Tom Watts on Shakespir
Copyright © 2016 by Tom Watts
Email: [email protected]
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Chapter 1: Tyson…………………………………………………………………………….. 3
Chapter 2: Joey……………………………………………………………………….. 5
Chapter 3: Two Worlds Collide……………………………………………………….7
Chapter 4: Following the Sign……………………………………………………….15
Chapter 5: Lunch…………………………………………………………………….. 22
Chapter 6: The Beach……………………………………………………………….. 31
Chapter 7: Shift in Consciousness…………………………………………………. 35
Chapter 8: Being………………………………………………………………………43
Chapter 9: Transcending……………………………………………………………. 50
Chapter 10: New Day………………………………………………………………… 53
Chapter 11: Discipline……………………………………………………………….. 58
Chapter 12: The Final Step…………………………………………………………. 62
Tyson wakes to the sound of a screaming baby and kids running up and down the hallway. He lives on the ninth floor of a social housing building and shares a place with his mother and younger sister. His father left when he was twelve. He is the man of the house.
He rises out of out of bed and looks out of the window. The streets are beginning to show life. Garbage trucks pass by, people begin the commute to work, shopkeepers lift the cages on their stores, moving on the homeless who have found a night’s rest in the shop front.
“Another day in paradise,” he thinks to himself sarcastically.
After working all night on the street corners he has only managed a few hours’ sleep. Tyson sells drugs to the abundance of addicts that populate the neighbourhood. It’s a dangerous way to make a living, but he’s good at it and sees no other option to support his family.
Trentan is an inner-city district known for its high crime rate and not much else. He experiences the harsh realities of life on a daily basis. The streets have raised him, not by choice but as a result of having been born into a broken family in a low-income area. His life of crime was set in motion since before he could make a conscious decision. In many ways he’s a product of his environment.
Tyson is stuck in a cycle, perpetuated by poverty and fear. He knows that if he stops selling drugs his family will end up on the streets or welfare. This terrifies him.
He has always been conscious of his reality. He sees how he and his peers are destined for one of a few paths. Some become casualties of the street life, killed by a rival dealer or crazed feign. Others are caught up in the prison system, and enter a cycle of going away and coming home. Few are forced into low income jobs, and some try escape through drugs and alcohol. He sees how people are unable to transcend this environment because of the lack of opportunity and positive role models.
As Tyson becomes increasingly aware of his environment he finds himself beginning to question his own fate. He might be one deal away from being caught or killed.
As much as this scares him he feels something real and alive about the streets. The violence, the drugs, the feigns and ever watchful eye of the law heighten his senses. He has learnt that in order to survive he must give himself completely to the present moment. He knows he can’t afford to be off in his mind, dreaming of the future or dwelling on the past.
For many this reality is too harsh to look directly in the eye. People turned to drugs and alcohol out of pain and quickly became addicted. Tyson served these feigns on the corner every night. He saw first-hand how addiction destroyed lives and families. For this reason he never touched drugs or alcohol, he couldn’t afford to end up like them and risk losing his family.
He also saw how others dealt with things. If it wasn’t substance abuse it was Church. People would pray for things to get better. That’s how Tyson viewed it anyway.
These were the vices of the community. There were liquor stores, drug dealers and churches on every corner. Out of desperation people would reach for one them, trying to find some relief to the feeling of hopelessness that pervaded the neighbourhood.
Not Tyson though, he knew that reaching for these vices would only lead to more suffering. If he was to transcend his environment he had to stay strong and not grow dependent on any one thing.
He developed his own code of living and surviving in the streets. One which was based on the core principle of always staying focused on the present moment. No matter how harsh it was, no matter what situation came into his life he would see it in its fullest and take action accordingly.
Tyson found that focusing on the present moment heighten his instincts and enabled him to read situations and anticipate change. He could tell when things were about to turn violent or cops were present. He was tapped into his environment, in tune with the streets. His present moment awareness gave him an advantage out there, one which was fundamental to his success as a dealer.
He could see clearly the bigger picture of the drug game and how his operation sat within it. His keen eye enabled him to fine tune his operation to suit any market conditions. He payed close attention to the feigns and looked for any changes in their palette. They were always after something new, something more exciting, that provided a stronger hit. That was human nature and the affects of addiction in its fullest. Tyson marketed his product accordingly and would have feigns coming from across town to try his range.
He had developed a powerful way of living, one that offered him survival and success. It had been forged through years on the corner, interacting with all walks of life and observing the dynamics of the community.
Tyson observed that when his mind dwelled on the past or worried about the future he would become incredibly anxious and depressed about his life situation. But If he stayed present and focused on the here and the now those thoughts and feelings would never have a chance to take root. He would still learn from the past and plan for the future but would do so practically in the present moment. He clearly understood the dynamics of his mind and knew it was his greatest challenge on the street.
Being ‘present’ offered Tyson a sense peace in the streets. He could be surrounded by chaos in every capacity, but as long as he was living in the moment he felt a lightness and connection to something bigger.
Tyson had plans of making enough money to invest in something legitimate so that he could take his family out of the environment. He already had incredible business acumen, learnt through the running of his drug operation.
Counting cash, investing in product, marketing, expanding territory and hiring workers were all part of his operation. Every aspect reflected the processes within any business big or small. Knowing this gave Tyson hope, hope that one day he could apply what he knows into something a legal business.
All he needed was an opportunity.
Tyson knew he had reached a critical point in his life and was aware that his path was unforgiving. He needed to make a change soon if he was ever going to transcend his environment.
A short drive from Trentan, just across the river that divides the city, lives Joey, a young man of similar age to Tyson. Although it’s the same city, it might as well be different worlds. The hard concrete streets and social housing buildings are replaced by leafy streets and large houses of all designs and colours. The racial divide is just as evident.
Joey’s neighbourhood would be considered affluent. It’s safe, has an array of amenities and offers considerable education, recreation, sporting and social opportunities. From a societal perspective he has had a privileged upbringing.
Currently he’s working his way through university, studying a course that he’s not particularly interested in.
Although he has a seemingly comfortable life there’s an overwhelming sense of boredom to his existence. The safe cushy environment has dulled his senses in every way imaginable.
Joey sees the conditioning of his environment. He’s conscious of the lifestyle that he and his friends are living out. Living for the pleasures of the weekend, hitting the town, spending money on things they don’t need and chasing girls. The lifestyle is barely fun for him anymore, yet he continues to live it out as it’s all he knows.
Joey feels that there’s an overwhelming lack of ‘realness’ in his life. He’s beginning to find many aspects of his community to be incredibly fake and pretentious. He sees that the privileged mind set perpetuates a materialistic culture, one that’s obsessed with looks and status.
Joey desperately wants to transcend this environment and find something fulfilling that he can involve himself with.
As much as he despises aspects of his community he still partakes in it, he’s a hypocrite on many levels. The reckless spending, over indulging, laziness and on and on are all by products of Joey’s privileged upbringing. He’s aware of this but at the same time is unknowingly addicted to it.
He is a product of his environment just as Tyson is a product of his.
Joey is beginning to experience episodes of anxiety and depression, but can’t figure out why. Why was he feeling this way when he lived such a privileged life.
Slowly the outgoing, social guy was fading away, and taking its place was a depressed young man with no sense of peace to be found.
As the depression became more profound in Joey’s life, he began to lose interest in the things he once enjoyed. As a result he began to isolate himself from friends and fall back from sporting and academic requirements.
He couldn’t understand what was happening to him, he felt as if the floor had fallen out from underneath his feet.
As he sank deeper into the grasps of depression he found himself reaching for drugs and alcohol to provide temporary relief from the psychological suffering.
He had entered an incredibly mind orientated state of being. One that was constantly dwelling on passed experiences and worrying about future scenarios.
Completely frustrated by the turn in events in his life, he began desperately trying to figure out what was happening to him. He spent countless hours researching mental illness, matching his symptoms with many number of psychological disorders.
“What’s wrong with me? Am I going crazy?” Joey thought to himself.
Exhausted and scared by the onset of mental illness Joey decided to reach out for help, hoping to find a cure for what he was dealing with. He sought out a local psychiatrist and booked an appointment.
Joey went along and came out from the session feeling a sense of hope. The psychiatrist prescribed a combination of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication to fix the chemical imbalance in his brain.
“Wow!” Joey thought, feeling a sense of relief that things would be back to normal soon.
The psychiatrist had told Joey that he would be back to his normal self in 2-3 months once the imbalance was corrected.
Joey did as he prescribed and took the meds morning and night, anxiously waiting on any sign of change.
One month went by and nothing had changed, the anxiety and depression was still there. The only difference was he felt very numb from the medication. He no longer felt happy or sad; he was now in an emotionless state.
“Maybe this is part of the correction process,” Joey thought. “The doctor had said 2-3 months for things to get back to normal”.
The 3 month period began to approach and Joey was losing hope with the medication, he was trying to convince himself he was feeling better but there was no change at all.
Mental illness soon became the backdrop of Joey’s life. He began to accept this and took himself off the meds, at least he wouldn’t be masking the problem and being numbed from what was happening to him.
Little did Joey know that a chance encounter would provide the help he was desperately looking for.
Joey was feeling frustrated by his situation. He began reaching for temporary relief from the anxiety and depression in any way possible. This included drugs, sex, alcohol and cigarettes, anything that would numb or distract him from the reality that he was facing.
He felt completely at the mercy of his illness. It was slowly breaking him down and stripping away who he thought he was and leaving behind an overwhelming feeling of emptiness.
Joey’s friends were unaware about what he was struggling with. They simply thought he was a bit down and would snap out of it.
Sammy, one of Joey’s childhood friends could see the change in him and tried to encourage him to join in socially.
“Come on Joey, let’s go out on the town tonight,” Sammy proposed one night. “It’s Friday, you have nothing else to do and I know a new spot that’s just opened up.”
Joey tried to make up an excuse why he couldn’t but in the end agreed. Why not he thought, it was better than mopping around the house and at least he could drink.
“I’ll pick you at 7,” Sammy said before hopping in his black Camaro and tearing down off down the road.
Sammy was a bit of a wild boy, so he new that it would be an eventful night whatever happened.
Joey started getting ready for the night ahead. As he did, he felt a strange calmness. It only lasted momentarily but it was there. He couldn’t put his finger on it but something was different. “Whatever” he thought as he continued to get ready.
“Beep!! Beep!!” sounded the horn of Sammy’s Camaro outside.
Joey grabbed his things and ran down stairs to find Sammy with two other guys that he hadn’t seen in months.
Craig and Manny were sitting in the back seat, leaving the front for Joey.
“What’s up Joey,” Sammy yelled. “Let’s get this show on the road.”
“I’m coming, I’m coming” Joey replied. “Have some patience…shit!!”
The guys started laughing as Joey closed the car door and Sammy speed off.
“First stop Mohikas,” said Craig.
Mohikas was a new bar that had just opened up across town in the district of Dormanty. It was across the other side of the bridge just on the outskirts of the ‘hood’. It was an old industrial area that had been subject to gentrification over the past decade. Old buildings had been re-developed into restaurants, bars and art galleries.
It was the hottest spot in town. All the rich kids thought they were edgy partying on the other side of the bridge, in an area once renowned for being dangerous. Dormanty was once overrun with pimps, prostitutes, feigns and dealers. Sex and drugs would be the only reason to go there in the past.
The boys steamed across the bridge, music blearing as they crossed into the district of Dormanty. The place was alive with people. Bars and restaurants spilled onto the sidewalk providing an amasing atmosphere for pedestrians.
Sammy pulled into a parking space along the main drag and the boys hopped out.
“Let’s Party!!” yelled Sammy at the tops of his lungs.
The boys were like a pack of wolves howling at the top of their lungs and wolf whistling groups of girls as they walked by.
Joey didn’t share the same enthusiasm, he was just eager to get into a bar and have some drinks. The place was driving up his anxiety, especially the way the guys were clowning around. He needed something to take the edge off, something strong.
After walking around for a while they were eventually directed to Mohikas, which was down a ‘dodgy’ looking alleyway.
“I wonder how many people have been killed down here,” Sammy said half seriously as the guys proceeded down it.
It was narrow, covered in graffiti and dimly lit with only one way in and out. “Great,” Joey thought. “We are just asking to get mugged.”
Finally they came to a door illuminating the name Mohikas.
“Thank fuck,” Craig said, let’s get inside before we get killed.
“Knock, knock!!” They waited a moment and slit in the door opened.
“Who is it,” a deep voice answered.
“You’re Mama,” Manny replied back sharply.
A bolt on the door unlocked and the door opened slowly to the sound of hip hop music, and a large unfriendly looking bouncer.
“Who’s been talking about my Mama,” he said without an ounce of humour in his voice.
The boys all pointed to one another.
“Hurry up and get inside and don’t let me hear you talking about my Mama again.”
“Shit! Can’t Hagrid take a joke,” Manny mumbled as they walked through the door.
The bar was dark inside. You could hardly see people’s faces across the room. The atmosphere was relaxed, with people kicking back in the big leather couches positioned around the place.
The boys didn’t mess around they were straight to the bar for a round of drinks.
“I need something strong,” Joey voiced.
“How about a round of shorts,” Sammy suggested.
A quick cheers to solute the start of the night, and down the hatch they went.
Round after round the boys took turns ordering an array of different drinks.
After a few hours at the club they were starting to become quite intoxicated. Craig was an obnoxious drunk and like usual he was beginning to irritate some of the other party goers.
It was only a matter of time before he got kicked out. That was pretty standard. At least one of the boys would be kicked out at some point during the night for being too drunk or giving a bar tender a hard time.
The rule was, if someone got kicked out you had to leave as well, unless you were on the verge of picking up. Joey was the ladies’ man of the group, so this usually applied to him. But since the anxiety and depression had taken hold he hardly even thought of girls.
Eventually Craig got kicked out and the boys followed suit.
“See ya Hagrid,” Sammy yelled as he waved goodbye to the giant bouncer.
He didn’t look impressed.
“Where to next,” Sammy asked.
They knew of another spot called Aberdene which was about a 10 minute walk away. It required going further south which meant venturing closer to the ‘hood’.
“This way,” Craig said.
“Are you sure,” Sammy replied. “I thought the bar tender said it was down Clarkson Ave?”
“Nah it’s definitely this way,” Craig insisted.
So off they went, full of liquor and full of confidence, singing and yelling through the streets as they proceeded towards the bar.
“Where is this joint?” Manny called out to the boys ahead.
“Just a little further,” Craig replied back.
Up ahead was a number of social housing towers, a site that was definitely synonymous with the ‘hood’.
“Are you sure,” Joey interjected. “this area does not look like Dormanty. “This is Trentan, let’s get out of here before some shit goes down, where not supposed to be here man.”
As the boys turned to run back they were confronted with the reality of their ignorance.
“You boys lost?” a voice said.
Standing in front of them was Tyson and three of his crew members.
“Are you boys lost?” Tyson repeated, but more sternly.
“Where just looking for Aberdene nightclub,” Craig replied nervously.
Tyson and his crew started pissing themselves laughing.
“Aberdene nightclub, I don’t think we got one of them in Trentan, you boys are lost.” Said Tyson.
All of sudden things turned serious. Tyson’s crew instinctively moved passed him and started beating the boys to the ground. Taking their wallets and watched in the process.
Jimmy grabbed Joey by the scruff of his neck and pulled him to his feet before put a pistol to his head. The other boys scampered up and made a run for it, leaving Joey behind.
“Is that what you call loyalty? they just left you to die,” Jimmy asked Joey, while he pushed the nine millimetre hard against his temple.
Joey couldn’t talk, he gritted his death and closed his eyes while Jimmy spoke.
“Open your eyes mother fucker, look your killer in the eyes, show some respect boy.”
“You think it’s a joke coming up in our neighbourhood, you ignorant son of bitch…do you see us crossing the bridge and coming into your suburbs mother fucker?. Now you’ve forced me to make an example out of you.” Said Jimmy.
Joey had never been so scared in his life. He thought he was going to be killed right there.
“No!” Tyson shouted, putting his hand on Jimmy’s shoulder and instructing him to lower the gun.
Tyson looked Joey in the eyes and handed back his wallet.
Joey turned and ran as fast as he could.
Tyson turned and walked in the opposite direction past Jimmy, who had a look of confusion on his face.
“What the fuck boss, why did you let him go like that?” Jim said angrily.
Jimmy shot a single round into the air, expressing his frustration at his leader.
Tyson didn’t flinch and continued to walk calmly away.
“Go home,” he eventually yelled back to his crew.“Have the night off.”
Joey stumbled as he heard the gun shot in the distance. Adrenalin pumped through his veins as he sprinted towards the lights of Dormanty.
The boys were a couple of blocks ahead of Joey. They heard the gun shot and immediately thought the worse.
“Fuck!” Sammy screamed. “They got Joey man, we got to go back.”
“And get shot too!” Craig responded.
“Maybe it came from somewhere else,” Manny said, seeing the look of terror in his friend’s faces.
The boys were quickly sobered by the reality of the situation as they waited down a quite backstreet for any sign of Joey.
They heard the sound of running in the distance before a figure came screaming around the corner.
“It’s Joey,” Sammy exclaimed with a sense of relief.
Joey ran towards them and told them to run too, “let’s go, let’s go!!” he said with a share of panic in his voice.
They continued to run as fast as they could back into the night club district. The bright light and crowds of people was a welcoming sign for the boys who had just narrowly escaped a potentially unforgiving situation.
They eventually got back to the car and remained silent for a minute as they all tried to catch their brief.
“What happened Joey?” Craig eventually asked.
“How could you guys ditch me like that?” Joey said breathlessly as he looked them all in the eye.
“I was lucky I wasn’t killed! If it wasn’t for the compassion of their leader, that guy would have blown my head off.”
“We panicked,” Sammy said, feeling guilty for leaving his closest friend. “I wanted to come back for you, I’m sorry brother.”
“At least no one got hurt,” Craig said, trying to ease the tension.
