Always there

Imagine watching a TV programme. The story unfolding in front of you will hold your attention, especially when it is intense and shocking. However, without the screen nothing would show. The screen is absolutely essential, yet so easily overlooked. It is difficult to see the movie and the screen at the same time.

It is much easier to be aware of the screen when there is no programme running. Then we can acknowledge that every single programme happens on that which is totally still, boundlessly spacious, always present, does not make any choices, has no preferences, is just there to receive.

When we listen to our client's stories - or indeed our own stories - we get drawn into them. The stories can be pleasurable or they can be very difficult. There is no problem unless we overlook that not the story, but the screen or that on which life is unfolding, is who we really are. Maybe it is nice sometimes to forget that and to enjoy the illusion and see it all as real. The problem only starts when we cannot get out of it anymore, when we get stuck in the story - especially when the story is traumatic.

A movie cannot be seen without a screen. It is not possible to live a life without that on which life is unfolding. We may not be able to name it or even be conscious of it, nevertheless somehow we are always drawn to it. Prisoners in solitary confinement are kept sane by the small weed growing out of the cell wall, by the little mouse they try to tame, by watching the fly or seeing even the tiniest bit of sky. What keeps them sane is not the weed, the mouse, the fly, the sky itself. It is life energy, this ever present force which is not affected by our suffering and, like stillness, is always there underneath even the most unbearable noise.

It cannot really be written about, because it is the blank paper on which the written word appears. It cannot really be talked about, because it is the silence underlying each word and sound. But it can be experienced. And nature can be the gateway.