Presence | Teen Ink


December 6, 2009
By Lanette BRONZE, Perth, California
Lanette BRONZE, Perth, California
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

I was still a little girl in Bali, I could almost smell the incense burning, the loud ceremonies, the chickens crowing in the early morning, my gardener sweeping all the leaves roughly, running down the beach holding my sisters hand, my mom chasing after us laughing and my father taking pictures. I look back at it and smile, I almost wish I could get stuck in that moment forever, it was reality, presence and love, I was attached, fulfilled and a feeling one could say was like ecstasy.
The long nights we would have delicious dinners and my sister and I would cuddle up on the couch while watching my father silently play guitar, looking into my mother’s eyes, softly kissing her, me lying in my sisters arms, her whispering into my ear talking about how funny it was that they were kissing, her giggling. Observing everything, I was in love with the situation. My sister, father and mother made me feel complete, The fulfillment and peace was too beautiful to explain.
This was the dream that had woke me up in shock every night, I hadn’t seen my parents or my sister in seven months now, every night I would sit on the bed breathing heavily I would feel so alone, separate, unloved, lost, depressed and above all scared, so scared, freaking myself out, losing myself into a story of non stop thinking about the world, this universe, the way people live, the way they are following society but complaining about it, nobody is happy, I had an illusion that everyone was separate, depressed and lost. I felt like I was going to lose my mind every time, so much thinking all the time was just too much to handle, who am I? I asked myself that every night but had no answer, I felt alienated and confused which just scared me more. This had been happening to me for seven months now my thinking was controlling me and I had no way out.
One day I woke up early, more relaxed but still feeling unusual as most other days, I decided to do something to get my mind of things so I thought of going to the book store to see if I could find a book that could answer any of my questions, as I was walking down the path I noticed everything was different, everything looked strange, I observed situations, individuals interacting, drinking, laughing, smoking, everything seemed unusual but nice, I watched how the wind would blow on the trees and how the insects moved, what is wrong with me? I thought. Am I going insane? Why do I feel like I have never seen any of this before? Like I was reborn? Worrying, I rushed to the store; walked up to the woman at the counter and asked her if she had any books on stress or panic. She sent me down to the back of the store, as I stood there browsing through the books I saw a book called ‘’The Power Of Now’’ by Eckhart Tolle, the heading attracted me so I opened the book to read the first page:
One night not long after my twenty-ninth birthday, I woke up in the early hours with a feeling of absolute dread. I had woken up with such a feeling many times before, but this time it was more intense than it had ever been. The silence of the night, the vague outlines of the furniture in the dark room, the distant noise of a passing train – everything felt so alien, so hostile, and so utterly meaningless that it created in me a deep loathing of the world. The most loathsome thing of all, however, was my own existence. What was the point in continuing to live with this burden of misery? Why carry on with this continuous struggle? I could feel that a deep longing for annihilation, for nonexistence, was now becoming much stronger than the instinctive desire to continue to live.

‘I cannot live with myself any longer.’ This was the thought that kept repeating itself in my mind. Then suddenly I became aware of what a peculiar thought it was. ‘Am I one or two? If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me: the ‘I’ and the ‘self’ that ‘I’ cannot live with.’ ‘Maybe,’ I thought, ‘only one of them is real.’

I was so stunned by this strange realization that my mind stopped. I was fully conscious, but there were no more thoughts. Then I felt drawn into what seemed like a vortex of energy. It was a slow movement at first and then accelerated. I was gripped by an intense fear, and my body started to shake. I heard the words ‘resist nothing,’ as if spoken inside my chest. I could feel myself being sucked into a void. It felt as if the void was inside me rather than outside. Suddenly, there was no more fear, and I let myself fall into that void. I have no recollection of what happened after that.

I was awakened by the chirping of a bird outside the window. I had never heard such a sound before. My eyes were still closed, and I saw the image of a precious diamond. Yes, if a diamond could make a sound, this is what it would be like. I opened my eyes. The first light of dawn was filtering through the curtains. Without any thought, I felt, I knew, that there is infinitely more to light than we realize. That soft luminosity filtering through the curtains was love itself. Tears came into my eyes. I got up and walked around the room. I recognized the room, and yet I knew that I had never truly seen it before. Everything was fresh and pristine, as if it had just come into existence. I picked up things, a pencil, an empty bottle, marveling at the beauty and aliveness of it all. That day I walked around the city in utter amazement at the miracle of life on earth, as if I had just been born into this world.

there is no more left to be said, I have gone through many spiritual books since then and been to many spiritual gatherings and groups, is still join them up to this day, I have changed a lot in the past three months, I am not a guru master and do not intend to get into it as much as many people do, but I have found what I was looking for, presence.
I know that nobody is separate, we are all one and I have found that you are not your mind; Identification with your mind creates concepts, labels, images, words and judgments that block all the relationships towards reality. It’s between you and yourself, between you and your ego, between you and nature and by thinking it, it gives you the idea that you are separate, the illusion that there is you and a totally separate other person. You then forget the fact that everyone is one.

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