“I’m never following your direction ever again Craig, you lead us right into the hood.” Manny shouted.
“Fuck it!” Joey said. “What’s done is done, I need some space. I’m going to find my own way home tonight. I can’t be around you guys after what happened.”
“I’m glad where all ok, you guys go home. We can talk about it tomorrow.” Said Joey.
“Alight man, I understand you feel betrayed, we fucked up. Where sorry bro,” Sammy replied.
“It’s ok, I’m out,” Joey said back as he walked away into crowded main street.
The guys did as Joey said and drove home. The car was in complete silence as they crossed the bridge back into the suburbs.
As Joey walked the streets trying to make sense of what had just happened he was overcome by an overwhelming sense of aliveness. For the first time in as long as he could remember his mind felt clear. It’s as if the intensity of the situation had shocked him out of his depressive state.
It was absolute bliss for Joey. He looked around and simply appreciated his surroundings without a worry of the future or a thought of the past. His senses were heightened, picking up every noise, sight and smell. He felt connected to his surroundings in a way that he had never felt before. “What was this?” He thought to himself.
Eventually his thoughts began to take over again and he started to feel the intensity of it all fading. Slowly he was losing touch with the present moment and returning back to his mind identified state.
As he tried to regroup himself, he knew that what he had just experienced was a glimpse of something special. In that brief moment Joey felt free from the psychological suffering that his mind created and connected to an overwhelming sense of peace behind it all.
He needed to sit down, so he went and found a bench nearby. He began rubbing his temple which was slightly bruised from where the gun had been pressing.
“Fuck me, I was almost killed,” he thought to himself.
Joey needed to get home. He began replaying the nights events in his mind which was making him incredibly anxious.
“Taxi!” Joey yelled out to a cab cruising by. He jumped in and headed back home.
Once home, he was completely exhausted from thinking about what had just happened. He lay down on top of his bed and entered a deep sleep.
Joey woke the next morning to his mother rummaging through his room looking for dirty washing.
“Hey Ma,” Joey said half asleep.
“Morning baby boy,” his Mum replied. “Big night out was it?” his Mum said noticing that he was still fully clothed.
“You have no idea,” Joey replied.
“Me and your sister are making pancakes if you’re hungry, they will be ready in half an hour,” she called out as she left the room.
Joey slowly rose out of bed and jumped into the shower. “What a night,” he thought to himself. Joey was still in a state of shock over what had happened, but more than anything he was touched by the experience that happened after. It had lifted him out of his depressive state temporarily and gave him a glimpse of present moment awareness.
He couldn’t explain what had happened to him that night, but somehow knew it was the key to understanding his psychological suffering that he so desperately wanted to transcend.
On the other side of town Tyson was grappling with his own issues over the events that took place. He was questioning himself. What had made him intervene in the way that he had? What had driven him to let the boy go and disrespect his crew? Was he growing soft, or was he realising the senseless of it all.
Tyson lay in bed late into the morning at a complete loss. He began to drift off into thought. Dwelling on the past and worrying about the future. As soon as he started to do this he became very depressed about his life situation and felt the urge to reach for one of the vices to relieve the pain.
“Snap out of it Tyson,” he said out loud to himself. “The future and past are no place for you, stay present it is the only place you can make real change.”
With that, Tyson rose out of bed and started to get ready for the day ahead.
Joey tried to return back to his routine after the event. But something had changed within him, the chance encounter with death and Tyson had opened his eyes, even for just a moment.
Joey saw more clearly than ever facade of his own environment. There was little substance to the life he lived. He knew that to ignore what had happened and continue down the same path would offer little fulfilment.
He had an overwhelming feeling that he needed to find the man that saved him that night. He felt that there was something that he had to offer him and it was connected to the peace he had experienced after the fact.
Joey’s rationale mind was telling him that it was ridiculous to even think that way, but his intuitive self kept pushing for him to find Tyson.
Feeling compelled to do this, Joey overcame his fear and decided to take a drive back into Trentan. Not knowing where Tyson was or how he would respond if he saw him.
As he drove through the desolate streets of Trentan with active corners he began to feel the sense of aliveness that he had felt that night. He knew he was completely out of his depth in this environment.
He continued to drive through the neighbourhood, getting deeper and deeper into the heart of Trentan. His senses were heightened as he passed pimps, prostitutes and drug dealers.
“Whoop, woop!!” Flashing lights and a siren lit Joey’s car up from behind, his stomach dropped and he began to panic.
The cops tailed him until he pulled over just before a busy street corner. They walk up to his window and begin to interrogate.
“What in god’s name are you doing here young man?” one of the officers sternly asked.“You know what neighbourhood you’re in right?”
“Are you lost boy?” The other officer chimed in.
Joey fumbled over his words before explaining that he must have taken the wrong turn.
“I was looking for Dormanty officer, the night club district.”
“Well you’re lucky we got to you first young man,” the officer replied as he pointed to crew of young men on the corner. “They would eat you up and spit you out if they saw you come through here, you understand?”
“Yes sir, understand sir,” Joey responded with a quivering voice.
After a stern telling off by the officers they eventually let Joey go.
Joey’s heart was pounding in his chest at this point, sweat dripping from his brow as he began to drive off.
As he does he passes a busy street corner. He looks out into the night and steering straight back at him with a look of bewilderment is Tyson. They make eye contact for a moment, both recognising each other as they do.
Joey quickly steers straight ahead and begins to accelerate off, completely terrified at this point and wanting more than ever to get back home.
Tyson can’t believe his eyes. He looks around at his crew who are completely oblivious to the car that just rolled past.
“What in god’s name is that white boy doing back in the hood?” Tyson said aloud to himself.
He knew it must have something to do with him and that night. He just couldn’t figure out why he would risk coming back into Trentan after what happened.
This stumped Tyson, the events of the other night had already been playing on his mind. Ever since he had let Joey go he had been questioning his place in the streets and with his crew. Seeing him again only added more fuel to the fire. Tyson immediately took it as a sign that change was happening to him and that somehow Joey was instrumental in it.
Tyson was very intuitive in this regard. His present moment awareness enabled him to pick up guidance from hunches, intuitive feelings or coincidences. He relied on this to navigate through the chaotic street life.
Depending on the guidance, it could ever direct him to take some sort of necessary action or alternatively stay patient, where no action was needed.
Inevitably it would always point him in the right direction, helping him to avoid danger or alternatively open up new opportunities for business. In his experience whenever he didn’t follow the guidance he would lose out in one way or another. He had learned to have complete faith in it and this time was no different.
He needed to find Joey. There was something about the boy that was necessary for change in his life. That’s what his intuition was telling him.
Joey arrived home after driving through Trentan and being pulled over by the cops. He was a nervous wreck.
“What was I thinking,” he thought to himself.
He was wondering what Tyson must have thought when he made eye contact with him.
“He must think I have some kind of death wish.” He thought to himself.
Joey gave up on the whole idea of having to find Tyson. He disregarded it as some sort soul searching mission with no real basis. His rational mind had taken over and was not going to let him identify with a hunch that could put him in harm’s way again.
Joey began to block it all out and look at the events that transpired with Tyson and his crew as no more than a lucky escape that could have happened to anyone. The experience that followed giving him a moment of clarity must have been no more than the effects of shock from being in a traumatic situation.
That was it for Joey, he was now back to square one, dealing with the reality of his suburban life while looking through the veil of anxiety and depression. He was still desperately seeking a fix to his mental illness. He decided he would approach it rationally like everyone else did. So with that, Joey began taking his medication again and sought out counselling.
He reconnected with his friends and got back into the routine of life. This consisted of university, partying, drinking and girls.
Tyson knew what he needed to do. His intuition was telling him to find Joey. He didn’t know why he needed to, but it had something to do with the change he so desperately needed in his life.
Tyson also knew that Joey might simply be a stepping stone to where he really needed to go. In his experience intuition was like a sign post, pointing him to a person or place which was intrinsic to the greater journey.
“How am I going to find him?” he thought to himself.
“What do I know about him?”
Tyson didn’t even know his name, all he knew was he was white and from the suburbs. And he liked to party in Dormanty, that was it. Tyson had met Joey because he and his friends were lost while looking for a club in the adjacent Dormanty district.
“That’s where I’ll find him,” Tyson thought.
He wouldn’t have to scale the suburbs, he could simply wait until Friday night and take a short walk across town. He had a good feeling about this, he knew Dormanty was the hottest place in town right now and was attracting all the suburban kids.
He thought If Joey and his friends were still caught up in the party scene, they would surely be in Dormanty on Friday night.
Friday Night came along and Tyson was ready for the night ahead. He put on a shirt and pants knowing that he had to look respectable to get into some of the clubs. He was supposed to be out hustling the corner with his crew as Friday was the busiest night of the week. He put his right hand man Jimmy in charge and told him that he would be back later on to take over.
“Where are you going all dressed up like that Ty?” Jimmy asked.
“I’m going to see about a business opportunity my brother, you just make sure you hold this corner down until I get back,” Tyson replied.
“I got this Ty,” Jimmy responded.
It would be the first time that he was left in charge. Tyson was well aware of this and was apprehensive of how it might play out. Friday nights were often chaotic, especially if the cops decided to come through and sweep the corners for drugs.
Tyson knew he had trained his crew well and Jimmy had been right next to him for years. He knew he was ready for it.
“I know you do Jimmy, trust your instincts,” Tyson said before he left for Dormanty.
He had to make one quick stop before he got there. He was still carrying his gun and needed to stash it somewhere. He knew the bars and clubs would have scanners or the bouncers would single him out.
Tyson carried his gun everywhere in the street. It was a necessary form of protection in his line work. He rarely had to use it, but at points he would have to bring it out to either show a rival dealer he wasn’t scared or threaten a crazed feign who wouldn’t leave his spot.
But tonight he had to ditch it. He couldn’t afford an unregistered weapons charge. That would surely mean jail time and life on the street for his family.
As Tyson got closer to Dormanty he could hear the distant thump of club music and see the bright lights of Main Street glowing in the night sky. He was about a block away at this point, so he found an empty alley way and ditched his gun underneath a dumpster.
“Let’s do this shit,” he thought to himself.
He felt incredibly vulnerable without his gun, but with every step he took out of Trentan he could feel the hostile energy dissipate. The streets of Dormanty presented no real danger to him and he knew that.
On the other side of town, Joey and his crew were going about their usual Friday night routine. It was pre-drinks at Sammy’s this time. They had the music blearing and were loading up on a combination of beer and weed before the taxi arrived.
“Are you going to hit this shit?” Craig called out to Joey, holding out a blazing joint while he coughed and sputtered.
“Nah man,” Joey replied back. “I’m cool, that shit makes me anti-social, I’ll stick to the beer.”
“Fair call, more for me,” said Craig.
Joey sat back on the couch sipping his beer and looked around at his buddies. He saw how they were quite content repeating the same routine every weekend. Joey wanted to be content with it as well, he desperately wanted to feel the fun of it all like he used to. He was trying to convince himself that he was enjoying it, but he knew deep down that he was only lying to himself. There was no pleasure to be found in the lifestyle anymore.
Joey began thinking of the night when he had come across Tyson and his crew. He was still drawn back to the experience that he had immediately after. The one that temporarily lifted him out of his depressive state and opened his eyes to present moment. He tried to block it out and carry on with things but he couldn’t, he knew that it meant something.
“Taxi’s here boys, get your shit together and lets go,” Sammy yelled out, trying to rally up the troops who were in various states of inebriation.
Joey stood up from the couch and sculled the rest of his beer, trying to psyche himself up for the night ahead.
“That’s the spirit,” Manny shouted at Joey before slapping him on the butt. “Where going to get some ladies tonight.”
Joey couldn’t help but laugh at the situation. The boys were in no form to be picking up. Especially Manny who was so stoned he could hardly open his eyes.
Although Joey was over the partying and monotonous routine of it all, he appreciated the guys for always including him.
They made their way outside and jumped into the taxi. “To Dormanty,” Manny slurred to the driver as the car pulled off into the night.
As they made their way over the bridge, Joey steered out the window and could see Trentan in the distance. Again he started remembering back to that night.
“Snap out of it,” Joey thought to himself. “Forget about it,” he mumbled aloud.
“Forget about what?” Manny reiterated back with a slur and a drunken expression on his face.
Joey laughed and patted Manny on the back, “I think we need to get you another drink, your sobering up.”
They took the first right off the bridge and arrived in Dormanty. The atmosphere was already charged, DJ’s and bands were playing in the various bars and clubs that fringed the main street.
The taxi pulled up in front of Club Premier and the boys spilled out onto the pavement, leaving Joey with the taxi fair.
“Usual storey,” he thought to himself. “You guys owe me a drink, I got the fair,” he called out to them as they walked towards the club entrance.
Premier was a trashy joint where people went at the beginning of the night to get loaded. The drinks were cheap and it didn’t matter how drunk you were as they never kicked you out. It was perfect for the guys as they were usually smashed before they entered.
“I love this place,” Sammy said with a look of longing on his face while the bouncer checked his ID.
One by one they all got checked and shuffled into the club. As soon as they were in the boys darted off in different directions. Sammy shot off to the bar for drinks, Craig went and talked to the nearest group of girls and Manny hit the dance floor.
Joey found a stool at the bar where he could sit back and watch the action. He wasn’t one for the dance floor or running around and picking up chicks. Those days had gone, the club scene had no appeal to him anymore, but he tolerated it for his friend’s sake.
Not far from Premier, about a block down the main strip sat Tyson. He was positioned on one of the wooden benches, giving him a good view of the pedestrian coming in and out of the bars and clubs that lined the street. He was taking in the atmosphere, getting a feel for the place, while watching out for Joey and his friends.
He knew that hitting every spot would be too hard and that his best shot of finding Joey would be to sit back and watch the action from a far. He would do this until he saw him or got a sign to go into a specific place. Tyson was in tune with the present moment, observing the people moving back and forward, hearing the blend of music mixing in the street and feeling the energy underneath it all.
He still had no idea what he would do when he found Joey, but he trusted in the sign that he was given and knew that meeting Joey was critical to his greater journey. He just didn’t know how.
As he sat back on the bench and took it all in, he noticed that there was a large group of people trying to get into a club down the street. No other places had lines at this point in the evening, so it caught his attention.
“That’s it,” Tyson thought to himself. Without hesitation he stood up from the bench and proceeded towards the club.
As he strolled down the street he could feel his heart beginning to beat faster. Tyson found that this always happened prior to something important happening. He treated the nervous energy as another sign that he was on the right track.
“He’s in there, I’m sure of it,” he thought to himself.
Eventually he reached Club Premier. The line was getting longer by the minute, “I’ll be waiting here at least an hour,” he thought.
Before lining up he walked past the queue until he was at the entrance. He wanted to catch a glimpse inside before waiting. As he peered past the bouncers blocking the door, he heard a voice call out to him.
“Tyson!, is that you Ty?” a voice called out.
Tyson looked up and recognised his childhood friend Damian staring back at him.
“Damian my brother,” Tyson responded as he walked up to him and gave him a hug.
He hadn’t seen Damian in years. He had left Trentan after getting an athletic scholarship at one of the universities across town.
“Long time, what are you doing here?” Tyson asked. “I’m working as a bouncer part time while I study,” Damian replied back.
Damian got out of Trentan at the right time. He was running with the same crew as Tyson and would have been consumed by the street life if it wasn’t for athletics.
“I’m sorry I haven’t been back, I get the family to come see me now,” he explained to Tyson in an apologetic manner.
Tyson understood completely, he knew that Trentan was no place for Damian. He had an opportunity to be successful and needed to protect it. Going back to the neighbourhood would be putting it at risk.
“No need to be sorry my brother, I respect what you’re doing. You give people in Trentan hope,” Tyson replied.
Tyson looked at Damian with admiration, he was proud that his friend had transcended the environment and was on his way to becoming something. That’s what Tyson wanted as well, to become something not only for himself and his family but to also give the younger generation of Trentan hope. To show that there are other avenues than selling drugs or working dead end jobs.
“So good to see you Tyson it’s been way to long, but what the hell are you doing in Dormanty?” Damian said with a chuckle, “This isn’t exactly your scene.”
Tyson saw this as another sign. Bumping into his old friend on the door of the club that he needed to get into was not just a coincidence, it was confirmation that Joey was inside.
“Long story bro, but I’m meeting someone. Matter of fact he’s inside this very club,” Tyson said.
“Alright my bro, I won’t ask anything more.” Damian replied, assuming that whatever Tyson was up to was most probably illegal. “I trust you Tyson, off you go. I’ll catch up with you on your way out.”
Tyson shook Damian’s hand and proceeded to walk inside the club.
The place was packed, he scanned the room looking for Joey or his buddies. He weaved in and out of groups of people in apprehension, knowing he was somewhere in the club.
He continued his search outside in the smoker’s area, but no sign of him there. Back inside he went over to the dance floor, still no sign of Joey. But he did recognise a face, it was Manny. Tyson immediately recognised him as one of Joey’s friends from that night.
“He’s close,” Tyson thought to himself. He kept searching the room, but there was still no sign of Joey.
Tyson needed a drink of water to quench his thirst. So he wandered over to the bar, at the same time keeping a watchful eye on the dance floor in case Joey showed up.
“One water please,” Tyson said as the bar tender looked in his direction.
“Coming right up,” the bar tender replied.
Tyson pulled up a stool and continued to watch the dance floor while drinking his water.
“Rum and coke please,” a voice to his right called out across the bar.
Tyson looked over and immediately recognised the person as Joey.
“My man,” he thought to himself.
Joey hadn’t seen Tyson yet. He was focused on the bar tender as he poured his drink. While this was happening, Tyson got up off his stool and joined Joey at the other end of the bar.
Joey reached for his wallet, bringing out a note to pay the man.
“Nice wallet,” Tyson said to Joey, looking him directly in the eye.
Joey looked up and jumped back, completely startled by the presence of Tyson.
In response, Tyson reached out and shook Joey’s hand, introducing himself for the first time.
“The names Tyson, pleased to finally meet you,” he said in a calm manner.
