The Art of Presence

At an IMS retreat in Barre MA, I asked Rodney Smith, one of the teachers, what is being present like? How does action come out of non-action? How do you maintain a large awareness of the life you are living, and live it wholeheartedly, even the daily tasks that require thought and planning ?

We went back and forth a few minutes- then he said, if you are fully present, action and thought happen naturally. Silence. I asked, I’m an artist–is it like being in the flow of creative work? His eyes lit up- yes, he said, that’s a good analogy! 

I’ve come to understand that getting even a tiny taste of presence requires faith, of letting go of any idea of what present moment awareness could be like because invariably any idea about presence is just another thought about presence.


lotus pod credit: VSpain

Creating requires being fully absorbed in the creative process as well as stepping back and critically observing the process- requires making decisions thinking about past or future without being attached to past or future, or even being attached to outcomes. There is no goal-there’s just the process and what happens from that process. Maybe that’s why creative endeavors lead to spiritual awakenings, revelations and other right brain breakthroughs. All the more reason to include creative activities in healthcare protocols, work places, schools, and halls of government.

What a thought.

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