When you’ve got why on Earth you’d want to abide in being – why a quiet mind is all you need – simply get down to feeling the sense of your aliveness, your presence, the sense of existence. Simply become aware of this simple sense of being for a moment or two. You do this by shifting your attention from the almost constant stream of thought to the sense of being that you can feel within and all around the body. It is by far the most familiar sense – the knowledge that says that you are – what would you be without it?
Find it, just for a moment or two, and practice this simple skill in the same way that the childhood you learnt how to ride a bike, swim in the pool, break into the neighbour’s house or [insert your skill here]. You wanted to do it, you gave it a go, you sucked, you tried again, you still sucked, you imagined yourself doing it and liked what you saw, you tried again and again and again, sucked less and less, and carried on, repeating again and again and again, and hey presto, you were zooming around on the bike, swimming around the pool, robbing the neighbour’s houses or [insert your skill here]. You decided to focus on something and you did it and you practiced it, with a natural and quiet confidence in your ability to grow, learn and change – the brain’s fantastic neuroplasticity – the mind changes the brain and the brain changes the mind, that’s how it works.
Next up, know this sense of your being, of your presence, to be the present moment – the entire show, the totality of what is – consciousness only. When you feel this sense of being, you are embracing the totality of existence. There is no separation, no difference, no otherness – simple consciousness only, the knowledge that says ‘I am, I am, I am’ – the knowing of experience, the awareness of being present – the present moment.
And then, as Nisargadatta said in a beautiful quote I shared the other day, which is always worth repeating:
There is no ‘how’ here. Just keep in mind the feeling ‘I am’, merge in it, until your mind and feeling become one. By repeated attempts you will stumble on the right balance of attention and affection, and your mind will be firmly established in the thought-feeling ‘I am’. Whatever you think, say or do, this sense of immutable and affectionate being remains as the ever-present background of the mind.
You practice the love to be. You get that right combination of attention and affection, of focus and love – which only comes through simple and repetitive practice – and so it’s either that magical mix of what is or remaining lost in the mind as what isn’t.