Many years ago at the Jain Meditation Center in New York, the Jain monk, Gurudev Shree Chitrabhanu said to me, “I feel your presence.” At the time, I had really no idea what he was talking about. It took me many years of self-realization and expansion of awareness to finally come to understand what Gurudev Shree Chitrabhanu was talking about. I had no idea of this “presence” he referred to. I do now. So, what is this “presence”?
What I discovered is there is something behind our persona/psyche/ego that is infinite, never dies and is awake to everything and that is our “presence” or our awareness that always is, even after we leave our physical body. To me, this is the presence of Spirit. It is beyond the persona/psyche/ego, beyond the physical and it a force that can be connected with at any time. We can apprehend it when we are contemplating, meditating, being silent, self-reflecting, chanting, concentrating and focusing. I have found that the ego is always there and tries to maintain its presence through thoughts but we can ask our ego to “step aside” and temporarily silence the mind whle connecting with our presence. We shut out the noise of our mind and go deeper into the reality of who we are which is our ever-present awareness that just IS.
This presence is also always in the now. It has no past and has no future. It is not in the construct of time as man has created it. Our presence is eternal, divine, sacred and aware of everything. This is what Gurudev Shree Chitrabhanu was picking up on when he shook my hand and said “I feel your presence.” It reminds me of the saying “I see you” in the film “Avatar.” The Jain monk in New York was saying “I see you.” I see who you are beyond your persona/psyche/ego.” I feel your core essence. I realize now that he had said a very deep and powerful thing to me.
It also made me realize that this was something that I was practicing touching in others when, at a younger age, I felt people’s souls. I didn’t know I was doing that when I was 15 but that what I was doing because I remember the feeling of connecting with other people in an empathic way. I felt them. I was feeling their presence without realizing I was doing it. All human beings can do this but I find that they often ignore it or see it more in the realm of persona/psyche/ego where there is judgement. When Gurudev Shree Chitrabhanu said, “I feel your presence,” he was not judging me. He was connecting with me.
May I encourage everyone to feel their presence within themselves and in others. It is the most sublime connection you will make with yourself and others because it goes right to the heart of the matter.