Present Moment Awareness
By Richard Moss
When you appreciate the power of awareness your ego is no
longer in control. You know that you have thoughts, but you are not just your
thoughts. You have feelings, but you are not just your feelings. There is a
distance between who you are and the thoughts and feelings you are aware of.
You are no longer automatically identified with them.
This level of consciousness is a relationship that allows
you to question your beliefs and to dance with feelings in evernew ways.
Thought by thought, feeling by feeling, perception by perception, you can
choose new behaviors and thereby invent yourself anew.
Self-invention is an opportunity presented to every human
being. It is the path all great souls have lived. Every person who inspires us
because of the depth of their humanity did not follow a path laid down by
others. Although they were no doubt influenced by those who inspired them, what
they lived came out of themselves as they chose a new relationship to their
beliefs and fears, and above all dove deep into the immediacy of their embodied
When asked why he never spoke with anger of the Chinese who
had invaded his country, killed millions of his countrymen, and were
systematically destroying the ancient Tibetan culture, the Dalai Lama responded
simply, “Because I feel better.” He chose the immediacy of embodied well-being
over anger, bitterness, or righteous judgment.
He clearly knows that the temple of the body is the primary
place of worship where the Divine is celebrated. Living deeply into his embodied
self, he recognized love, compassion and forgiveness as healthy, not bitterness
or powerlessness. In this way, like all the great souls, he is inventing
himself, not from beliefs or automatic reactions, but from embodied truth.
When Jesus teaches “turn the other cheek” he is not being
merely moral; he is teaching from embodiment. He is saying that returning a
blow with another blow only leads to more anger and hatred. The teaching is
simple: If you want peace you must be peace. When St. Francis kissed a leper,
he turned toward what in his time was a terribly misunderstood disease that
filled people with terror and superstition.
Instead of being ruled by fear he embraced the fear and
offered love. Again, this is not a mentally-generated morality or spirituality,
it is fundamental creativity borne of being deeply embodied. He was inventing
himself by choosing a new behavior and at the heart of that behavior was the
unshakable connection to his own embodiment. As it says in scripture, “In this
flesh we shall see God.” We never know God in our heads.
When you choose to live in present-moment awareness, you
feel instantly how every thought uplifts or poisons you. If you live in your
head instead of in your body, you will identify with your thoughts and believe
whatever you have been taught by others. Then because of the sickness of
righteousness, pride, exclusiveness and anger, the thoughts you create will be
considered normal emotions. They are not; they are self-pollution and flagrant
disrespect for your own embodiment. If you live in your body, your body will
show you truth in every moment and the deepest truth is the peace that “goes
A closed, tense body is a poor transmitter of the grace of
life. An unhappy body leads to negative moods which in turn create reactive,
self-protective thinking. The choice is not about morality, it is about true
intelligence. It is essential to be present in your body because the body is
always in the Now and tells you immediately what your thinking is doing to you.
As you learn to be embodied and not trapped in your head,
you begin to realize a sense of inner stillness that is your link to the
universal wisdom all the great souls have drawn from. When you pull yourself
out of your head where do you land?
Right here: breathing, feeling, seeing, hearing, touching,
tasting. Thinking stops, because there’s no thinking in the Now, only
awareness. The mind is simultaneously focused and spacious and the body is
at-once ready and relaxed.
Every perception is more vivid. Every breath feels alive and
you can sense vital energy flowing through you. Deep insight arises
spontaneously. Once you know this deeper connection to yourself, the emotional
world created by your thinking becomes much less interesting because mostly
it’s bringing you suffering.
In the Tao te Ching, the ancient book of Taoist wisdom, it
is said the wisdom of the great masters was so mysterious few could understand
it. Instead, the book advises that it’s easier to describe how the masters
appeared: “Cautious as a man crossing a frozen stream; alert as a warrior in
enemy territory; subtle like drops falling from an icicle; shapeable as a block
of wood; gracious as a grateful guest; clear as a glass of pure water.”
Then it says, “The master remains still until the right
action arises of itself.” In other words the master acts when the body is
silent and still. In comparison, most of us make important decisions because we
feel anxious and scared which is the absolutely wrong time to decide anything.
When you step out of your head and into your body, you
inhabit the nobility of your own being. You recognize instantly when your head
has pulled you into judgmental thinking and stress. Knowing “home” is in you
and how to keep returning there, you become your own teacher and this is the
most important thing anyone can ever learn.
Richard Moss is the Maestro of “Deep Work.” He teaches
people how to delve deeply into their inner core so they can achieve a life of “Radical
Aliveness,” Unconditional Love, and Real Inner Peace. For 37 years, this
globally-renowned physician-turned-master healer, international best-selling
author, and workshop leader has been guiding people on profound journeys of
self-inquiry and self-discovery that have transformed their relationship with
themselves, with their loved ones and the world.
more information and to learn about Richard’s Oct. 3-6 Couples Workshop in
Boulder, CO., and 10-day Nov. 8-17 Radical Aliveness retreat in Ojai, CA,