The Aware Space of Immediate Presence

All mental constructs are a superimposition on immediate presence. When we refrain from identification with these constructs, which arise in the form of judgments, opinions, beliefs, and fantasies of interpretation on perception, but instead grant attention to this immediate presence, the mind becomes quiescent.

Of course, the usual tendency is to jump right back into the compelling neural stream, and thus true meditation consists of allowing this immediate presence to outshine the habitual activity of obsessive thought, rather than employing the futile strategy of attempting to stop thought forms from arising by the application of willful effort.

By persisting sincerely in such practice, the classical questions of purpose, meaning, and identity which the mind raises dissolve, or as some say, self-liberate, and we are left, not with answers, not with some kind of special knowledge, not with a triumphant enlightenment, but with the original innocence of our true nature โ€” pristine aware space โ€” prior to the deluding adventure of separation and confusion that constitutes the typical human experience.


Here’s something to notice: nearly simultaneous with the appearance of anything, mind fabricates an interpretation while projecting the experienced reality. The objective part of the equation is that something appears. Whatever the phenomenon, it is compounded of other also-compounded phenomena, empty of any self-existence or non-existence, like a tree made of soil, seed, sun, and rain, which are themselves composed of countless things. The reason for the present appearance/experience can be traced back infinitely, even prior to the inception of that energy of which consciousness is its manifestation.

Time is only at the point of contact, immediate. Otherwise it becomes another conception. The sea of conceptuality is inky black. There is no direction. Every direction is unfathomable, except at this immediate time, as this immediate presence. Here awareness and experience are naturally indistinguishable — they are one thing, prior to any mental superimpositions: clear light, if seen as it is, pure love, natural presence.

Just so, there is a pithy formula of the well-meaning Tibetans that may ring a bell:

“Vision is Mind. Mind is Empty. Emptiness is Clear Light. Clear Light is Union. Union is Great Bliss.”

Paradoxically, although it is the natural default fragrance, we rarely imbibe even a brief and fleeting aroma of that supreme perfume. Rather, we remain fixated or fused in identification with the ceaseless parade of experiences, superimposing a limited and conflicted story of me and mine onto the mystery, and consequently can’t readily access and enjoy the more refined frequencies of vibration of which our construct is capable, beyond the delerious frenzy of this collective mindscape we are currently touring. It is only the clear light of love, this natural presence, which breaks the personal trance, awakens compassion, and sets us free. Said another way: “Experience is mind; mind is empty; emptiness is freedom; freedom is natural presence.”

sm nug


About Bob OHearn

My name is Bob O'Hearn, and I live with my Beloved Mate, Mazie, in the foothills of the Northern California Sierra Nevada Mountains. I have a number of blog sites you may enjoy: Photo Gallery: Essays on the Conscious Process: Compiled Poetry and Prosetry: Verses and ramblings on life as it is: Verses and Variations on the Investigation of Mind Nature: Verses on the Play of Consciousness: Poetic Fiction, Fable, Fantabulation: Poems of the Mountain Hermit: Love Poems from The Book of Yes: Autobiographical Fragments, Memories, Stories, and Tall Tales: Ancient and modern spiritual texts, creatively refreshed: Writings from selected Western Mystics, Classic and Modern: Wisdom of a Spirit Guide: Thank You!
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21 Responses to The Aware Space of Immediate Presence

  1. Sky McCain says:

    I’ve commented in this today on Facebook. Was it posted here first?

  2. Bob OHearn says:

    “For a seeker of reality, there is only one meditation – the rigorous refusal to harbor thoughts. To be free from thoughts is itself meditation. To remain without thought in the waking state is the greatest worship.”

  3. emaildawnnow says:

    I love everything about this Bob!

  4. Jeremiah Weser says:

    Thank you Bob!

  5. “When we live free from all ideas and projections, we come into real contact with our surroundings.. The only hindrance to the clear perception of our natural state is the forceful idea of being a separate individual, living in a world with other separate beings.

    We have an image of ourselves. This image can be maintained only in relation to things and thus it makes objects of our surroundings, friends, children, spouse, intelligence, bank account, etc., and enters into what it calls a personal relationship with these projections.

    The fanciful idea of a self is a contraction, a limitation of wholeness, real being. When this notion dies we find our natural expansion, stillness, globality without periphery or centre, outside or inside.

    Without the notion of an individual there is no sensation of separateness and we feel a oneness with all things. We feel the surroundings as occurrences in unrestricted wholeness.

    When our lover or children leave home or our bank account drops, it is an event in us. Awareness remains constant. All phenomena, all existence is an expression within globality and the varieties of expression only have meaning and relationship in light of the whole.”

    ~Jean Klein

  6. Hariod Brawn says:

    A triumph of concision, Bob โ€” what use for more words?

  7. marcelvuijst says:

    Areย youย still thinking, looking, living, as from an imaginary phenomenal centre?
    As long as you do that you can never recognise your freedom.
    ~Wei Wu Wei

    Get cut of in traffic, kindly great the driver and move on. Afterall who paints the image in the mirror?

  8. Thank you. Much appreciated.

  9. Bob OHearn says:

    The real meaning of death and dying is completely different from that usually understood by these words. When one knows the continuum that is life, all perceptions ( of which our body is but one) are felt as appearing and disappearing in awareness or consciousness . This appearing and disappearing is the real meaning of birth and death.
    We are born every moment a thought or sensation appears and we die every moment the concept or perception disappears. We die every evening before going to sleep , and we are born every morning. So we need to become acquainted with this dying, this letting- go of the objective world.
    We should ask ourselves in our most profound intimacy:
    What is there before the thought appears? What is there when the thought disappears? What is there when the body goes to sleep and before it wakes up? When we observe closely, we will find, not the absence we took for granted, but a presence, a presence that cannot, however, be objectified. It is too near, it is our nearest.

    -Jean Klein, The Book of Listening.

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