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Intention & Presence

Silence & Intention

I’d like to share a fable and why it speaks to me.

❝ A realised man, a sadhu, was walking in the forest. Because it was sunny, he wanted to find somewhere to have a rest. He sat down under a tree, leaned back against the trunk and had a short nap. When he woke up, he was ready to continue his travels. As he was picking up his stick and his begging bowl, he saw many people sitting near him. Much to his surprise, they all stood up and thanked him for his satsang. He told them, ‘But I was sleeping. I didn’t speak a word to you.’ They answered, ‘This is a type of satsang we have never had anywhere else. Everywhere else people are barking and bleating: “You must do this; you must not do that! You must sit like this and look like that!” Your satsang is different. We have not found anything like it anywhere else.’ ❞
Nothing Ever Happened Vol. 3: Papaji Biography, David Godman

There are two things I take from this story:
1. Silence is an incredible teacher.
2. Show up with intention. (Even while sleeping, the sadhu was fully present in life—the ultimate teaching.)

The requisites for both of these are staying present and listening.

Last spring, while in lockdown in Spain, one of the shifts that occurred inside was an adjustment around who I want to be and how I want to move and interact in the world. I asked myself to reflect upon the purpose of each and every word that I speak and write. Do those words serve to build or to harm, and if the latter, is that actually who I want to be?

Curiously, it only dawned on me recently that my intention was focused on interactions outside myself. Addictive behaviour, attachment to various identities and destructive thought patterns are old flatmates of my mind. This week, I fought with some of those demons; I came out sore, battered and less than healthy. The experience left me still and receptive to salve administered via a podcast episode about self-care and healing—the invitation to show up with intention for myself. I’ve been focused on showing up for others with intention and purpose in order to really listen; What might it look like if I give myself that same reverence?

This invitation leads me to genuflect both while sitting quietly and when moving through the day. There’s a sense of unlearning and unburdening that gives rise to expanse. I’ll admit, it isn’t always easy to stay present and listen, but I’m committed to the practice.

❝ Abiding as the Source is the greatest benefit that one can confer to the world.❞
~Sri Ramana Maharshi

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