The more we have capacity to Be Here with what is, we find that which is really powerful, really amazing. This really creates a deep way to embody and deeply know how to be here, no matter what arises. It also creates that spaciousness that can be with anything, anywhere. It doesn’t really matter what arises…
To Be Here. So often we really don’t understand what does it mean? What I mean is our nervous system/brain is not at rest, it is engaged in the past. There is reactivity going on, conflict, challenge. So when the nervous system is activated, when there is a lot of activity, mental/emotional stuff going on, it can be very difficult to be here. We all know that. It’s difficult because our attention moves with what arises. Our attention is not stable enough to just stay here, and it moves with what arises.
The way we can help the nervous system and the brain to be here is by giving it information. For example, having your eyes open gives your brain information. That immediately gives a lot of information to the brain and nervous system, very direct nerve that goes into your eyes via your brain stem.
Another way to help the nervous system and brain to be here is to notice sensations. Another way to give it information you see. When the reptilian (more instinctual) areas of the brain are so active, there’s a lot going on, we experience a lot of things happening, and there’s a lot of reactivity, giving it information about where we are right now. What is really going on in this moment is what really helps it to relax, calm down, and be here.
We can Be Here right now, it’s possible. We can be relaxed in Satsang, but then at some point you can’t do it on your own because there’s not enough information for your nervous system and brain to know that it can relax here. Because everything in the Past is telling it that it can’t, that it’s not possible to be here, because it’s not safe.
So why are we talking about the nervous system and the brain, and why are we talking about its role in Awakening and Freedom? It’s because the capacity to Be Here is often times a bridge between the desire for Truth and Freedom. We all already come with this desire for Truth; this brought us into this life.
The desire for Truth and Freedom also manifests as willingness to Be Here. But the capacity of the Nervous system is often-times the bridge between that and the actual Awakening and Freedom. We already come with this desire for Truth; this brought us into this life. You might be aware of it or not, you might have been aware of it or not, but at some point in this life-time you kind of realized “wait a minute”, I’m suffering and there has to be some solution to that.
And so, there has already been that momentum somewhere in your life to really want to seek something else, to look for something else. That’s the desire for Truth and Freedom. And even today, you wouldn’t be here right now if you didn’t have the desire for truth and freedom. It brings you here also. Of course there are other things that bring us into this life too, this is part of the deal, unfinished tendencies, all of that.
But the capacity of the nervous system to Be Here is the bridge between the Desire for Truth and Freedom. And the desire for Truth and Freedom also manifests as willingness to Be Here. But the nervous system’s capacity is the bridge between that and Awakening and Freedom. So often I have seen in students that are really sincere, they come to sit in Satsang, and they have good experiences in Satsang, then they can’t Be Here. They go home and they don’t know how to Be Here. Because there’s just too much going on in the body on the level of the nervous system. And if that piece is not really learned or addressed, we can’t be here.
So if you are experiencing frustration with your ability to Be Here, or if being in Satsang or moments of silence don’t translate into a more sustained experience of Presence, or if there are challenges in your life, or you have a sensitive nervous system and get easily triggered by events, there is this bridge needed, what’s needed is this understanding about it. And not only understanding, but also practical learning about how to Be with that. What to do, what are the practical steps. How to help it? Because then that translates into growing capacity to Be Here, and then eventually translates into Presence. This creates auspicious circumstances for Awakening and for Freedom.
Ed note: Neelam is a guest teacher on NDL. Here’s more about “The role of the Nervous System in Awakening & Freedom:” https://neelam.org/2-week-experiential-telesatsang-series/
Please feel free to comment here or to contact her directly
for more details and insights: https://neelam.org/new-events/