Earlier this week, while sitting in meditation, I heard the words ‘present moment joining.’
The words were ‘given’ to me when I asked my Inner Guide to help me understand how I could be more authentic and present with my family and friends.
When I embarked on my exploration of A Course in Miracles, one of my teachers, Sue Daniel, shared about present moment joining. At that time, Sue was living in Australia, and our conversation occurred via Skype text messaging. I found the teaching so powerful that I cut and pasted what she shared and created a document that I filed away- and probably promptly forgot! This week I fished the document out of my files and was struck once more by the perfection of the message.
I love how this sort of ‘synchronicity’ happens so often these days for me. Again and again, I am shown that if we ask our Inner Guide any question with sincerity and clarity, we do find all the answers we need. Even in the form of a Skype text message saved from four years ago ?
We all have heard about being in the present moment – something that nearly all spiritual traditions throughout the world advise as the key to peace of mind, happiness and lasting contentment.
Yet what is this ‘present moment joining’?
It is about being in the present moment fully and accepting it totally without running or hiding or suppression. Being honest to the core with what is! It is being completely transparent with oneself about one’s state of mind. It is not hiding anything in the guise of ‘trying to be spiritual’ or ‘trying to be calm and peaceful.’
And where does the joining come in? What are we joining with?
Often in our relationships, we are not fully present to ourselves and so we cannot be present to our family or friends. In present moment joining, we make a conscious decision to join with our partner, brother, sister, child, parent or loved one. Not from a space of judgment of self or other. Not from a past grievance or future expectation. But just fully present to what is before us now.
What am I seeing before me right now?
What is coming up for me inside me right now?
What are the emotions? What are the thoughts and beliefs? What is being triggered inside me when I see (my friend, partner, child, parent, etc.)?
Present moment joining requires that we take full responsibility for our feelings, thoughts, and behavior. The other person needs to be willing to do the same. We may not be able to do this sort of heart-to-heart joining in all settings so discernment is necessary. For example, your boss may not appreciate hearing how unhappy you are in your job. 🙂 Your sister may not be ready to engage in this sort of discussion about past childhood sibling rivalry you are trying to heal. 🙂
Such honest heart-to-heart conversation requires a strong foundation of trust- where each feels safe to share and express fully. We also must have a common purpose in sharing- that of healing our minds and hearts so we can be restored to peace. The purpose is not to gather more ‘data’ to be used as ‘ammunition’ for later discussion. We are here to join to heal our grievances, not create more separation.
In my experience of participating in this process and helping facilitate between couples, or other family dyads (such as parent-child), there is an amazing potential for profound healing. Yet it does take practice. A stance of open gentle allowing is needed combined with a firm, clear purpose of healing- which must always be kept in mind. Whatever comes up is given over to the Spirit for healing. So, we are using the present moment not only to join deeply with ourselves and our friend or family member- but also to connect to our Higher Self.
To me present moment joining is like holding a strong yet flexible container of Light and Love so all our doubts, fears, anger, resentment, jealousy, sense of lack and unworthiness can slowly, yet steadily simply dissolve away. What remains is the perfection and purity of the present moment- cleaned from the residue of the past and freed from the expectation of the future. Sparkling and shiny. Renewed. Fresh. Like the smell of the soil after a nice springtime rain shower.
All our fears of the future are actually just a projection AWAY from this present moment joining. The ego mind fears present moment joining because this is where the ego is undone. By undone, we mean that the false image we have of ourselves, as weak, angry, devastated by some pain or suffering, belittled, betrayed, anxious, fearful and so on and so forth- all of this is simply washed away. Now, many times we feel resistance to this. Because a part of us- whether consciously or subconsciously clings to this false image- even if it is painful, often simply because it has become a stable form of our everyday identity.
Imagine an actor playing a part in a movie or play and then forgetting to ‘come out of character’ once they are done shooting the scene or rehearsing the play. So, we too forget. Yes, the suffering, pain and distress we experience may be passing through us. Yet it is never us. This is the key that can set us free. We are not our pain and suffering. We are the Presence of Light and Love waiting to be discovered in the present moment. We need not move to some monastery in some remote location to discover this beautiful gift. We can find this right here, right now beneath the tangled often messy webs of our relationships.
I invite you to experiment with this and see what you discover.