachers, and other external confirmations of what you already are, and replace them with just a few days, or even minutes, of your time enjoying the magic of your already present Greater Self.
You’re welcome. 🙂
You deserve direct tools. They exist, so why not use them and discard the dreadfully slow tools, cloaked in mystery and ceremony?
Unless you absolutely insist on not loving yourself—which you are free to do—I see no reason why you should not bypass the lengthy, windy, vague spiritual paths offered to you by unsatisfying and confused teachings and lineages that are reluctant, or unable, to reinvent themselves.
With all due respect—this should be only about two things: you and what actually works.
So, take what works best for you, focus on what’s obvious and immediate, leave out what feels unnecessary or redundant, and carve out your own direct path with the highest degree of joy and conviction possible for you.
Read this lesson’s text at least once more before continuing with this course.
Practice flipping over the card of experiences, by shifting your emphasis (focus) from the form and story of the experience to the very fact that the experience appears to you, and see that it thereby effortlessly confirms your existence, over and over again.
Apply this way of seeing to your everyday life. Apply it genuinely—take your time with it until you see/feel its truth and wisdom. Do this at least 12 times per day—but for the sake of this lesson being fully integrated, ideally more often than that—between now and when you decide to start your next lesson.
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