Joey introduced himself back. The two of them stared at each other for a few seconds before Tyson began explaining himself.
“Joey, I know you must be surprised by seeing me again tonight. But let me tell you one thing off the bat, this is no coincidence. I’ve been looking for you for the past few hours and the signs lead me to this club. Ever since that night I came across you and your friends in Trentan I have been questioning my place in the streets. After giving you a pass and allowing you to walk away unharmed with your wallet I knew that something in me had changed. I kept thinking back to that night, then I saw you again after being pulled over by cops.” Tyson explained.
“I took that as a sign that I needed to find you. This might sound strange, but you are somehow connected to the change I need in my life. I don’t know in what capacity, but that will clarify in time.”
Joey looked back at Tyson while he explained this, taking a gulp of his rum and coke as he did.
“Wow,” Joey replied back.“This is so crazy. I knew there was something bigger to that night too.”
“What do you mean by that?” Tyson replied back.
“Having a gun to my head and thinking that I was going to be killed completely rattled me. After you let me go, I ran back to Dormanty, terrified and in a state of shock. What followed was an experience I won’t forget. I believe the intensity of that situation forced me into a state of present moment awareness. After the incident I walked around Dormanty in a state of aliveness. I was lifted out of my depressive state and became connected to my reality. My senses were heightened. Colours became brighter, sounds more distinct, I felt in tune with my surroundings.” Joey explained to Tyson.
“But most profound was the feeling of underlying peace behind it all. It was like everything was ok for the first time, regardless of what had just happened. I don’t know, I can’t articulate it, but it was beautiful.”
Joey took a deep breath before continuing. “That state didn’t last though, it came on quickly and slowly dissipated as the depressive state took over. Ever since that experience I’ve been trying to understand what happened, I want to connect to that space again but I have no idea how.
I tried to play it off like it was simply a state of shock from having a gun pointed at me. But now seeing you again, I know it was something more than that.”
“So what were you doing back in Trentan when I saw you for the second time?” Tyson sked.
“Trying to find you,” Joey replied. “It sounds weird, but I had exactly the same feeling. I felt that I needed to find you in order to understand what happened to me that night.”
Joey took another gulp of his rum and coke, before turning to the bar tender and calling for one more.
“Make that two,” he called out.
“No I’m good Joey, I don’t drink.” Tyson interjected.
Joey was completely rattled by the whole the situation, his anxiety was going through the roof while Tyson stood across from him as calm as anything.
“I’m sorry Tyson, I’m completely on edge. I’m just trying to understand what’s going on.” Joey said.
“Don’t be sorry brother, and don’t try and understand what’s going on. All I can say is that we have been brought together for a reason and I think that it is to help one another. I don’t exactly know why or how but I believe it’s necessary for the evolution of both of us as people.” Tyson explained to Joey with an air of knowing and confidence in his words.
“Wow that’s some deep shit, are you like some kind of prophet?” Joey said back.
Tyson began laughing out loud and grabbed Joey by the shoulder.
“Far from it my bro, I’m a drug dealer from Trentan, I come from nothing. I live in a social housing building with my mother and little Sis. I’m lucky to be alive today and have seen many of my friends killed, sent away to prison or become strung out on drugs. My reality is harsh, so I don’t come to you lightly. I’m dead serious when I say this shit, this is no joke. I’m supposed to be running a crew on the corner tonight, but I’ve left that in my brother’s hands to come and find you.”
Tyson let his words linger with Joey before carrying on. “One thing I can say though is that I’m completely at peace. Underneath all the chaos there is a knowing that everything is ok. A connection to something greater and I think that’s what you got a glimpse of that night.”
Joey was taken aback by Tyson’s words. They hit him right in the chest and made him sit back on his stool. Joey felt almost embarrassed about his situation when he compared it to Tyson’s.
“I’m sorry man I didn’t realise,” Joey said back, struggling to find an appropriate way to respond.
“Don’t be sorry bro, that’s my reality. But like I said, I’m at peace and that’s something you can’t buy. My state of being has come out of the chaos, forged through my time on the streets. Out of adversity I have found the truth behind it all and with that you not only end your personal suffering but you can do and achieve anything if you apply it correctly.”
There was a brief silence before Tyson and Joey were joined by the rest of the boys. Sammy, Manny and Craig came up to Joey and started talking girls and drinks, completely oblivious of Tyson standing right next to him.
“Who’s your friend?” Sammy eventually asked Joey.
Joey stumbled over his words before Tyson stood up and introduced himself. “The names Tyson.”
“You seem very familiar, do you go to Fitzroy High?” Manny jumped in.
Tyson laughed, quite amused by the fact that the boys had no idea that he was part of the crew that they had encountered a few weeks back.
“Must be someone else you’re thinking of,” Tyson replied back. “Anyway boys I was just leaving, enjoy the rest of your night.”
“Your off, so what next?” Joey said as Tyson got up from his stool to leave the club.
“Come over here,” Tyson said, indicating him to join him in private away from his friends.
“This is just the beginning my man, we had to meet. That’s all that tonight was about. Now we’ve met we can begin to reveal why we truly have been brought together. You just have to trust my friend, trust in the bigger picture. That our two worlds collided for a reason and it has something to do with the peace you seek and the change I need.”
Joey said nothing, he just listened. “I’m busy for this week, but next Sunday I want you to meet me for lunch at Joe’s cafe on the Dormanty waterfront. We will go from there.”
“Are you with me Joey? Sunday at noon,” Tyson suggested.
Joey nodded in agreement, “I’ll be there.”
“My man,” and with that Tyson turned and walked out of the club. Leaving Joey completely perplexed by their conversation.
Tyson left a strong impression on him. He had a presence and calmness, and his words resonated with truth. Joey knew he had to meet him again.
“Who was that?” Sammy asked.
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” Joey replied.
Joey woke up Sunday morning nervous about meeting Tyson. It had been over a week since he had seen him so he was wondering if he would even turn up, he hadn’t even grabbed his number. Joey was worried that it might be some kind of set up and Tyson was luring him into a trap. His anxiety was playing all sorts of scenarios over in his head. However, deep down he knew Tyson was genuine and that he had something very important to teach him. He just didn’t know what.
Their lives could not have been more different, they were from different worlds. Joey grew up in the affluent northern suburbs and was now attending university. Tyson was raised on the violent streets of Trentan, where he was now a prominent drug dealer. Although they were different, the common ground was that they were both at critical points in their lives.
Tyson needed change. It was only a matter of time before the streets consumed him. He needed an opportunity that would take him out of the streets and let him apply his knowledge into something legitimate.
Joey needed truth. He was sinking deeper into the grips of depression as the facade of his reality became increasingly evident. He needed to understand what was happening to him and find some peace in this world.
Tyson could offer Joey truth, he had experienced the harsh realities of life since he was a young boy and witnessed violence and drugs destroy his community. Tyson was indoctrinated into the street life, caught up in the cycle of criminal activity, perpetuated by poverty and lack of opportunity. To stay alive and succeed on the streets he developed a code to live by, one which at its core was based on giving himself fully to the present moment. No matter how harsh his reality was, he would not turn away from it, he would look it directly in the eye.
By living this way, Tyson unknowingly tapped into something far greater. Through the present moment he found peace. As he penetrated deeper into the now, he became connected to an underlying peace. No matter how chaotic everything was on the surface, there was a knowing that everything was ok. Tyson felt this peace was the source of everything, that it was God in its true form. He knew that connecting to this space was the ultimate truth in life and that everything else was secondary. Tyson had discovered the portal to enlightenment and it was through the present moment. This is what he had to offer Joey.
Across town in Trentan Tyson was rising out of bed. Saturday night was the second busiest night of the week, so he had been working until the early hours of the morning.
He was well aware that he was meeting Joey at noon. However, unlike Joey he didn’t feel any apprehension about their meeting. He knew that it was part of something bigger and was critical to the next chapter in both of their lives. He knew what he could teach Joey, he just wasn’t sure what he had to offer him.
It was 11.45am and Joey was already waiting in Joe’s Cafe on the Dormanty waterfront. It was a beautiful day out so he decided to grab a seat in the alfresco dining area which looked out over the river. Joey sat there nervously, trying to take his mind of things by reading the morning news.
Another murder in Trentan, he read on the front page. This only heightened his anxiety about seeing Tyson again. He was considering whether he should wait around. He was still paranoid that it might be some sort of trap. He got up from his seat and decided to leave. His rational mind was telling him that it was a bad idea and that meeting up with a drug dealer from Trentan could only mean bad news. As he began to walk off from his table Tyson appeared in front of him.
“Joey, looks like I just got here in time,” said Tyson.
“I was just going to the toilet,” Joey stumbled over his words, trying to get his composure.
“No problem, i’ll grab us a seat and I’ll see you back here, do you want a drink?” Tyson asked as Joey nervously took himself off to toilet even though he didn’t need to go.
“Ahhh, orange juice please,” Joey replied as he walked off.
“Get yourself together,” Joey thought to himself as he splashed his face with water before returning back to the table.
“Beautiful day isn’t, I don’t know about you but I’m starving.” Tyson said in a relaxed manner like it was a catch up between old friends.
Joey began to relax in Tyson’s presence, his calm nature seemed to ease Joey’s anxiety.
“Yeah I could eat,” Joey replied back.
They both proceeded to order food and chat away like old friends. Talking about sport, weather, girls and the economy. Tyson knew Joey was nervous, therefore wanted to make him feel relaxed before getting into the real reason why they were in each other’s presence.
Once they had finished their meals and covered all topic of small talk, Tyson began shifting the conversation.
“So how are you feeling Joey? You mentioned last time we met that you had been struggling with depression.”
“I don’t know man, I can’t seem to get out of this depressive state. It’s awful, it completely saps the energy out of me and nothing seems to offer me any sense of enjoyment or pleasure anymore. I feel guilty about feeling this way as well, I am well aware that my life situation is good. I come from a privileged background and am afforded many opportunities, however even that seems to be meaningless. I feel completely empty inside, and there is an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. No matter what I do I can’t break out of it. At my worse I don’t want to live anymore, I find a sense of relief in the thought that I will die some day and will finally be relieved from the mental suffering. I don’t have the balls to take my own life, otherwise I probably would have.”
Joey took a deep breath before continuing. “That’s how I’m feeling on a daily basis, I know that must sound like a cry from an ungrateful rich kid, but if I’m completely honest that’s what I’m dealing with and I’m desperately trying to find some answers. I’ve tried everything, medication, therapy and different self help remedies but nothing gets to the core of the problem. They only mask it temporarily and give a false sense of hope. The only relief I have had from it was the experience after we meet for the first time. Like I said last time, that experience shocked me into a blissful state of present moment awareness, where I was temporarily lifted out of the depression.”
“That’s it,” Tyson replied back. “Forget about the story that you just told me. Don’t focus on the idea that you are depressed and are desperately trying to break out of it. By doing that, all you are doing is becoming identified with the idea that you are depressed, and once you’re identified with it you become a prisoner to it.”
Tyson looked Joey intently in the eyes as he explained this to him.“First off, stop telling that story to yourself and to other people. That is only perpetuating those feelings, the more you identify with it the worse it will get. Secondly you already have the answer to end your suffering. You mentioned it in your account.”
“What’s that,” Joey responded back.
“Present moment awareness,” Tyson said. “That’s the key to ending your suffering. You touched it briefly as you mentioned. But many people touch it briefly, its being able to stay connected to that conscious space, the only space that matters. That’s the only place you will ever find peace in this world no matter who you are or what your life situation is. Making the present moment the foundation of your life is the ultimate truth.”
Tyson let his words sit with Joey for a minute.“I will teach you how to end your suffering and become connected to the source of everything. I can only point you in the direction of enlightenment. You must stay committed to the teaching it if you ever want to free yourself from suffering. Be sure of this, peace is not something you find, it’s something that already exists inside of you. You simply uncover it and become reconnected to it. It’s a shift from a mind orientated state of living in this world to state of being, which is beyond the mind, beyond thought. This is where the change requires perseverance. Your mind orientated state will resist this change as it ultimately means its destruction. As you enter into a state of being you are shining light on the cause of your suffering which is your mind.”
“Wow,” Joey thought. The truth that Tyson spoke resonated with him deeply. He had never looked at his suffering as being a product of his mind. And never knew that there was another state of being that existed beyond thought. He always thought that he was his mind, that the endless stream of thoughts that narrated every aspect of his life for good or for bad was who he was. Tyson was proposing that this was untrue. This was still very hard for Joey to comprehend.
“Trust me Joey, look at me. Do you see worry or concern on my face? I’m at peace with this world. I’m at peace with life and death and the chaotic environment that I come from. I found this peace through the present moment and now I must show you how to get there. And when you do, you will be astounded at how your suffering dissipates and life opens up.”
“But how come you know all this and still choose to live the life that you do. If life opens up to you through this state of being, then why are you still in Trentan?” Joey asked.
“That’s a very valid question,” Tyson replied back. “I ask myself the same thing. All I know is God works in mysterious ways. I have trust and faith that change will come into my life when it’s supposed to. And out of that the life that I want for myself and my family will manifest. However until that time, I accept and stay present to my current environment. I don’t try to escape it through temporary measures. I give myself to it fully and wait for the guidance. That’s what led me to you.”
Joey was intrigued by Tyson’s words. “So how can I pay you? What do you get out of this?” Joey responded back.
“I don’t want your payment Joey,” Tyson responded. “I’m here to teach you and that is all. Whatever comes out of it for me, will clarify in time. But that is not important now. What’s important is me passing on this knowledge so you can end your personal suffering and live a life of peace as I already do.”
“Ok, I’m in,” Joey relied back. “When do we start?”
“Right here,” Tyson quickly responded.
“We begin in this moment, the only thing that ever matters. Here and now is the beginning of your teaching. Look around you and what do you see. People walking, cars driving by, boats on the river. Am I right?”
“Yes, I see all those things too,” Joey responded.
“Now what do you hear. People talking, cars moving through the street, birds chirping and air planes over head amongst many other things.”
“How about taste? I’m guessing pancakes and maple syrup, with a hint of orange from the juice.” Tyson went on.
He explained that these were all just sensory observations, picked up by sight, hearing and taste. The labels that we put on them were not important. He explained that Joey that he needed to look past the labels that we put on everything and just see, hear and taste things for what they are. This way you connect with them in their fullest, and doing so brings you into the present moment.
“Now what do you feel Joey?”
“All sorts of things. The chair pushing into my skin. The sweat dripping down my brow, the heat of the sun.” Joey responded.
“Exactly, all these things create a different sensation. Whether its heat from the sun or a cold in the winter, each affects the body in a different way, creating a different physical feeling.” Tyson explained.
“Then there’s your thoughts an emotional feelings. You are currently feeling depressed, meaning your energy is very low and all other emotions are buried underneath it. You are also feeling anxious, a feeling of unease and unnecessary worry and fear about the future. These are your predominant feelings at the moment. What creates these feelings you ask yourself, why when your life situation is seemingly good do you feel this way. Well it starts with your thoughts, if you are identified with your mind, which you are, then your emotions are a product of the myriad of thoughts that are streaming through your mind. Your thoughts have become incredibly negative, as they do with a lot of people. If you identify and believe in these thoughts, they will create negative emotions. First you might experience episodes of anxiety, then that may lead into a depressive state as it has with you. So the catalyst for it all is your thoughts and your identification with them. Are you following me?” Tyson asked.
“I am, so is it simply a matter of changing my thoughts.” Joey asked back.
Tyson shook his head. “Not at all, it might appear that way. But what we want to do is to dis-identify with the thoughts. Which means to dis-identify with the mind. You want to bring yourself into consciousness which is this moment, the here and now. Let the thoughts wash over you without identifying with them, stay focused on what is happening at this moment and use your sense perceptions to help you. See, hear, taste and feel the very essence of your reality. This will take you out of thought and into the moment. The only thing that’s real.”
“Now go deeper, feel your body in its fullness. This gives you direct access into your state of being. Don’t just feel the sweat dripping down your forehead. Focus on your internal body, feel the life within you. Feel the energy inside of you. Start by focusing on some part of your body, like your hands or feet. Focus all your attention on them and begin to feel the energy field which is your internal body, the essence of you in its pure form. Then begin to feel that energy throughout the rest of your body, bringing yourself deeper into now as you do so. Through your internal body, you gain access to the source of everything. You touch the space where all things manifest out of. You will also feel a deep peace while you do this, you are connecting with God in its true form.”
“All these techniques help to bring you deeper into the present moment. This is where life is, the only place that can end your suffering.” Tyson explained.
“Wow, I feel a lightness and aliveness about me, but I can feel it fading as my thoughts start to take over again,” said Joey.
“That’s just a glimpse my friend. Imagine having that as your constant state of being? That’s what enlightenment is.”
“Let me explain to you what I have come to understand about presence and how it practically applies to a person’s life.”
And with that Tyson began to explain.
Presence – the foundation to everything
I have come to understand that the practical application of presence is fundamental to everything. It’s the foundation to an abundant life and connects you to a state of inner peace.
If you are to develop one thing in life it has to be presence. The beautiful thing is, anybody and everybody can access this state of being, and subsequently it’s amasing power.
No matter what your current life situation is, whether perceived as positive or negative by the mind, bringing yourself out of thought and into the present moment can only benefit it.
The simple idea that the present moment is all you ever have is life changing if you really understand it deeply. All you have is right now, there is no past or future only the experience you are having in this moment. The past was experienced in the now and so will the future therefore it makes you question why we put so much emphasis on them. Many people I come into contact with are living predominantly in the past or future totally forgetting about the present moment. It’s always about the next thing, or time is spent dwelling over past events. The present moment simply becomes redundant in this way of living.
When you are engaged with the present moment life begins working for. You become connected to your reality, therefore you instinctively know what action needs to be taken. You let the present moment guide you, responding only to the givens of the situation without being distracted by thought. When you live like this you will notice opportunities begin flowing your way.
There are examples of this everywhere. Take an athlete in a sport like basketball. When the athlete is completely in the zone meaning completely present with no distractions he or she can’t miss. Time slows down. Every shot is organic and precise and in complete harmony with the moment.
When someone is not distracted by their mind and its obsessive thought patterns they can truly engage with the task in front of them no matter what it is. This will allow them to perform at a high level and produce the results needed for the givens of the situation. An athlete will excel, an artist will unleash creativity, a spouse will have the clarity to see what his or her significant other needs and so on and so forth. Being present applies to every single aspect of a person’s life.
When you’re truly in the moment past and future doesn’t exist, you lose yourself to the now. Situations from all facets of life offer glimpses into this space, in an instant you can be taken out of thought and plunged into the now.
For example, a funny joke can cause you to be overcome with laughter. In that moment you are not thinking about past or future you are simply enjoying the joke. An extreme example could be a car accident. People often say these experiences cause time to slow down. In such a case you are shocked by the intensity of the situation into the present moment, you’re completely in the now to the point where time feels like it slows down.
The sad reality is that majority of people only experience this state of presence when they are forced into it by an external event of some sort. But imagine if you could spend your day walking around like that. Feeling completely connected to your surroundings with no worry for the future, only engaged with the now. Imagine what that would do to your life.
The quality of your ‘future’ depends completely on the quality of your present moment. When the present moment becomes the foundation of your life, the life you truly desire on a deep level will begin to manifest effortlessly. Another way of seeing it is once you take care of the internal the external will look after itself.
It’s incredibly simple but at the same time so difficult to truly grasp and stick to. But if you can, you will be astounded at how your life begins to transform.
I’m not a religious man but many prominent profits and spiritual leaders have preached this same message. Jesus said, seek the kingdom of god first, and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. He referred to the kingdom as being inside of you, inside all of us and that once that has become the primary focus in one’s life, the other things on the material plan will come as well. It’s the peace within, the consciousness, the stillness that so many have pointed to. Buddha taught through his teachings that we should not dwell in the past or dream of the future but concentrate the mind solely on the present.
This conscious space is referenced in various religious and spiritual teachings. It’s described as Nirvana in Buddhism, Christ Consciousness in Christianity, Taqwa in Islam and Samadhi in Yoga. It’s the state of enlightenment that so many are seeking, many of whom are unaware of its true nature. This space is not something you find, it’s something you connect with. It’s within all of us and the portal is through the present moment.
This conscious space is not a mystical hard to reach place that only the select few have access to. It’s available to everyone and its simplicity and true power are unmistakable once realised.
Tyson’s words resonated with Joey. The simplicity of his message was powerful, yet so easy to overlook. “Wow,” Joey thought.
“Thank you, I’ve never looked at life from that perspective. I can now see where my suffering is coming from. So how do I start by bringing myself out of thought when I’m so identified with my mind?” Joey asked
“It’s a process,” Tyson replied. “This present state is not going to come to you without going through some pain. You have to dis-identify from your mind and thus your thoughts, which you are very addicted to. Therefore it’s going to require you to have absolute trust and faith in the process.”
“You are in a low depressive state, caused by your identification with the negative story in your head. Therefore you are defining your sense of self through that story, that’s who you think you are. You believe you are the privileged kid from the suburbs who is severely depressed and has lost all desire to continue living in this world. That’s who you see yourself as, therefore the process of rising out of suffering is dis-identifying with that story. Stepping back from it and seeing it for what it is. Complete fiction, not real. From here you will start to engage with the real you, consciousness itself, the space beyond the mind and the myriad of thoughts that comprise it.”
And with that Tyson began to explain to Joey how he could begin to rise out of suffering.
A way out of suffering
Everything comes and goes and no one feeling lasts forever. Sit with your feelings and don’t avoid them because they are trying to tell you something. There’s a message behind them, something that cannot be analysed on the surface of thought and only will become clear once the feeling has been embraced and given time to subside. From there an answer will emerge within you, the answer is the truth to the situation at hand. This truth will guide you and show you what direction to move in or action to take.
So trust the pain in your life, know that it is good. Be present with your feelings and emotions, be patient and allow them to run their course, don’t fight them or distract yourself as you are only resisting them temporarily and when they come back they will be more empowered.
Presence is the first step. It is the foundation of everything. Start by bringing presence into your life. Take it slowly; think of it as a process whereby bit by bit you’re adding to its foundation. It takes time, but every time you practice it you are building upon it, becoming stronger. Elevating your degree of consciousness and thus improving the quality of your life.
In the beginning the mind will resist, it will create excuses for you not to stay in the moment and indulge in the relentless streams of thought that comprise it. You must have the will power and faith to resists this impulse. It may take every ounce of your strength to stay present and not be drawn back into the negative story in your head. But every time you successfully do this and really sit with your feelings and let the bombardment of thoughts come and go without reacting you will gain greater control over the mind and thus the anxiety and depression will continue to lose its grasp upon you.
One day at a time, one situation at a time, one moment at a time. Every time you practice presence you are defeating it. Every time you are able to stay present for a sustained period of time within an episode of anxiety or depression you will feel a surge of energy come through you. As the intensity of the thoughts and tightness in your chest begin to subside you will be overcome by a brief sense of aliveness, a brief glimpse of light. That’s you elevating your state consciousness and leaving suffering behind.
Everyone is at different levels. Some people are in severe states of depression to the point where they struggle to even get out of bed in the morning. Their energy levels are so low they can hardly muster up the strength to care for them self, let alone hold down a job or engage socially. Others suffer from episodes of extreme anxiety; panic attacks followed by brief periods of depression where they are low for a while then come out of it and are back to there so called ‘normal’ selves where they can function successfully in the world. There are different levels, different degrees of anxiety/depression. However, no matter what level you find yourself at, the process for leaving suffering behind and living a life of peace and fulfilment is exactly the same.
This truth that I connected with was something I had been seeking for a long time. If people who suffer from mental illness have anything in common it’s that they are urgently trying to find an answer, a solution to the suffering that there mind is causing them. They may feel like it’s exclusive to them, and are desperately trying to escape it so they can feel ‘normal’ again and fit it. As a result they end up reaching for all types of temporary fixes to relieve the pain, everything from anti-depressants to drugs and alcohol. However, they only temporarily relieve the symptoms and never get to the core of the problem.
People who suffer from anxiety and depression have a strong identification with their mind and thoughts. They are caught up with the story in their head.
Remember, identification with your mental illness is identification with your mind. Don’t put a label on what you are experiencing, trust the pain and suffering in your life but don’t label it and identify with it. If you do that you become a prisoner of it and will never be free of it. Trust the pain as it is evolving your state of consciousness. That’s what it’s trying to do, you must let go to it and not fight it, know that it will pass and what manifests in its place will be a higher state of consciousness.
You have to go through the pain to get there. You must, otherwise you will always be stuck in the prison of mental illness only masking it with prescription drugs or other temporary fixes that don’t acknowledge the truth about what is actually happening to you.
People who suffer from anxiety and depression quite often experience it in bouts, intense periods lasting weeks or months. When they feel this coming on, instinctively they become afraid and try to avoid the negative feelings by any means possible. People try to escape the suffering through any number of distractions including drugs, alcohol, sex and food. Anything that takes the mind away from the reality of the now.
This is completely understandable as the ‘now’ contains an intense feeling of hopelessness, one that completely terrifies you and offers no light. Naturally people want to escape it. However, if you do this it will keep coming back, and often more intense the next time.
You have to embrace these feelings as that is all they are, intense feelings of hopelessness and negativity, don’t turn away from them. That’s why presence is so important for people suffering from anxiety and depression. It enables you to become conscious of the cause of the suffering and lets you sit with it.
Consciousness is light; therefore you are shining light on your suffering. As you do this you begin to take its power away. You are revealing it for what it is, an illusion. An illusion created by the mind that you have become identified with. The mind is a very powerful therefore it will try to pull you back into its suffering. But as you stay present you will continue to take away its power and continue to elevate your state of consciousness.
It’s a simple process in reality but it involves a great deal of trust and faith. Presence is the starting point and ultimately all you are doing is building upon it. Detaching yourself from the story in your head, becoming less identified with the mind and focusing on the here and the now.
“How do you know all this? Your words resonate with so much truth.” Joey asked.
“Because I live by this code, I live exclusively in the here and the now. Always and forever, I give myself wholly to the now. I practice what I preach my friend, I simply articulating the truths of this way of life. I don’t see my words as being profound, and I don’t want you to hang onto to them as if they are. They are simply sign posts, pointing you into the now. Asking you to look inside and see for yourself what the cause of your suffering is. Once you have realised this truth, you too will see that the mind is the cause of your suffering and salvation lies in the present moment.
Once you start to give yourself to the now, you will know without a shadow of a doubt that it is the answer to a life of peace and abundance.” Tyson explained. “But remember, presence is always primary, everything else is secondary to it. It has to become the focus of your life.”
“What about you? I still struggle to understand why you are still in your current position when you know all this.” Joey asked trying to comprehend what he was hearing.
“I was born into the ghetto, raised on the streets of Trentan and indoctrinated into a life of crime from an early age. I am a product of my environment, but I am transcending it. The pain and adversity that I have experienced has forced me into the present moment and subsequently connected me to this truth. On the surface I’m still engaged in the street life and everything that comes with it, I’m still terrified for my family that something might happen to them. I still have to go and hit the corner this evening. But underneath it all I am completely at peace, connected with God. That’s primary, that’s what I mean by making that the foundation first and out of that the external will begin to transform. My external is on the verge of transforming and that’s the truth. I just continue to give myself to the now and have faith and trust that the life that I want for me and my family is on its way.”
Tyson went on, “stop analysing your life situation, that’s only secondary to what is happening within. Take yourself out of thought and into the stillness of the now. That’s your starting point, that’s the only place you will find any peace and begin to rise out of the suffering that your mind is creating.”
“But shouldn’t I think this through. I have to be realistic about this. I can’t just stop thinking and give myself to the moment always.” Joey replied back.
Tyson shook his head, but could appreciate Joey’s confusion. “That’s your rationale mind trying to come in and take you away from this truth. Don’t think, just trust in the process and give yourself to the now.”
“We’ve covered enough today, your analytical thinking is starting to take over. We have a lot more to cover, but that will have to wait until next time. Can you meet tomorrow?” Tyson asked.
“Sure can,” Joey responded.
“How about we meet somewhere different, I haven’t been to the beach for a long time and the weathers supposed to be good tomorrow. Flaxwood beach at midday? I’ll take the train out. What do you say?” Tyson asked.
“Beach sounds great, I haven’t been in months. Do you want a ride? I can pick you up on the way through.” Joey asked.
“It’s all good my brother, I like the train ride. Plus it will give me chance to catch up on sleep. No doubt I will be out late again tonight.”
And with that Tyson got up from the table, shock Joey’s hand and began making his way back to Trentan. Joey just sat there a while, he had a lot to take in. Tyson’s words were revealing the source of his own suffering. However, his mind was resisting the truth as it would mean its own demise. Joey had a concept of who he was, a mental image of how he sat within his current life situation. Even though it had turned very negative and he now saw himself as a depressed unhappy young man, his mind resisted letting go of this. Although he had glimpsed the truth, he was still very much immersed in thought and not conscious enough to rise out of it.
Tyson was out late into the early hours of the morning managing his various dealers that populated the corners around Trentan. He rose out of bed with only a few hours sleep, made sure his Mother and little sister were taken care of and then walked down to the local train station. Flaxton Beach was at the end of the line, so he didn’t have to worry about falling asleep and missing his stop. It was about an hour train ride, punching through industrial districts and low socio economic areas that fringed the southern edge of the river that dissected the City. Tyson quickly drifted off to sleep as the train began moving.
On the other side of town Joey had already been up for hours, nervous but excited about his meeting with Tyson. He had been up late into the night mulling over Tysons words, trying to analyse his truth. It wasn’t until he became still and simply breathed that he began to understand it at a deeper level. He observed that when he stepped back from thought, letting them come and go without engaging with them he began to feel the stillness of the present moment. He began to understand the truth of Tyson’s words. That the peace he was looking for was behind thought. It was consciousness itself, the source of everything.
Joey began to feel hopeful. He was beginning to understand the cause of his suffering and that behind his mind and was a place of peace and stillness.
Joey left slightly early in case he hit traffic, giving himself roughly an hour to get to Flaxton beach from the suburbs. He had to cross back over the bridge into Dormanty and like the train follow the river edge out to the coastline. It was a beautiful day and he was looking forward to seeing the ocean as well, it’s something he rarely did as he got older.
Tyson woke to the sound of the train conductor announcing “last stop, Flaxton Beach,” over the loud speaker. Tyson had slept the entire trip, feeling disorientated and still half asleep he got up and made his way out of the carriage onto the platform. It was only a short walk down to Flaxton Beach Boulevard from the station, that’s where he would meet Joey.
At the same time Joey was pulling into the main car park that sat adjacent to Flaxton Beach. It was close to the Boulverad as well, only it was at the other end of the beach. Joey made his way down to the beach, not entirely sure where he would find Tyson. Knowing he was on the train he decided to walk along the boulevard in the direction of the station. Tyson did the same, began walking down the boulevard in the other direction, knowing that the car parking was at the other end. They spotted each other and Tyson gave a wave.
“How are you brother? I just woke up, crashed out for the entire train ride.” Tyson said upon meeting.
“I’m good,” Joey replied back “I had a long night going over your words then eventually became still and began to understand what you were saying.”
“That’s good my bro, this truth cannot be understood at the level of thought, it can only be understood in the still place behind it.” Said Tyson.
“I also had a long night, serving cracked out feigns throughout the neighbourhood. Never get addicted to drugs Joey, I’ve seen it destroy my community. It’s one of the main vices that people turn to in order to temporarily escape their reality. Addiction applies to everything though. It even applies to your thoughts, did you know that?” Tyson asked.
“What do you mean it applies to my thoughts?” Joey responded
“Where addicted to thinking Joey, people are addicted to their thoughts. They can’t stop it, they feel they have to think in order to survive. That if they stop they will spin out of control. The impulse to think is incredibly strong in people and the more identified you are with your mind the more addicted you become. When you become present and are able to step back and watch your thoughts without engaging you will really begin to appreciate this. The impulse to engage with them and mull over them will be incredibly strong, you will feel it. That’s the addiction trying to draw you back into thought, but if you can stay present you are breaking it.”
Let me explain in more detail.
Addicted to thinking
Addiction applies to our thoughts as well. Many of us are addicted to thinking, constantly mulling over the thoughts in our head, dwelling on past experiences or worrying about possible future scenarios. We have a strong compulsion to do this and end up driving ourselves crazy in the process.
Being addicted to thinking can make staying present a real effort. For those just beginning to practice presence, they will find their thoughts are highly energised; they will have a strong pull to take you out of the ‘now’. It takes conscious will power to resist this. We almost feel like we have to worry about past or future events in order to keep a grasp on life.
This strong impulse to engage in thinking is simply your addiction to it. Like an addict you need a fix to satisfy the need. However, as you become less identified with your mind and thus your thoughts it will become much easier for you to stay present and not engage in un-practical thinking. This is simply because the addiction is weakening. Just like any other addiction, if you resist the urge to use then its stronghold becomes weaker.
As you become more present in the world and your thoughts begin to have less power over you, you will notice that the compulsion to drift into un-practical thinking will subside until it virtually disappears. Nevertheless, this is not an easy process. It requires a lot of patience and a lot of will power to stay in the here and now.
Just like any addict you will have relapses while practicing this. These old patterns of thinking that you are conditioned to will rare there head from time to time and suck you back into thinking. Don’t let these relapses deter you; simply recognise that you still have a strong identification with your mind and thus your thoughts. Keep practicing presence, keep resisting the urge to engage in un-practical thinking and you will continue to strengthen your state of consciousness and thus quality of life.
“I can see it,” Joey said as if the penny had just dropped, “the brief periods of present moment awareness that I experience are quickly overtaken by my impulse to engage back into obsessive thinking.”
“You’re becoming aware of it, that’s a start. You are still very much indentified with your mind and dis-identification will be a process. But like I said every time you resist the urge to engage in the obsessive noise in your head and are able to stay present you are breaking that addiction and in the process elevating your state of consciousness.” Tyson reiterated.
“What about you, do you still get the urge to engage in this type of obsessive thinking?” Joey asked.
“The thoughts themselves are still there in the distant background, narrating every aspect of my life. And depending on my current life situation, they might be positive or negative. But no, that urge is not there anymore I don’t feel the need to engage in this type of thinking as I know with me it only leads to sadness. But more importantly I know that nothing of worth can be achieved through it, the true magic lies behind thought in the stillness, so that’s where I keep myself.” Tyson explained.
“Let’s keep walking, I’ll explain more later. For now, just enjoy the scenery. Breathe in the fresh sea air and feel the warmth from the sun. Absorb your senses fully into the now, that’s all I’m preaching here my brother. The truth is so simple, my words are only signposts pointing you to the ‘now’. That is the answer to all your questions and the end of all you’re suffering. But you can’t just talk about it, you have to live it. The teaching has to be lived in order to be real.” Tyson reinforced.
Tyson and Joey walked the boulevard in silence, taking in the beauty of the present moment. Joey was starting to realise that Tyson’s words alone could not help him. It wasn’t merely enough for him to appreciate and agree with Tyson, he had to understand the truth deeply and the only way that he could do that was by practising presence.
“The practical application of presence is key Joey, you must be self disciplined and practise present moment awareness at every opportunity you can. This will bring you out of thought and into the now and build upon the foundation of presence in your life.”
“Have you ever meditated?” Tyson asked Joey.
“What, like the monks do?” Joey responded back.
Tyson laughed, “Yeah like the monks, but mediation is not exclusive to one group of people. Its part of many cultures and is practiced in many different ways. It is one of the most direct ways of bringing yourself into the present moment if done correctly.”
And with that Tyson began to explain the benefits of meditation.
Meditation is a practical tool that helps to bring you into the present moment and elevate your state of consciousness.
Consistent meditation builds upon the foundation of presence in your life. You carry this conscious state from the session into the rest of your day. Mediation is one of the most direct ways to build on this foundation, it’s such a simple practice yet so few people do it. All it takes is 5 – 10 minutes a day, it requires some patience however you can find your own rhythm in the way you practice it. There’s no one size fits all when it comes to how you meditate, some people follow their breathing, others meditate while humming a prayer or mantra, while some achieve the state through a more physical realm such as Yoga. The thing is there’s no correct way to do it but there will be a way that feels most comfortable for you.
Myself, I simply follow my breathing, bringing my awareness to the air coming in and out of my lungs. I then bring my awareness to the sounds around me whatever they may be and at points begin to feel the various sensations throughout my body. I use all of my senses to bring me into the present moment and thus a meditative state, a state of absolute presence. That’s all meditation is, a practice which brings you into the present moment and allows you to stay there for a period of time.
The benefits of meditation are astounding; by becoming more connected to the present moment and bringing that into your day you subsequently reduce stress and anxiety which as a result improves your overall health and well being.
This is not just a ‘spiritual’ thing. Science is really beginning to embrace meditation as well. Studies have shown that through mediation you begin to strengthen the connections between the left and right sides of your brain and increase grey matter, enhancing brain functionality.
To access the true power of meditation you must be consistent with it. Ideally, discipline yourself to meditate every day, even if only for 5-10 minutes. Soon it won’t feel like a chore anymore, it will be a practice that you embrace and want to share with others.
Meditation is an amasing practice. However the practice of presence should apply to all aspects of your life. Use everyday tasks to help bring you into the present moment, even if they are mundane and boring. The more you can consistently bring yourself out of thought and into the present moment the better. As you do this your identification with your mind and thoughts is being broken, you are no longer reacting to them and thus no longer experiencing the suffering that comes with the identification.
Tyson’s truth was starting to resonate with Joey, he could feel himself becoming conscious of his own suffering. It was liberating for him but terrifying at the same time, he knew he had to dis-identify from his mind and thoughts. But it was much easier said than done. His whole identity was conceptualised through his mind. It would mean letting go of this completely and trusting solely in the present moment.
Tyson and Joey continued to walk along the board walk and talk about this truth. They arranged to meet again in a couple of weeks once Joey had time to practically apply his words. Tyson took Joey’s number and said he would call to organise the time and place of their next meeting.
Joey offered Tyson a ride back, however he preferred the train. He was still tired and wanted to catch up on some sleep before he went back on the streets.
And with that, they shook hands and went their separate ways.
“See you in a little while. You know what you have to do, start bringing yourself out of thought and into the now. Be patient with it, and trust in the process.” Tyson said as he walked away.
“Will do, thanks bro. Look forward to hearing from you.” Joey replied back.
Joey drove home in silence. Usually he had the radio blearing however he wanted to absorb Tyson’s words, he could feel he was on the verge of change as the truth began to resonate within.
Joey got through the next week at university. Although he was trying to apply Tyson’s teachings he felt like he was on the verge of breaking down. He was still in a depressed state and his anxiety had reached incredibly high levels, more intense than usual. He was mulling over all the negative thoughts that streamed through his mind. He was completely confused about what was happening to him. Why had he dropped even lower after discovering the truth about what was happening to him. He was completely exhausted and frustrated from the mental suffering and was beginning to lose all hope. Even Tyson’s words couldn’t penetrate through.
One night it was getting late at university so he decided to catch a cab home. He waited outside and could feel drops of rain begin to fall. All of a sudden he was overcome by a surge of joy, of pure joy from deep within. It flooded his body and he started bouncing up and down on the spot. Suddenly he was overcome with clarity about his situation, about his mental illness and the suffering that he was experiencing. At that moment Joey became conscious, dis-identified from his mind and thoughts, with a deep knowing that they were the cause of his suffering. A sudden shift in consciousness forced him into the present moment and separated him from the negative story in his head.
In that moment Tyson’s truth resonated strongly within. This truth lifted him out of his depressive state in an instant. Joey became conscious of his own mind and separated from it to the point that he was now listening to the negative self-talk without engaging with it. He knew these thoughts were not based in reality, and that the mind was creating a negative story that he had been identifying with.
His thoughts were the cause of his suffering, and his belief in them was the reason for his anxiety and depression. At that moment all suffering had gone, the cloud of darkness was lifted and he felt more alive than I had ever felt in his life. Tyson’s words had finally sunk in.
Joey realised there was actually two of him. There was his mind, a myriad of thoughts narrating every aspect of his life and then there was consciousness, the here and the now, the space where he could observe his thoughts from. That night the two parts became very clear. He knew that consciousness was the answer.
A new way of being emerged within Joey, he was now conscious, completely in the here and now, connected to his surroundings and engaged with the reality that was in front of him. He knew that to stay in this conscious space that he must continue to practice present moment awareness and not be drawn back into the illusion of thought.
That night he felt as if he was saved, the truth Tyson had been talking about hit him at once. He was now free from suffering with a renewed state of consciousness and a knowing that he had finally found the solution to the mental illness that had haunted him years. ‘PRESENCE’ was the answer, so simple but so easy to overlook. His suffering had forced him into the present moment. Tyson’s words were like seeds of truth. Resonating when all hope had been lost and aiding in his shift in consciousness.
After that night Joey understood what he had to do in order to stay well. At the same time he realised that his mind and thoughts were still there and wanted to draw him back into the hell hole that he had just emerged from. To prevent this from happening he had to stay present, stay conscious and be completely aware of his thoughts and their fictional nature. His thoughts told him a negative story which only strengthened if he played into it. By simply watching his thoughts and not reacting to them he had control over his mind thus the anxiety and depression that was connected to it.
As he began to walk around in this conscious state his whole world began to change. Not only did he feel the anxiety and depression fade away he also found himself in a state of aliveness, with a feeling of connectedness to his surroundings. His conservations with people were more engaging, he was more focused at university and found himself to be much sharper in everyday tasks.
Like Tyson had told him, he used everyday tasks to help him stay present. He would focus all his attention on what he was doing even with the most mundane things. This trained him to always stay in the moment and not drift back into the world of thought and the suffering that comes with it.
In the past he had no sense of presence and was living exclusively through his mind. Therefore, when negative patterns of thinking came along, he would believe them whole heartedly. Consequently, this would drive up the anxiety and eventually bring on a bout of depression, a vicious cycle that he had been repeating. It took Tyson’s words for him to realise the truth about what he was dealing with. From this space he was able to break the cycle.
Two weeks had gone by when Joey received a call from Tyson. He proposed to meet up in Trentan. Tyson assured Joey that he would fine, knowing that it was particularly un-safe for out of towners. Joey agreed to meet, however he was somewhat apprehensive about what Tyson had planned. At the same time he had been through massive changes since seeing him last and was excited to share his progress. He knew he still had so much to learn, but the critical shift in consciousness had already happened. It was now about the continual practice of this new way of being. He was also curious about what Tyson still had to teach him.
The following day Joey made the trip to Trentan. Meeting Tyson in a local diner not far from his building.
“Joey! how are you my brother?” Tyson said as Joey joined him at his table.
“I’m good man, couldn’t be better. I’ve been through a lot of changes in the past two weeks. After I left you, I started putting your words into practice. Trying to stay present in my everyday tasks, and disconnect from my mind. It was if the mind resisted this new way of being and became stronger, causing me to experience intense episodes of anxiety which subsequently plunged me into an even deeper depressive state. I felt like I had hit rock bottom and was completely confused as I was applying exactly what you had taught me. But I guess that wasn’t enough, I had to let that truth transform me at a deeper level. Out of that low point a deep reliastaion came over me, it was if you had planted the seeds and they just needed time to grow.
I became very clear of the two different ‘me’s’, that being consciousness and the mind. In that moment I was forced into this conscious space, and was able to step back and watch my thoughts from a distance. I became separated from my mind and dis-identifed from the negative story in my head. I knew from that moment that presence was the answer. I gave myself fully to the present moment that night and was instantly elevated out of the mental suffering into a peaceful space. This is where I am now. In this conscious space, connected to the here and the now and able to watch the mind from a distance without engaging with it. I finally feel free from the anxiety and depression that imprisoned me for so long.”
Tyson sat back in his chair putting his hands behind his head and smiled. “I’m glad brother, the shift in consciousness has happened. You’re now aware of your own suffering and can bring that presence into every aspect of your life. It’s a beautiful thing, rising out of thought and becoming connected to your reality. You will notice your world begin to transform, like I said once you take care of the internal the external will begin to change. This change will happen down to the finest details with regards to the situations and people you attract into your life.”
“So you believe in that whole concept that you attract what you put out?” Joey asked.
“Absolutely, the law of attraction is a real concept. Like it or not you are attracting the very situations that you are experiencing into your life.” Tyson responded, “Let me explain further.”
You attract the energy that you are putting off. If you’re putting off aggressive energy you will attract aggressive situations – like attracts like. However, for the majority of people they are attracting by default. They are playing out the story in their head, which is often conditioned negative patterns of thinking. Being conscious of this can allow you to put yourself in states that attract certain things. The ‘law of attraction’ is a real thing and is very obvious when you look at your life situation or that of people around you.
From this perspective if you put yourself in a positive state by blocking out or changing negative thought patterns and affirming positive ones you should be able to use this law to your advantage. That may be true temporarily to influence your life situation in some way, but this requires substantial effort and can be incredibly exhausting. You are trying to manage your thoughts, which are incredibly impulsive volatile things. Furthermore, this reinforces the mind identification way of being, which is the cause of mental suffering and has no connection to the inner peace within.
People want to live an abundant, fulfilled life and there’s nothing wrong with that. But striving for those things through the mind state will not lead to that. You may become rich and experience many of the pleasures that this world has to offer, but you will never be truly fulfilled or at peace.
This doesn’t change the fact that the law of attraction is a real thing and you do attract the type of energy you are putting off. So what does that say about presence and its state of attraction? The present moment gives you natural access into a fulfilled abundant state. Therefore by default you will be putting off this energy and attracting situations that match it.
When you dwell in this space you are already complete, nothing else needs to be added to you, there is no identification with thought therefore there is no sense of needing to get somewhere or achieve something in order to feel accomplished.
Being present is a state of needing nothing, you are fulfilled in this moment and no external thing needs to be added or changed to affirm this. You are connected to something bigger and this realisatation liberates you from the search for fulfilment in the external world. When you are truly in the here and the now and not identified with the mind you will be at peace and fulfilled no matter what your current life situation is.
Subsequently, because you have a fulfilled abundant energy about you, you will by default attract abundance into your life. It’s a paradox, being in a state of needing nothing is the most attractive state there is. But this is never the priority it just happens, therefore the things that come into your life are never clung to, they can be enjoyed and appreciated but there is an understanding that they are just temporary and do not define who you are. You never go into practicing presence in order to bring abundance into your life, it simply happens by default. When you are present and completely open to life, life responds by supporting you.
“Wow, so the present moment offers you abundance on the material plain?” Joey relied.
“No!! that’s not the point,” Tyson responded sharply. “If you look at it from that perspective then you will remain identified with the mind. Becoming present is about dis-identifying with the mind, which in the process strips away identification with the material world. You are completely letting go of the idea that you will find fulfilment through the material world, whether it be money, relationships, or self-improvement. Those things can be enjoyed an appreciated, but once you become present you realise that to look for fulfilment in them is setting yourself up for a life of simply chasing the next thing as you will never be complete.
The idea of presence is that you move beyond the material plain, and into the source of it all, where everything comes from. In this space you are already complete, already whole. Fulfilled in every sense of the world irrespective of what your situation exhibits on the material plain. That’s the beauty of it, it enables you to let go of this societal concept that you need to achieve certain things in order to be complete. Once you realise this on a deep level, it’s a beautiful thing. It enables you to enjoy and appreciate things on the material plain without attaching to them or looking for yourself in them.”
“What I was talking about early regarding abundance as a result of living this way is absolutely true. When you have let go of the material world and given yourself to presence, life responds by manifesting abundance into your life in different ways. That’s a fact, and that’s the law of attraction in action, when your energy is abundant already, then in time what will come into your life on the material plain will reflect this energy.
Like Jesus said, seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
The Kingdom of God is consciousness, which is accessed through the present moment. When he referred to things being added to you, he meant those things on the material plain that people get so caught up in striving for. Jesus is saying that these will come into your life effortlessly once you have let go of them and given yourself to God, to presence.”
“I understand,” Joey responded. “It’s the letting go which is the difficult part. Letting go of your life situation, letting go of those things that you have become attached and addicted to. Letting go of thought, that’s where my mind resists the strongest. As I give myself to the present moment and take myself out of thought the mind resists and tries to draw me back in. It takes every ounce of strength to stay present at these moments and sometimes I can’t.”
“That’s the addiction,” Tyson said. “The resistance and pain you feel is the addiction being broken or attempting to be broken, you must sit with this pain and not fight it. Every time you stay present with it, you’re shining light on it, revealing it for what it is, an illusion. Every time you do this it slowly loosens its grasp on you.”
Tyson paused for a minute so Joey could comprehend what he was saying. “Letting go applies to everything, letting go of your attachment to the material world and giving yourself to the now. This doesn’t mean that you no longer participate in life on the material plain, you are still completely engaged, more so, as you are not distracted by thought. However the difference is, you are no longer identified with your life situation. You can let things come into your life without becoming addicted and attached to them. You can still enjoy and appreciate them, but you are always willing to let go when the time requires. This allows your life on the material plain to flow and stay balanced.”
Letting go is a fundamental part of living. Letting go allows the balance of things to remain. Letting go makes room for new things to emerge into your life. Although people understand this concept, very few really apply it to their life consistently because of the mind identified state of being, people cling to things. People become attached to things, whether it is a person, a job or a living situation. Whatever it may be, when people hang onto things from a place of neediness or addiction they become unwilling to let go.
The mind becomes addicted to the situation. Even when things turn for the worse they will hang on to situations and be unwilling to let go. This in itself can cause a lot of destruction in people’s lives. Particularly when it comes to relationships, people’s unwillingness to let go of a partner even though the relationship itself is miserable creates more negativity. The longer you refuse to let go of something when all the signs are telling you too the worse it will get.
Letting go of a negative situation to allow something positive to emerge in your life is an act of strength. That being said, this is much easier said than done, we become addicted to situations and people and once the mind is addicted it will be unwilling to let go – even if it makes us miserable. You see this everywhere, people hanging onto relationships that they are no longer happy with.
This addiction to someone is the other side of love, the dark side of love. The pain that people feel when forced to let someone go that they are addicted to can be immense. This is the addiction being broken, the process of weaning off someone. People sometimes mistake it for heart break when really the pain is caused by the minds identification with that person, and the process of breaking it. Letting go of a partner can be one of the most painful experiences you go through, but understanding the truth behind it will allow you to move through it. Trust and allow the pain to be and know that it will eventually pass, creating space for something new to emerge.
It’s very similar to the way an addict responds when coming off drugs. The pain and anxiety that comes with breaking that addiction is immense. But if he or she can stay present throughout and not be sucked back into the cycle of addiction it will eventually subside and in its place something positive will emerge.
This addictive process applies to all areas of life, whether it is relationships, drugs, food, lifestyle and of course the thinking itself which is attached to all these things. No matter what it is, the same principles apply. It’s the mind that’s addicted not you, if you’re identified with your mind then you will be at the mercy of whatever its addicted to and subsequently dependent on it for your sense of happiness.
From a state of presence you will understand how this process of addiction works. From this space you will have the strength to let go of things when the time comes and not be controlled by the cycle of addiction.
Balance is intrinsically linked to letting go. For your life to remain in balance, you must allow things to come and go without becoming attached. Once you become addicted or attached to a person or life situation then you will throw off this balance, thus areas of your life will become neglected and you will experience the pain that comes with that. A balanced life is a reflection of your state of being, meaning your degree of presence.
And with that Tyson began to explain the concept of balance as it applies to an individual’s life.
Everything is in perfect balance. Your life is balanced out by your actions for good or for bad, there’s an equal and opposite reaction for every action. That’s a fundamental law of the universe, and no one can escape this reality. Down to the finest details of your life everything is balanced.
Being conscious of this law can give you great faith in the darkest of times, knowing they will eventually pass and balance out. This is the natural flux of things, however many of us interfere with this balance and prolong the dark times through identification.
Identifying with the negative thoughts and feelings about a situation will throw this natural balance off. Instead of letting these thoughts and feelings come and go we identify with them, amplifying the situation and blocking the light from coming in.
From this perspective, periods of anxiety/depression or negative situations in general are prolonged and thus are balanced out by positive events over a much longer period of time. Depending on the level of identification the person has with the situation, will determine how long it takes for it to balance out. The stronger the mind state, the longer it will take. From a present conscious space, the universe will balance things out in perfect harmony with whatever the situation requires.
When ‘bad times’ come as they inevitably do, whether it is in health, finance, family or relationships, the mind will instinctively project a negative story about the situation, which will be accompanied by distressing thoughts and feelings. Instinctively the majority of us will begin to wrestle with this story, engaging with the thoughts associated with it and subsequently take action out of this negative space. As a result no clarity about the situation can be found, the negative story is only amplified as the mind plays into it.
Alternatively, instead of engaging with these negative thoughts and feelings one must dis-identify with them. Sit with these negative emotions, feel them in their fullness and embrace the pain as it will eventually pass. While doing this always stay conscious, feel the emotions and there energy but don’t get lost in the negative story associated with them. If you do this and really stay present in the situation, the darkness will begin to lift allowing some light to shine through.
From this space you will now understand the situation for what it is and have clarity moving forward. You are now dealing with the situation from a place of presence, a place that is not identified with the story in your head.
Bringing a state of presence to the situation will allow this universal law of balance to play out. Subsequently, what will happen is you will then begin to manifest the opposite of the situation in some capacity, that’s the law of balance in action. What you manifest will be whatever is needed to balance the situation at hand.
This only happens if you do not interfere with this natural flux. However, the majority of people will instinctively engage the negative story about the situation and subsequently make the situation worse by doing so. When this happens the law of balance is disrupted and the situation has become much greater than it initially was. Subsequently, things will now balance out over a much longer period of time and that’s only if you can let go and stay present.
Tyson continued to educate Joey on ‘presence’ and how it practically applies to all aspects of life. With every lesson the truth resonated stronger and Joey’s light began to shine brighter. The mind identified state was slowly losing its grasp and being replaced by a state of being.
Tyson proposed that they take a walk around the neighbourhood, so he could show Joey what his reality looked like. Joey was nervous to do so, but obliged as he knew it would have some importance to Tyson’s lessons. They got up from the table and walked out into the main Street of Trentan. It was a hive of activity with people going about their daily business.
Tyson looked out over the street as he spoke. “See this place, it has two realities. You see now, there are families everywhere. People working, people shopping. After dark that all changes, the feigns come out for their fix. The prostitutes line the streets and we run the corners. It’s a melting pot my brother.
Danger around every corner, to survive out here at night you have to be present. If you’re off in your head, if you are lost in thought, you are going to slip up and consequences for doing so are unforgiving. That’s why I am the way I am, these streets raised me, I had to learn how to survive on them. These truths that I give to you were developed from my time out here. Through adversity I began to understand the truth of it all. Under the chaos I found peace, something very rear in these streets.
But it’s my time now; I’ve done my time on these streets. They have served their purpose and shown me the truth. I must move on now, and apply what I’ve learnt into a new environment. I’m destined to transcend this place Joey, and somehow you are connected to that. I just know it.”
Joey was taken aback by Tyson’s words. “But how am I connected? How can I possibly help you? I would love to but I just don’t know how.”
Tyson didn’t know the answer to the question either, but had faith it would be answered in time. “In time my friend, it will all reveal itself. It might not be you directly; it might come through you and lead me to something else that provides me with the opportunity to transcend. For now it’s all mystery, but I must embrace that and simply trust and continue to give myself to the ‘now’. That’s the only way, everything else is madness. This can’t be figured out with the analytical mind…
I want to show you something, let’s take a walk down the block.” Tyson suggested.
Tyson lead Joey down the main street and around the corner into a dingy looking side street. Joey was getting more apprehensive as he saw a crew of young guys hanging outside and entrance to a building. Tyson proceeded to walk up to them and shake their hands.
“Sup my brothers, how’s the training going? You’re looking in shape Jay.” Tyson said to one of the guys.
“Who’s your friend Ty? Never seen him around here.” One of the guys said sarcastically.
“This is Joey… I’m showing him around town. Don’t worry, I vouch for him, there’s a purpose to all this.” Tyson responded assertively.
And with that Tyson and Joey made their way into a local boxing gym. The guys outside were left confused by Joey’s presence, however they knew better to question Tyson. He had a lot of respect in the neighbourhood, especially amongst the younger generation.
The boxing gym was busy with guys skipping and working the bags. There was trainer in the ring holding up pads for a younger fighter. Tyson ushered Joey around, showing him the various training equipment and pointing out some of the great fighters that covered the walls.
“This is a very important aspect of my life Joey, I’ve boxed for many years. The training is like none other, it keeps you physically fit and requires serious discipline and focus if you are to compete in the ring. In many ways it’s like life, if you inject discipline and focus into your life, you will be successful at it. However, if you are inconsistent and easily distracted then you will lose, you will fail to step up to the challenge when it’s your time to jump into the ring. You have to be conditioned for boxing both mentally and physically.” Tyson explained.
Tyson continued to explain to Joey the various parallels between life and boxing. It was obvious to Joey that Tyson was incredibly passionate about the sport. Although he was a little confused as to how it applied to the teachings.
“So, does that mean I must begin boxing as part of the teachings? The training looks gruelling.” Joey asked.
“No! not at all. That wasn’t the reason for bringing you hear, it was to show you that to live a life of presence it helps if you establish a disciplined routine. Especially for those that are beginning to bring presence into their life. Certain routines can help to keep you in the now. I use boxing to not only to keep me fit, but to also build upon the foundation of presence in my life. It requires substantial focus every time I enter the gym, in turn this brings me deeper into the now. While training I am completely immersed in what I’m doing, thought has no room to come in.
In some ways it’s like a physical form of meditation that keeps me in the now. But it doesn’t have to be boxing, it could be anything. Something that requires your full awareness and that you can consistently apply to your life.”
It made sense to Joey, he could see the benefits of Tyson’s routine, and was looking forward to creating his own with a physical component that suited him. After the gym Tyson escorted Joey back to his car, making sure he was safe.
“Thanks for today bro, it was amasing coming into your neighbourhood. I really appreciate it.” Joey said.
Tyson was happy to show off the positive aspects of Trentan for a change. “It’s all good my bro, you just focus on applying presence into your life. I will call to arrange another met in a week or so, take care.”
And with that Tyson strolled back to his apartment block and Joey drove home to the suburbs. With every teaching Joey could feel himself becoming more alive and connected to his reality. The anxiety and depression that clouded his life for so long, was now a light mist.
The week that followed was one of deep peace for Joey. He never knew that such peace existed in the world. He dwelled in this peaceful space without any worry for the future.
He spent days simply being, walking around his neighbourhood and appreciating the reality that he once despised. He noticed his interactions with people completely changed, his peaceful state resonated with them. It was beautiful, and Joey was overcome with a feeling of Joy.
Joey had shifted his state of consciousness, he was now in a state of being, no longer identified with the mind and thought.
As he dwelled in this conscious space he noticed that when he was required to practically use his mind his thinking would be very clear. Answers and ideas would intuitively come to him. He noticed from this perspective, his mind was his friend and benefited the practical aspects of his life from his study to every day problem solving. He was somewhat perplexed by this though, he knew that dis-identifying with the mind was the key to his state of presence, but at the same time he understood that the mind was needed for practical reasons. He just didn’t know how the two could co-exist. This was something he needed to clarify with Tyson.
About a week after the last meeting Tyson called Joey to see how he was going and organise another catch up. Tyson suggested that he come to Joey this time, seeing every meeting had been south of the river so far. Joey agreed and offered to show Tyson around his neighbourhood like he had done for him. Tyson liked the idea and they arranged to meet at a local cafe strip on the Saturday coming.
Joey was excited to see Tyson and share his progress with him, he had come a long way in the last week as he continued to detach from his mind and enter a stronger state of being. He was also beginning to see how life began to flow with ease once presence became the foundation.
Saturday came and Joey was up early, fitting in some study before he met Tyson for lunch. With his new state of being he had a renewed focus and energy for his academic studies. In the past he would procrastinate and leave his assignments to the last minute. Now he was proactive, chipping away at his studies consistently every day. Creating the disciplined routine that was needed for him to be successful in them.
On the other side of town, Tyson was still resting in bed. As usual he had been out to the early hours of the morning, organising his crew and dealing with the many issues that come with running a drug operation. He was exhausted and was trying to catch up on as much sleep as possible before meeting Joey.
Midday came and Joey arrived at the café strip which consisted of a few food options and a couple of high end boutique fashion outlets. Joey waited out on the sidewalk, keeping a look out for Tyson. He eventually arrived in a cab.
“Tyson! Over here,” Joey called out.
Tyson waived back and walked over.
“What’s up my bro! The main street looks a bit different then Trentan,” Tyson replied back with a chuckle.
“I’m starving, what have you got in mind for lunch?”
“I’m thinking burgers,” Joey responded. “The café on the corner does a pretty good one.”
“Lead the way, sounds like my kind of meal.” Tyson replied back
They arrived at the burger joint and found themselves a seat overlooking the main street. They were both hungry so got right into ordering there food and drinks.
“So how are things?” Tyson asked Joey after ordering.
“Couldn’t be better,” Joey replied. “I’ve undergone significant changes since I last saw you. I feel like I’ve rooted myself further in the present moment, and have been experiencing a deep sense of joy and peace because of it. On the external nothing has changed about my life situation, but the way I have started to view it is now from a place of acceptance rather than denial. I feel like life is beginning to flow from this state of being. The struggle and frustration is no longer there and subsequently I feel like I am much more productive in every think I do. The anxiety and depression is no longer weighing me down, I feel like I have risen above those dark clouds and can now see them for what they are – an illusion created by the mind. Empowered only if I engage with it.”
“I’m glad,” Tyson replied back. “I’m glad you’ve seen the truth and can now experience the peace and joy that I have been talking about. I can see it in you, your energy is calm and you no longer seemed stressed or anxious, you are simply in a state of being. That’s not to say the mind won’t try test you and claw you back in. It will, but as long as you are grounded in the present moment it will never have the power to engage you like it did in the past. Keep practising presence and your light will continue to shine even brighter.”
“I wanted to ask you about the mind and how it can be used from a state of presence,” Joey asked. “I realise that being identified with the mind is the cause of suffering, however I also realise that the mind is essential for the practical aspects of everyday life. So how is it possible to dis-identify from the mind but also use it, doesn’t that contradict the truth that you have been talking about?”
“Great question,” Tyson said. “Yes the truth that I have been preaching is about bringing yourself out of thought which is the mind and in to the present moment. That is the truth and is the only place you will find the peace and joy that you have been experiencing. However, like you said your mind is still needed for practical everyday things, like problem solving, making plans, studying and so on. The mind is positive and helpful from this perspective.
I call this practical thinking, and when applied from a state of presence it is incredibly powerful. The thinking I am talking about dis-dentifying with is the constant streams of thought that narrates, compares and judges every aspect of your life. It’s the thinking that you can’t stop, which becomes the cause of immense psychological suffering when you identify with it. The mind is a tool Joey, it’s there to be used for practical reasons only. Outside of that it’s incredibly destructive, let me explain further.”
Your Mind is a Tool
Your mind is a powerful tool to be used practically when needed. When applied in the right way it can do amasing things as I’m sure you have experienced or witnessed at some point. It solves problems, generates ideas, identifies patterns, makes connection and continues to advance technology within every aspect of society.
However, it is a doubled edged sword, it is also incredibly destructive. Identification with the mind is the reason why countless people suffer from mental illness and addiction. Although it is a powerful tool to be used practically when needed, for the majority of people it has taken over their lives and they can no longer distinguish between their mind and their true nature.
When you are identified with the mind and thus identified with thought, you are at the mercy of its reactive, volatile nature. Consequently, when the thoughts turn negative and the self-talk becomes dark you begin to experience periods of anxiety and depression.
From a conscious, present state you are dis-identified with your mind and thoughts. From this space you are able to watch the thoughts come and go without engaging with them. From this place the negative self-talk has no power, it simply comes and goes without attachment.
From this conscious space you can use your mind productively, applying it like a tool to a problem you want to solve or an opportunity that you want to research. From this perspective your mind is your friend and will be enable you to achieve great things in whatever area you choose.
Like a tool once you’ve finished applying it to a task you put it away until it’s needed again. This way of living enables you to operate successfully in the world, it enables you to use the mind in its full capacity and then detach from it once it’s no longer needed.
‘Thinking’ from this perspective is productive, used when necessary in order to solve a problem or investigate an idea. When you apply thinking from presence it is incredibly clear and energised. You will notice how quick answers arise and how effortlessly you begin to make connections between subject matter and thus generate solutions to the problem at hand.
So there are two types of thinking at play, ‘practical thinking’ which can consciously be applied to a situation at will and ‘un-practical thinking’ the constant stream of thoughts that analyse every aspect of your life – incredibly volatile and often negative in nature. Becoming clear about the dynamics of thought and how it affects you is the first step, from there you can differentiate between the types and begin to apply thinking in the way it’s meant to be used.
Do not be a slave to your mind, it’s a powerful tool therefore can be powerful in a positive or negative way. Become conscious, stay present and only use the mind when you need to. Once you’ve finished with it, detach from it and simply remain present until you need it again. Operating like this you will not only be at peace within, but will also be able to achieve amasing things in whatever you apply your mind to.
“Does that answer your question Joey? There will be many things that will cause you confusion in these early stages of becoming present. A word of advice, don’t feel the need to have to know all the answers, they will clarify in time. You must learn to embrace the ‘not knowing’, that’s showing true faith and trust in the present moment. The mind will resist this, it has to know everything and will try to drag you back into thought to figure whatever it is out. Stay present in these times and bring yourself further into the now.” Tyson explained.
“Thanks Tyson, the two types of thinking are obvious to me. I can now consciously watch the unpractical thinking stream through my mind without engaging with it. I am amased at how intense and negative it is. I can’t believe I was completely identified with it. No wonder I was so anxious and depressed.” Joey responded.
“That’s good; you have separated from the mind when you are consciously watching your thinking. It’s a good practice to strengthen your state of presence.”
“So what’s new in your world anyway?” Joey asked, trying to change the topic to something a little lighter.
“Same old my friend, still hustling the streets until my opportunity to transcend presents itself.” Tyson responded.
“So what do you want to do instead of the streets?” Joey asked.
“That’s not entirely clear at the moment, all I know is that I need to go legitimate and apply my knowledge into another area. I’m talking about the truths that I am passing onto you. I’m starting to believe that my purpose is to bring them to the world. I just need the right outlet.”
“You should write a book,” Joey suggested. “Your message is powerful and could help a lot of people.”
Tyson sat back and let the idea sink in. “I don’t know what capacity I will bring these truths to the world, but I feel like I’m destined to do this. I never thought about a book though.”
“I know a guy,” Joey said. “A family friend is involved in publishing. Maybe I can get you a meeting with him?”
Tyson was overwhelmed with the suggestion. “That would be perfect, wow! Maybe that’s the opportunity I’ve been looking for right there. I knew it was somehow connected to you…remember? I said that to you after our first meeting. This could be it brother.”
Joey was more than happy to help. “It would be my pleasure to get you connected with this publisher. You have shown me the truth and I am now in a great space. I can’t thank you enough for that. I also believe your message needs to be told, your story needs to be told Tyson. You forged this understanding through adversity, it’s truly inspiring.”
“Thankyou Joey, that means a lot to me. However, my writing skills are not at that level. If I am to articulate this story I need guidance in that area. And this is going to take me time, and its time I don’t have. I’m stuck in a cycle Joey; I have to keep dealing to support my family. There’s no other option.”
“I will help you,” Joey said. “I’ve developed good writing skills through my time at university. I can provide you with any writing support you need.”
“What about time?” Tyson asked. “When are we supposed to get this done? Like I said I’ve got limited time, it’s not like can take paid leave from the streets to write a manuscript. I don’t think that will go down well with my crew.”
“You want to get off the streets don’t you?” Joey said with sternness in his voice. “Well you are going to have to transition someone else into your position. Maybe taking some time away to write your story will allow this to happen. This is your opportunity Tyson and you know it. In two weeks I will have the whole summer off from university, that’s almost three months. We will write it over that time. And don’t worry, financially and provide you and your family with any assistance. That’s how much I believe in this idea.”
Tyson was taken back by Joey’s compassion. “You would do that for me?”
“Of course, that’s nothing compared to what you have given me. Plus I have plenty of money, benefits of being born into a privileged family. If it makes it easier for you to accept, you can pay me back when you’re a bestseller, how about that?”
Tyson couldn’t speak; tears ran down his checks. He was completely overwhelmed with emotions. The opportunity that he had patiently waited for had finally arrived. He got up from his seat and hugged Joey.
After lunch Joey showed Tyson around his neighbourhood, including his university. Tyson had never been through a campus before and was keen to see the different facilities. Joey showed him the library and the computer labs that he had access to.
“This is where we can start drafting your story. I have twenty-four hour access to these facilities, so we can work around your schedule.” Joey noted.
After the campus tour they went back to his place. Joey’s father was home and became very intrigued to find out Tyson was Trentan. He had a million questions about his neighbourhood and what he did. Before Tyson got into too much detail Joey interjected, and took him away show him the rest of the house. The back yard had a pool and entertainment area, so they decided to relax out there and enjoy the sun.
“It’s been a great day, thanks for showing me around your neighbourhood,” Tyson said. “It sure is different over this side of the bridge; I feel a million miles from Trentan.”
“Anytime, I’m really looking forward to working with you on this project. It reinforces a truth that is missing in today’s society. I truly believe you can help a lot of people.” Joey replied back
“It feels right Joey. The stars are aligning my bro, I’m destined to do this. We are all here to do something, we all have a purpose while we are here on earth. The majority of us never figure it out or are too scared to follow it. I know this is my purpose, it’s so clear to me now.”
“You truly believe we’re all here to do something special?” Joey asked.
“Most definitely,” Tyson responded. “We all have something that we are meant to do, that is unique to us.”
There is something you must do here while on earth, something specific and unique to you. Look around you and you will see the people who are most content are those that are pursuing things that are true to them. But for the majority people, they are living lives that are not meant for them and they are usually doing this out of fear.
People are so distracted by their life situation and everything going on that they never become ‘still’ in order to find out what is true for them. Even for people who find this truth, many don’t pursue it out of fear or laziness. Others try to convince themselves that they are pursuing their dreams, but are usually left discouraged or disappointed as the passion and purpose is not connected to what they’re doing.
Never force a vision for yourself out of thought as it won’t be true for you. It must come organically from the present moment. Once it rises within it will be unmistakable and you will know without a shadow of doubt that it’s what you are intended to do.
As long as you are striving for things that are not true to you, you will never be fulfilled. It’s like going against the current and there will always be a feeling of discontent. Those that accept this and begin to become still and present in this world will eventually find out what’s true for them. From there it’s a matter of overcoming fear through faith and having the courage and drive to pursue whatever it is.
Everybody is unique and has something that only they can do in this world. Some people’s truth will take them to pursue music, some sports and others the sciences. Whatever it is, there is a void that is waiting for you to fill in whatever field it may be. There is a spot for you that no one else can fill, find this truth and fill this void and life will open up to you. Don’t be like the majority of people who ignore what’s true for them. This only leads to discontentment no matter how successful you become.
As soon as you start pursuing what is right for you, your life will begin to flow, the inner struggle will subside and you will feel a sense of freedom and ease when approaching your work. From this space you can’t help but be successful, you are now flowing with the current. Lean back into life and let the magic unfold.
“So there’s something that I’m meant do while I’m here as well?” Joey asked.
“Of course,” Tyson replied. There’s a divine plan and purpose for all of us, unique to every person. You already know it on a deeper level, you just have to stay present long enough for it to come to the surface. You can’t figure it out with the analytical mind, it must arise out of presence.”
“I see, so at some point in the future it will come to me? As I have no idea what I meant to do at the moment.” Joey asked.
“Forget about trying to figure it out, it’s not important,” Tyson replied. “Your life situation and what you do on the material plain is secondary to your greater purpose. Your only purpose while you are here is to be a vehicle for consciousness, to be rooted in the now. Only when you do that, will the life that is true for you on the material plain begin to manifest.”
“I get it, make the now the primary focus of my life and everything else is secondary. But how do you really know if something is true for you? Sometimes you think so initially and then it turns out to be the opposite.” Joey asked.
“You’re still seeing things from the perspective of the mind,” Tyson reiterated. “But you are correct from the mind identified state of being in the world often things that you think are right for you end up being not compatible. You see that everywhere, especially in peoples relationship and jobs. From a state of presence, what is true for you will arise from within and it will resonate. There will be a knowing that it’s true for you, and no matter what, nothing will change that truth. Letting go is fundamental to this, always be willing to let go of something and if it continues to resonate then you will know it’s true for you.”
Tyson and Joey continued to hang out by the pool, delving deeper into the practical application of presence. Joey had countless questions and was thirsty for knowledge on the topic. Tyson was more than willing to answer his questions; however he also knew that Joey needed to be patient and let things come to him on life’s terms. He was simply planting the seeds that would grow with life experience. As night began to fall, Tyson felt the streets calling him back. It was time for him to head back to Trentan and prepare for the night ahead.
“It’s about that time Joey, I better head back,” Tyson said as it began to get dark. “Thanks for today my brother; I’m excited to work with you on this project, it feels right. Ill begin drafting ideas up in my spare time, and we can get into it in a few weeks once I have my affairs in place.”
“Sounds good,” Joey responded. “My studies will be all wrapped up in a few weeks so that works out perfect, in the meantime I will continue to practice presence. Let me know if you need anything, and remember I’m all in on this project. I’ve got the resources, the facilities and connections to make this work. It’s your time! You helped me, now I’m returning the favour.”
“You’re a good man Joey. I better go, my cabs here, I’ll see you in a few.”
Tyson jumped into the cab and drove off into the night. Leaving the suburbs behind and heading back into the grimy concrete jungle that he called home. He knew he had to transcend those streets as soon as possible. It was only a matter of time before the street life caught up with him.
Tyson was immersed in the street life. He lived and breathed it in every capacity. He was completely aware of this, and therefore knew that leaving it all behind would come with resistance. Not only from his peers but also from himself. Change came with its own fears and sadness for Tyson, he would be leaving behind all that he knows, he would be leaving behind his home. But he knew that he had to, not only for him and his family but also for the community. To make real change in his neighbourhood, he needed to be able to give back, both financially and as a source of inspiration. To show that it is possible to pursue and succeed in avenues outside of the street life. Most importantly he wanted to spread the truth that he had learnt on the streets. That would be his greatest gift.
Over the next week he began making strategic changes in his drug operation so that he could move away from it in the short term why he worked on his manuscript with Joey. Although he wanted to move out of it all together, for the time being he would slowly get his crew used to the idea by bringing his right hand man Jimmy into the running of the day to day business. This would be essential to Tyson’s transition away from the streets. If he left with no structure in place he knew things would fall apart within the crew and subsequently result in violence and bloodshed. He cared for his brothers greatly, in many ways he felt responsible for them. As such, he felt guilty having to leave them.
Although his transition required the stars to align. From the streets to the writing and publishing of the book, Tyson had no doubts about the direction he was moving in. He had great faith and trust that it was all destined. The opportunity had come out of presence therefore he knew it was true for him. He simply had to keep giving himself to now, and continue to trust in his instincts. That’s what had allowed to survive and succeed on the streets, and that’s what had brought him to Joey and the opportunity.
It was the early hours of Saturday morning and Tyson had been taking a back seat approach to the nights operations, giving Jimmy the reigns and offering him guidance where needed. Tyson had been on edge for the past hour, he felt something wasn’t right but put it down to nerves surrounding the changes he was implementing. He couldn’t shake it though, he knew something was up, his intuition was telling him this, but he continued to ignore it. There was only an hour left in the shift before Tyson and his crew would call it a night, so he decided to push through until then.
The dealing had a system that Tyson had refined over time. Customers would pull up to the corner by car or on foot, depending on whether they were local or from out of town. Many of the local feigns they knew by face and name, they were usually heavily addicted and lived on the streets. The out of towners were where the money was, they would come in from the northern suburbs and purchase quantity.
The system would work as such. Upon arriving at the corner spot, the customer would put in an order with one of the crew members. This would be communicated back to the runner who would collect the drugs from the stash that was hidden out of site from the street. The cash would be passed over to the dealer in the meantime and the runner would deliver the goods to complete the transaction. This happened continually throughout the night, depending on how busy it was would determine the number of dealers and runners at any one time.
Tyson played a managerial role, watching the operations from a distance and intervening where need be. He also had a keen eye for picking undercover cops and would signal to the crew when they rolled up. However, it wasn’t only the cops Tyson had to worry about, it was also rival crews. There was constant tension over territory, and if operations tried to expand there would always be resistance and inevitably violence.
Tyson could read the streets and for so long this had enabled him to survive and be successful out there. Tonight he ignored this intuition and the imminent danger that he was feeling.
As Tyson watched a blacked out SUV pull up to the kerb, he knew something was not right. As the transaction proceeded, he watched on nervously from a distance. The dealer went up, took the order and communicated it back to the runner. The runner went and collected the drugs which were stashed down a side alley. While this was happening the cash was meant to be passed on to the dealer but the customer held things up by arguing over the price. The runner came back with the goods and passed them to the dealer. As he did this the back window lowered and out came a pistol. Two shots were fired, dropping both crew members, the driver’s door opened and the drugs and cash were collected before the SUV quickly speed off into the night. Jimmy who was across the street at the time, pulled out his gun and shot into the back of the vehicle as it sped away.
Tyson ran over and began helping Dion and Jay who had been shot in the incident. Dion who was only 15 had been shot to the head and killed instantly, while Jay had taken a bullet to the shoulder and was losing blood quickly. Tyson was in shock as he held Dion and looked at the lifeless body of his young friend. He was instantly consumed by anger towards the people who had done it and guilt for letting it happen, he knew something was up, but he had ignored his instincts.
“Get him to the hospital,” Tyson yelled.
And with that Jimmy jumped into his Lexus parked across the street and pulled up to the corner where the boys were shot. Tyson loaded Jay into the back seat and told Jimmy to drive as fast as he could to Saint John’s Hospital which was about 10 minutes away. Jimmy sped off and Tyson dropped back to his knees, cradling Dion as he broke down in tears.
Tyson woke after a devastating and exhausting night on the streets; this latest casualty had rocked him. Death wasn’t knew to him, but seeing someone so young be killed senselessly in front of his eyes was too much for him to handle. Not only that, he felt partly responsible for the death. He was the one that was supposed to look out for his crew, and he was the one who had gone against his own judgement when he knew something wasn’t right out there.
He knew he couldn’t handle the street life anymore, he didn’t have the stomach for it. Last night confirmed that, it was another sign that he had to get out before he became the next casualty. He felt death was calling him, he couldn’t delay his actions any longer. The time was now, he had to take the first step and begin working on the draft with Joey.
After the death of Dion, Tyson realised that his presence on the street was no longer beneficial for the rest of his crew. He planned on slowly moving away from the streets and into the writing of his manuscript, but he knew he could only focus on one thing and that juggling both would be conflicting and affect his judgement.
Tyson felt a sense of relief with his decision to leave the street life immediately. He informed Jimmy of his decision, and to his surprise he completely supported him and was happy and confident with the idea of taking over Tyson’s command.
“You’ve been my right hand man for years now Jimmy, I got to leave though. I got to do what’s true for me, and the street life doesn’t make sense anymore, I’m destined to do other things. But I’m not leaving for good; I just need to remove myself from the environment until I am in a position to give back to the community. I hope you understand my brother?”
“You’ve always been destined for greater things Tyson, we all see that. I’ve learnt a lot from you, and I believe I can survive and succeed on these streets like you did for so long.”
“Thankyou Jimmy, I was unsure how you would react. I thought there would be resistance to me leaving, but you’ve proved me wrong on that one. I’m glad you’ve taken note of how I operate out there, but also learn from last night. That happened because of me, I knew something didn’t feel right. I just knew it, but I ignored my intuition and didn’t call it a night. Never compromise your intuition Jimmy, always follow that guidance, that’s the key to surviving and succeeding on these streets. And when you’re ready something that’s true for you will open up as well, always be open to that. The street life is unsustainable; you need an exit strategy into something legitimate.”
In that moment Tyson gave it all up, he let go of the street life and took his first step into the unknown. Although it scared him, he had complete faith and trust in the direction he was heading.
Joey had just finished up his end of year exams and was now on holiday for the next 3 months. He hadn’t heard from Tyson in weeks and was wondering whether he was still keen on the book idea that they had discussed. Joey was now in a really good space, he had been continuing to practice presence and bring it into all aspects of his life. This enabled him to bring a high level of focus to his study and avoid the stress that he was usually accustomed to dealing with during exam time. More importantly the anxiety and depression was now a distant cloud that posed no threat, he felt like he was out of the storm and had the tools in place if it ever came back.
Joey was enjoying his first day of holidays when he got a call from Tyson.
“Joey, how are you my bro? long-time no talk.” Tyson said.
“Tyson, it’s been a while, I’m great just finished up at university for the year. I’m on holiday now so I have a lot of free time, are you still keen on developing your manuscript?” Joey asked.
“I’m ready bro. The past week has shown me that the street life is no longer an option for me. The death of a young friend made me realise that I have to act now, so I gave it all up. I’m ready to give myself fully to the opportunity that we discussed. It feels right; I know we can develop something meaningful.”
“I’m sorry to hear about the death of your friend,” Joey responded. “I can’t imagine the pain your feeling right now. Like I said before I believe in this project, you have turned my life around and you can do the same for others. I’ve got the time and resources to make this happen, so when you’re ready we will get started.”
“It’s a relief to hear you say that,” Tyson replied. “I’m glad you still feel that way and want to help. I want to get started right away; I need to get the ball rolling with this project. Without the street life I’m in a sensitive position financially, I have a bit of rainy day money stashed away but financially I need for this to work.”
“It’s going to work,” Joey reinforced. “You’re destined to bring your story to the world. You’re taking the first step in the right direction, and I’m here to support you in any way I can, that’s the least I can do. You’ve given me so much, before I met you I was at a loss. I was a complete stranger and you saw what I needed and showed me how to connect with that inner peace.”
“My pleasure,” Tyson responded back. “Cool, so how about we meet up tomorrow and discuss our plan of action?” Tyson suggested.
“Sounds good, where would you like to meet?” replied Joey.
Tyson considered the options for a minute. “I wouldn’t mind getting out of Trentan after what’s happened. How about we meet in the central city this time, I haven’t been there forever. We could do the usual and grab some lunch?”
“Sounds like a plan my bro,” Joey confirmed.
They were both feeling good about the collaboration. Tyson knew it was the shot he had been waiting for; he felt blessed to have the opportunity to write his story and was ready to give his everything in order to make it a success. Joey believed in Tyson and his message, he was willing to help in any way he could. He knew he had the resources and connections to bring his message to the masses.
The stars were finally aligning for Tyson. He had been patient through adversity and never wavered from the truth. He always knew that God’s calling would come, and enable him to transcend the street life and pursue his true destiny.
The following day they met at the agreed location. The central city was buzzing with people and cars, servicing the multitude of businesses occupying the high rise buildings. They caught up and found a lunch spot that overlooked the central square in the heart of the CBD.
Tyson enjoyed the change in atmosphere. “The energy here is like none other, you can feel the shift as soon as you arrive in the CBD. It’s chaotic, but I enjoy the hustle and bustle. People from all walks of life coming together to do business, just as we are.”
Joey began observing the streams of people walking through the square. “It’s interesting just people watching, you can really see the unconscious conditioning. People simply going through the motions, away in their minds, completely disconnected from the present moment.”
Tyson looked at Joey with a smile. “You can see it now can’t you, the unconscious state of being that pervades our society. It keeps us going to the jobs we hate and living lives that are not true for us. Out of fear we stay on the hamster wheel, hanging onto the prospect of salvation in the future when we reach the level of success that society demands. It’s all an illusion my brother, as long as you are identified with your mind, no matter what you achieve you will never be content. It’s an endless tunnel, even when you do acquire what the mind thinks it needs it will only keep you satisfied temporarily until it creates another future ideal that must be met.”
Tyson went quite for a minute as he had a sip of water and looked out over the crowds…“If only people knew that all they ever needed is right here in this moment, and that when that becomes the primary focus the other things that they thought they needed will come with ease, like the icing on the cake.”
Joey let Tyson’s words sink in before responding. “I see the conditioning in myself and I see it in other people, it’s bizarre when I think back to before I met you. I was so lost and miserable and had absolutely no perspective on the cause of my own suffering. I was simply going through the motions, without engaging with my reality. It’s scary to think what would have happened to me if I hadn’t been shown the truth, I was spiralling out of control and sinking deeper into depression. Man! I take none of this granted, I am so blessed to have found this truth and be free from the mental suffering.”
Tyson had seen the bigger picture from day one, he knew they had something important to offer each other. “We came together at the right time, I showed you peace and now you’ve provided me with an opportunity. The universe works in mysterious ways my friend, you have to flow with life and trust that what is destined for you is unfolding. To trust means to let go and give yourself to the present moment and follow your intuition without doubt. This will always take you to where you need to be. If you live like this, no matter what situation comes into your life you will always be able to respond with whatever the situation requires. The right action will be there when you need it”.
They began to discuss the project in more detail. Tyson listed the time and processes involved in publishing a book of this nature, which he had picked up from the research he had done prior to the meeting. Joey was surprised about the amount of work involved and became a little nervous as the reality dawned on him.
Tyson was direct with Joey, so there would be no confusion going into the project. “This is it my brother, this project will take over our lives. I’m giving it to you straight so you have a chance to back out if you feel like you can’t commit. We have the idea, now we have to put in the work. That’s going to take time and resources and a whole lot of discipline to get it to the point that we need it to be.”
Joey was naive to what was involved, but Tyson had his full support. “You know I’m in, I believe in this project one hundred percent. I’m just getting my head around the amount of work that needs to be done.”
“My man! there’s a lot involved, I completely understand you being nervous, but it doesn’t have to be painful. By applying presence to this project, it will flow and manifest as it’s supposed to. If we get caught up in the mind, and become stressed and then take action out of that space, its surely destined to fail. Know this my bro, all creativity comes out of the present moment, not out of the mind. To create something that connects with people the story has to be written from this conscious space.
But before we can start any work on the manuscript we must have a crystal clear vision about the project and what we intend to produce. This is fundamental part of the creation process and applies to all facets of life.”
There is a pattern to everything and there is absolutely one for creating. The conscious creation process involves visualising, having faith, letting go and receiving.
To visualise means to become clear about what it is you are intending to create, whether it be related to your career, business, relationship or health. Having a clear vision is essential, then you must step into that vision and feel it with all your senses.
More importantly the vision must be true for you; it must come from a state of presence, organically rising within. The vision will then be in line with your life purpose and will have a level of truth to it when you connect with it. Trying to force a vision that is not true for you is futile. You will never be able to hold it and subsequently will find it difficult to step into it and feel it in all its fullness.
Having faith and letting go are connected to the creation process. To have faith is to let go and trust that your vision is going to manifest. And to trust is to stay present and not worry about the when, where or how it’s going to manifest. When you are present you have completely let go of the vision, giving yourself to the now, knowing that what you have asked for is on its way. To let go and stay present is to show absolute faith.
Receiving is allowing space for your vision to manifest. This point can be very overwhelming as something new is emerging into your life, therefore the intensity of the situation can cause people to retreat as they are not prepared for change. Again at this point one must stay present and allow the manifestation to come into reality. Embrace the intensity of the situation, knowing that it is the final step in the creation process.
It’s always darkest before the dawn is another way of looking at this final step in the creation process. After letting go and prior to your manifestation coming into your reality there will be a dark period of doubt. For the majority of people this period of doubt kills the creation process before the manifestation arrives.
One must have un-wavering faith during this dark period and know that it is just part of the creation process. The intensity of these doubtful thoughts will keep increasing until the energy builds up to a point where you may think you cannot take it anymore, at this point stay present as your manifestation is close.
What you’ve visualised will never come in the exact form you envisaged, it will be in the divine form that is true for you. It will arrive in a way that is unexpected and the timing will always be perfect. Things come into your life when they’re supposed to, not when you want them to, that’s why patience is so essential in this process.
Before a manifestation arrives there will be signs that it’s coming, glimpses of your coming attraction. This might come in the form of an experience that gives you a feeling of what you want or a person or situation that seems to be the perfect fit. These signs are only fleeting, they are not the actual manifestation, only glimpses into what is coming.
This is where people often lose faith, they take the signs as the actual manifestation. Therefore, once it goes away and proves not to be true, they are left disheartened and lose faith in the process all together. Once you are aware of the creation process these signs will simply serve as confirmation that your manifestation is on its way.
The law of attraction is a popular topic and is definitely not the basis of what I’m advocating here. There are many self-help books that focus on that topic alone. They describe how to manifest your desires by thinking about something and believing and visualising that it is going to happen. There are truths in that, but they miss such a fundamental part, ‘presence’. Such teachings overlook this foundation and rely on the power of thought alone.
Thoughts can make you very sick, they are volatile, up and down and can cause anxiety and depression as they did with you. Getting past thought or above thought is the key. Once you are in this space you can observe and detach from your thoughts. This is where your true power lies. From this foundation you consciously decide what you want and it comes from a place that is true. From here a path becomes clear to you; random events will coincide and guide you to where you need to be. All you have to do is trust that you are on the right track and flow with the direction that life is steering you.
Joey listened intently. “You see Joey, there is a process involved when bringing something into manifestation. From the present state you can practically apply this process into your life, to manifest those things that are true for you. It’s all creation, and while you’re here on earth you have the power to access creativity to the same degree as anybody else. It all comes from the same source…let me explain further, this will be essential for writing the book.”
True creativity arises out of presence and not from the analytical mind. When individuals produce works of art that resonate, or invent products that fill a void they are accessing this creative space, either consciously or unconsciously.
Take a musician as an example, they may write and record and never produce anything that resonates, then one day, bang! They are inspired and produce a song or album that connects with people and subsequently there artwork becomes popular.
When the artist draws from this creative space, the music, the writing, the designs will flow out of them effortlessly. At these points they are channelling the creative power that lies in presence and are simply expressing it through their craft. These moments of creativity are rare and for most they will never experience them.
The musician has gained access to this creative space either consciously by practicing presence and applying the mind like a tool or unconsciously, almost by accident. The majority of people who gain access to this space are doing so unconsciously. They have temporarily experienced a period of elevated consciousness, a brief alignment with this creative space.
This becomes apparent particularly when the artist is trying to back up their work with the next project. Often frustrating for the artist as no matter what they do they cannot produce something that lives up to the quality of their original work. They are no longer accessing this creative space and are unaware how to do so.
That been said, this creative power is always there and can be accessed and applied at any time. One simply must understand the process involved.
To access this creative space you must first become present, completely in the here and now and dis- identified with the mind. From here you apply the mind like a tool, focusing it on the task at hand and letting yourself be guided by intuition. This process involves being completely open, allowing the mind to wander in this conscious space, forming connections and generating ideas without hesitation. You become the vessel for creative flow, where you simply start producing, writing or designing until you have the material that you require. The key is to always remain present and not be taken away into analytical thinking.
Being patient is essential, when you focus on something longer enough the answer will inevitably come, the solution that you are looking for or the design that you desire. Be patient and persevere, keep working on whatever you’re doing, trusting and having faith that the answer will come.
This is where people often become disheartened with the process. They don’t see results straight away therefore give up on the task before they have tapped into the creative source. Understanding the process involved allows you to move past these points of frustration and stay focused until the creative energy begins to flow.
Once you have produced the material that you require, even if it looks convoluted at first, within it are the diamonds and jewels to the task at hand. Following this you may need to mould the form of your product to ensure that it’s in an appropriate format to be received by your audience.
Once tailored and released that’s when the magic happens, the diamonds and jewels within will resonate and connect with people in ways that only true art can and you will know that it has come from the creative source as the product will embody a high level of truth and quality.
Joey sat back in his chair trying to take it all in. “Wow! How do you know all this?” he asked Tyson.
Tyson took a few seconds before responding, taking another sip of his water. “I know this because God knows this and I’m connected to this conscious space, as you are beginning to. This space, which we call presence is the source of everything. It holds all the answers within it; you already know these truths…you simply haven’t been present long enough to connect with them. But once you do, you will see these processes everywhere being applied consciously or unconsciously. They will be crystal clear, and you will innately know how to apply them practically into your own life as I do.”
Tyson and Joey continued to discuss the project, building a shared vision for what they wanted to achieve. As they let go and allowed the creative energy to flow, the muddle of ideas soon became clear and defined. The story that Tyson was going tell in many ways was already written, it had already been articulated to Joey over the past few months. It was now a matter of putting it on paper and making sure the truths were written clearly and concisely. This is where Joey’s writing skills would come into play.
For the next few weeks, Tyson and Joey were writing full time. They worked out of the campus library which had all the resources they needed. Tyson made brief trips back to Trentan each night to check in with his family and provide them with money to buy food and pay bills. Since Tyson stopped hustling he had no income, however Joey had agreed to support him and his family while they were working on the book, something he was more than happy to do.
Joey didn’t have the discipline that Tyson did. Even with his renewed state of consciousness he couldn’t remain focused for long periods of time. He would inevitably become distracted by the internet or his phone, anything to take him away from the task at hand. He soon realised that discipline and focus was something that was trained, and established overtime.
Tyson on the other hand was like a disciplined soldier, completely focused and absorbed in the project. His discipline had been forged through his time on the streets and through his rigorous boxing training. He also had experience establishing it within others, it was fundamental to running a successful crew on the streets.
Tyson knew that in order to produce the manuscript in a timely manner he would have to approach the project in the same way. He knew without discipline their vision would never amount to anything, and the window of opportunity would close. Tyson was also well aware that Joey would struggle with this. He knew that it was fundamental not only to the project but also to his personal growth that he becomes disciplined in his own right. That way he could apply it to all other aspects of his life.
“Let’s get back to work,” Tyson said. “This book isn’t going to write itself.”
Joey sluggishly stood up from the table where they had been eating lunch and followed Tyson back to the library. “I’m right behind ya boss.”
Joey was struggling to keep up with the demanding schedule that Tyson had established. Tyson was being very direct and hard on him when he needed to be in order to keep him on track. Not only was this making sure that the manuscript was being developed as planned it was also breaking Joey’s old habits of laziness that had been unconsciously established. Growing up in a privileged environment Joey never had to work that hard. Although he got through his schooling, it was all he had to focus on. He never had to juggle a part time job like other kids, money was always there for him when he needn’t it.
As Tyson pushed him to stay focused and be disciplined with the project Joey could feel himself breaking through his own mental barriers and beginning to establish a strong work ethic. A process he found to be incredibly rewarding.
“Wow!..you can talk about discipline and working hard all you want, but until you actually apply yourself and do it, it really means nothing..doesn’t it?” Joey acknowledged.
“You’re absolutely right,” Tyson replied. “Discipline is something you do even when the mind refuses to, again it’s breaking through the illusion of the mind, staying focused and applying yourself to the task at hand. Presence is fundamental to this as you would have observed, staying present and not been taken over by the mind and its limitations will allow you stay focused when others become distracted.”
The manuscript evolved organically, telling the story of Tyson’s life on the streets and how it had unintentionally brought him into him into an enlightened state. The chapters that followed reiterated his teachings to Joey, shedding light on the cause of peoples suffering and pointing to presence as being the answer to salvation.
Tyson’s story flowed out of him as fast as he could type, Joey could hardly keep up with the editing. While writing he was completely present, detached from his mind and connected to the source of everything. Like a vessel he let the creative energy flow through him spill out onto the page. In many ways the story wrote itself.
Tyson could feel change emerging in his life. He was transcending his environment and evolving into in a new space which was in line with his true purpose.
Since he was conscious enough to remember he had been involved in the street life in one way or another, he was indoctrinated into this way of living and knew no better. It was until he became older that he began to see the conditioning of his environment and how it kept people stuck in a cycle perpetuated by their own poverty and desperation. He had dreamed of transcending his environment like so many others but never knew how. But through the adversity a new way of being emerged, one that connected him to something far greater than anything the material world could offer him.
Once he knew the truth, that presence was the gateway to his salvation. There was no more dreaming and wishing things would change, there was a knowing that change would happen as long as he gave himself fully to the present and trusted in the inner guidance. All though the mind refused to believe this, he remained present, even on the darkest of days.
Now he was here. Writing his story and in the process transcending his environment. The opportunity had finally arrived and to him he knew it was destined. The chance meeting with Joey, the teachings and then the book idea, it was all part of God’s plan. The necessary change was now in motion.
One evening after a long day of writing and editing, Joey and Tyson decided to go out and have a bit of fun. They went out to a local restaurant not far from the university that catered for the students and young professionals working in the area. It was completely normal to Joey, he had been coming to this place for years. But for Tyson it was all new, he was not used to dining in restaurants just because he was hungry, or hanging with the people from the suburbs. He was from Trentan, the roughest neighbourhood in the city. Although he enjoyed the new experience, he still felt like an outsider looking in on a different world.
“Man what a trip it is to be here in the suburbs…I know it’s all part of the plan, but it’s going to take me some time to adjust to this new way of living. It’s all a million miles away from my old life in Trentan.” Tyson said to Joey as he leaned back in his chair and looked around the restaurant.
Joey could feel what Tyson was trying to say, something he had been ignorant to. “Hey Tyson, I’m sorry if this all a bit much sometimes, I forget you’re not used to this environment. I’m so comfortable hanging out with you now, that it feels like we’ve known each other for years. But the reality is where from different worlds.”
Tyson smiled back and reached over and patted Joey on the shoulder. “It’s all good my brother, I’ve got to embrace the change and not fear it. People are scared of change and for that reason they stand still and never transcend their environment. You have to embrace change into your life, as it’s necessary to the evolution of your consciousness and thus your life situation.”
Even though Joey lived a comfortable life, he felt as if he needed to transcend his environment as well. This didn’t make sense to him, and he felt bit embarrassed mentioning it to Tyson.
“I don’t want to come across sounding ungrateful, but I have strong urge to transcend my environment as well. In many ways I feel conditioned by the materialistic way of living that comes with growing up privileged. I’m more aware of it now than ever, and the egotistic nature of it all makes me incredibly uncomfortable. I can’t go back to living the way I was, do you know what I mean?” Joey asked Tyson feeling a bit of shame as he did.
“It’s all part of your evolution Joey, in many ways you are still in the infant stages of your journey. Purging yourself of the conditioning and bringing in a new way of being that is divorced from ego. But you don’t have to move away, or go live down in Trentan to escape it. You have to embrace your environment as I did and the necessary change will come. You have to embrace every last piece of your reality, look at everything that makes you uncomfortable directly in the eye and accept it. From there you simply trust your inner guidance and let it bring the necessary change.”
Tyson explained to Joey that there was a divine plan for all of us, and that the only way for it to come into fruition was by accepting our reality without resistance. Only then would the path begin to clarify itself. He reinforced that the journey on the material plan was always secondary to the primary focus of one’s life, which was always to remain present and connected to the source of everything.
“However, for the majority of people this focus is not where it should be,” Tyson reinforced to Joey. “People are caught up in with whatever is happening in their life situation and loose any connection they had with the present moment. When this happens they often become frustrated by the lack of real change in their life, as they become stuck in the conditioned cycles of the mind. When you are conscious of this, you will know to give yourself to present moment at these times and be patient while things rebalance. From this space the necessary inner guidance will come and give you whatever is necessary for your life situation. It’s all about getting the focus right.
To see your life situation as secondary can be a difficult concept to grasp, especially for people who seek their identity through it.” Tyson reiterated.
Joey struggled with this initially, however as he began to witness his life situation improve as a by-product of giving himself to the present moment he knew it was the truth. He still had many questions for Tyson though.
“I understand what you’re saying, and I’m beginning to experience how my life flows without struggle when I’m present and not caught up in the mind. However, we will all inevitably experience so called bad situations at one time or another. So what is happening at these times, do we still embrace them as we would a positive situation?” Joey asked.
Tyson could see Joey’s confusion and tried to clarify it for him. “Good question, from the perspective of the analytical mind, so called ‘bad situations’ are exactly that. They hinder your life situation in one way or another, therefore if you seek your identity through your life situation then it is an attack on your identity as well. But from the perspective of presence, you know that this is not true and it is simply an event that is happening in your life on the material plain, which as I explained earlier is only secondary to your primary focus which is the present moment itself. Are you following?
But here’s where you will see the importance of these so called ‘bad situations’ if you are looking at them from a conscious perspective. Each experience on the material plain is a chance to elevate your state of consciousness, and bring you further into the ‘now’. In many ways God or life is giving you whatever experience is necessary for this to happen. Let me explain further.”
Evolution of Consciousness
Life is giving you whatever experience is most beneficial for the evolution of your consciousness. These experiences will encompass different areas of your life and will play on your insecurities. Whether it is health, relationship, or career, an experience will be brought into your life that will generate fear and anxiety surrounding particular insecurities that you have.
Evolution of consciousness refers to your state of presence, your connection to the here and the now. It’s an evolving state, which is ultimately the process of dis-identifying with the mind. Life will bring in situations which to the mind are considered fearful or distressing, the situations I’m talking about are those that generate psychological fear rather than an immediate real threat. These situations are gifts as they give you a chance to evolve your state of presence, but only if you are able to stay present and move through them without playing into the story in your head.
An example could be someone’s addiction to drugs, that situation causes a tremendous amount of psychological unrest which is only eased through the taking of drugs and feeding the addiction. However, alternatively if the person could take a step back from the situation and see it as a chance to elevate their state of being they could approach it in a different way. From this perspective you approach the addiction with presence, disconnect from the mind and sit with the urges without playing into the story. Incredibly difficult to do, and one must be very conscious to do so, but every time the person sits with the addiction and feels it in its fullness, letting the urges come and eventually pass they are becoming stronger. Not only are they breaking the addiction but they are also elevating there state of consciousness. This is just one example of how a so called ‘negative’ event can be used to build upon the foundation of presence in your life.
However, the majority of people don’t see these experiences from this perspective and will try easing the psychological unrest by feeding the addiction or distracting themselves with temporary pleasures. You must take the opposite approach and face whatever it is head on from a state of complete presence. Know that the experience is good, sit with the strong emotions surrounding the situation and create room for a higher state of consciousness to come into your life.
This really creates a new perspective on negative situations in your life. From this perspective you can see how each situation is necessary for the evolution of your consciousness.
Joey had changed so much since meeting Tyson. He came to him anxious and depressed with no knowledge of who he truly was. He was now aware of his true nature and was in the process of evolving into a conscious being. Tyson had been guiding him through this transition and reinforcing the truth when he slipped back into the mind identified state. But he wouldn’t be there forever, it was inevitable that they would have to part ways and continue on their individual journeys once the project had been complemented. This would be essential for Joey as he would have to learn to swim on his own without the support of Tyson. This would be the final step in his evolution, to take the teaching and apply it without the support of the teacher.
Tyson began to explain this to Joey as they worked on the manuscript late one night. “Joey, do you know what your next step in the evolutionary process is?” Tyson asked.
Joey looked back at Tyson trying to figure out where he was going with this. “I think so,” Joey replied. “Like you said, as long as I continue to give myself to the now, the inner guidance will come.”
Tyson nodded in agreement. “That is correct, but you will have to continue to do that by yourself, as my role as your teacher has almost come to an end. Soon it will be time for you to apply the teachings on your own terms without my support, this is essential for your evolution. You cannot be dependent on me Joey. That would defeat the purpose of everything that I have taught you. You must be independent and only then will we be able to reconnect. Do you understand what I mean?” Tyson asked Joey with manner of seriousness in his voice.
Joey was slightly taken back by Tyson’s comments; he had formed a friendship with him and looked to him for guidance. The thought of having to let this go frightened him, he was scared he might slip into his old ways without Tyson. On the other hand he saw the truth in what he was saying, he knew he had to break the dependency to truly live the teachings.
“I understand,” Joey replied. “It’s hard though, I’m scared I might fall back into the old mind patterns, you’ve always been there to point them out in me. And without that, how will I know if I’m on the right track?” Joey asked.
Tyson could see Joey’s distress. “You will know my brother. When life feels like it’s becoming overwhelming or you feel the anxiety beginning to rise within you again. Simply take a step back and bring yourself into the now. No matter what is going on, presence is the answer my friend. Remember the simplicity of it all, bring yourself into the now and simply stay there. The inner guidance will come when it’s supposed to, but until that time, keep giving yourself to the now, no matter what. Remember this Joey; it’s so simple but so easy overlook in times of distress. As long as you trust in the now and fully give yourself to it you will always be on the right track.”
Joey felt a sense of relief with Tyson’s words. “Thankyou bro, it’s that one truth that sits at the core of all your teachings, that’s all I have to remember.”
Tyson nodded in agreement. “That’s right, the simple truth that underpins it all is the only thing that needs to be understood. The metaphors and analogies that make up the rest of the teaching are simply sign posts pointing to that one truth. They are necessary in the beginning to get you to the core. But once you have connected with it, they are no longer needed.”
The first draft of the manuscript was almost complete. They had been working on it full time for months now, getting it ready to present to the publishing company that Joey had ties with. It had developed just as they had envisioned, telling the story of Tyson’s life on the streets and how that adversity had shown him the truth behind it all.
It’s a story of a boy who was born into a chaotic environment, one that afforded little opportunity and made the street life look like the only way out. Tyson’s story is one of incredible adversity, watching his peers be killed and incarcerated, and seeing drugs ravage his community. But through all that, he was able to become conscious and connect with the peace underneath it. A way of being which would allow him to transcend his environment, paradoxically through this very book.
The book is the teaching of presence and how it practically applies into ones world. It demonstrates how it is the fundamental truth that will allow one to be free of suffering and live an abundant life irrespective of life situation. It articulates the teachings that brought Joey from his depressed state into a positive space.
The book will resonate with those who are stuck in the conditioned mind state, and are at the mercy of the suffering that it causes. The book is sign post to that core truth that lies at the centre of all spiritual teachings.
Tyson could feel that he was almost breaking through and entering the next phase of his life. The discipline had paid off; he had developed a manuscript that told his story with integrity. He knew it would resonate with people, the same way his teachings had resonated with Joey. It was all destined in his eyes, he was destined to transcend his environment and share his story with the world. Not only would this help other people, but it would afford for him and his family to live the life that he always wanted for them. And enable him to give back to his community in a positive way.
Tyson knew they had produced something meaningful and wanted to celebrate their hard work. Not only for himself, but also for Joey, he had every reason to feel proud not only for his part in the book, but for his personal development. Both were ready for the next step in their personal journeys.
Tyson had always told Joey that people come together for a reason, to help each other to develop and evolve. