From Don:

I woke up in a mild worrying state of mind but by the time I’d eaten breakfast and watched a big brown hummingbird flit around the courtyard garden of the hotel my mood had improved. Seeing a friend’s posting of a Byron Katie moment “All I have is all I need, and all I need is all I have in this moment” also helped me to become more present.

Who knows what any day will bring? Moment by moment things happen, thoughts come and go, moods come and go, feelings come and go, time appears to pass, and life goes on, while inside, at the core of my being, nothing ever changes: all is always just as it is, without comment or criticism or complaint. Awareness just being, observing: watching is too strong a term for what goes on. Mindful presence has no opinions and nothing is ever wrong: there’s only this, now, for all eternity.

I used to feel uncomfortable whenever I had this insight, but not so much any more. It’s just the way things are, no problems, nothing is ever wrong, there’s just this: whatever happens to be happening in this moment. To accept that is to be free of any concern. We go out, we do things, I feel this way or that, but under it all there’s only ever this, now, for all eternity.

Suddenly I know why the feeling of discomfort arises: it’s because I’m such a minute, tiny, infinitesimally-small entity that is here for less than a heartbeat of time, and the ego mind doesn’t appreciate being a nonentity. But I’m also a channel for presence to arise, for consciousness to become more self-aware, and in that I’m much more than nothing.

Sometimes I get mild concerns arising about our future, which is nonsense of course. There is no future; there is only now, this moment. Anything and everything else, particularly if it is a negative thought or idea, is a story fabricated by the mind. We appear to choose. We believe the thoughts that arise or we don’t. We say yes or no, moment by moment. Things apparently manifest. Or not. And all the while at the core of my being nothing ever changes: all is always just as it is, without comment, criticism, or complaint. And that is the great gift of presence: to know without a doubt that my spirit, the essence of my being, is eternal, indestructible and fearless in the best sense of the word. I probably would never have come to know this were it not for this journey we are on. The external journey continually informs, enriches, and catalyses the internal.

Photo of the day: Little drummer boy, Santiago, Chile

All words and images by Alison Louise Armstrong unless otherwise noted.
© Alison Louise Armstrong and Adventures in Wonderland – a pilgrimage of the heart, 2010-2015.