Experiencing extremely high highs in life, along with very low lows, is exhausting. There are some who enjoy that way of living, and there are also many wisdom teachings detailing how to escape such a precarious existence. But just as in meditation, where you constantly are bringing your attention back from a wild train of thought to the present moment, experiencing going from very unconscious states to extremely aware states of being within the span of a day, an hour, or a minute is essential in the practice of living.
Some days I experience extreme fear, worry, and distress. It can happen, when overcome with negative emotions or powerful thought patters, that I will bring a little bit of present moment awareness into my field of attention and take a step away from the crazy. This type of experience is helpful in building up what Tolle calls “presence power,” that when accessed more and more easily, will eventually kick in before the thought patterns and emotions have a chance to take over. But it is okay to go even further than a small glimpse of awareness.
I am now experiencing that when I fall into unconscious suffering, and bring that spark of present moment awareness into the situation, that I don’t need to stop there. I can remind myself of the true depths of joy and peace available in the present moment, remember all that I have learned in the power of the reality of the here and now. Not only can I shed light on the dysfunction that had caused fear to become all important in my field of attention, I can dissipate that fear with radical acceptance, and allow myself to feel peace, allow a smile, allow joy in the midst of anxious thought patterns.
This “allowing” is not passive. It takes the same power required when the energy of residual pain makes peace and happiness seem like the last thing in the world you’d want to feel, but you “allow” yourself to disidentify from that loud voice of pain and smile anyway.
Extreme happiness and extreme sadness lead to a weary existence. But moments of extreme unconsciousness that transform into moments of all encompassing present moment awareness can lead to the empowerment of your ability to dissipate the pain created by identification with the thoughts and emotions. Judging a moment of pain, fear, or sorrow will lead to more of the like, but accepting it and entering fully into the present moment strengthens the light of your consciousness that can dissolve the deepest darkness.