An excerpt from The Liminal Lands
Being present did not only require that I be mindful of my physical surroundings. When I became aware of those, I observed that my windows needed cleaning, that the lemons were ripe for picking, or that the young girl next door, who I could see out my dusty window from my fairly untidy desk, was getting better at doing cartwheels. I needed to be aware of more than my surroundings and more than my emotional state as well, with its small anxieties about an inappropriate email I sent or about unmet deadlines. Being present was greater than being aware of my thoughts flitting from an upcoming meeting that needed my attention to concern about the state of our society. When I was truly present, I experienced a calm solidity and a deep-breathing steadiness that allowed for my life to be precarious and changeable. My presence was my equanimity. Instead of presence, it became Presence. It felt like a clear and wholesome home. It felt solid and grounded. Sometimes I was present in a way that was vast and ancient and timeless. Presence as an experience was very, very simple. And simplicity, I began to recognize, created Presence on steroids.