When we wake up each morning there is a moment, not more than a few seconds, when we are not thinking. The world is still emerging from out of a grey mist. There are no recognisable objects, just a swirl of dim light in shades of grey. Imperceptibly, thinking begins. First we recognise a few familiar objects in our bedroom; the position of the window where the light is entering; the outline of the walls and the end of the bed; perhaps a familiar picture on the wall. Along with these objects a gradual awakening of the wider world enters our subtle thought process. We remember who we are, where we are, what we do for a living, who our life partner is, our children, our parents and so on. It is like a pop-up book of the world. You open page one and up pops you and your street and and your house and your neighbours. A familiar scene like a post card or a scenic Christmas card. All this happens without our awareness as the world gradually shapes itself into our world-view. It is all our own creation but we don’t notice that, we think it is the real world. And we seldom challenge that belief. We live inside that pop-up book as if it were the real world but in actual fact we don’t know what the real world looks like. We can never know that. Sometimes it happens that we wake up in unfamiliar places, say when we stay with friends, then for a moment upon waking there is a lack of familiarity. In the few seconds after awakening instead of the normally smooth transition into our thought bubble of the world, our own personal world-view, there is a jagged edge, a precipice – the unknown. Often that experience is quite unpleasant for people. For just a few seconds there is no world. There is no me. A feeling close to panic sets in as our mind goes into an alert condition. The thinking mind does not like the unknown. But usually around second three or four the mind says – it’s OK – I am staying at my friends house – there is an internal sigh of relief and the familiar world slots back into place – all is well once more with the world. We have all had such an experience but because it is quite disconcerting we tend to dismiss it. We even slightly scold ourselves for being so stupid as to have not remembered where we were!
But what if in such moments we are closer to knowing reality than at almost any other time in our lives? If we could suspend the need to resolve the discomfort of not knowing we might find a true treasure in that brief moment. Try as a practice, if you can, to consciously wake up. Often we do wake up just a few moments before the alarm clock rings. Stay still and notice the experience of the gradual dawning of your awake conscious being. And see if you can just let it be without thinking about it, without adding any thoughts about it. Without commentary or interpretation, just lie back on your pillow and let consciousness move into gradual perception of the space around you without labelling things -table – bed- chair- window. Just be still and watch.
You may notice that there is a simplicity to it. Your existence is very simple. Consciousness channeled into perception – sight, sound and feelings. Your body, you will notice if you just pay it attention, is humming and buzzing on the inside, the sound and feeling of your life force. Notice that it feels very comfortable, charming and sweet. And just be there – absorb yourself in this self – it as close to reality as you will ever be. There is nothing to figure out, nothing to understand. The next action that is required for you will announce itself at the right moment and you can with ease and grace move towards it. This is how the rest of nature lives. This is how animals and plants live. Just be there and allow the moment to direct you.
See if you can take this simplicity with you into your day. See if you can allow your actions to come naturally out of that simplicity. When it is needed you will think but much of the time you don’t need to – it’s just a bad habit. As your day continues keep a sense of that inner being – that pleasant inner feeling. It has much it can teach you.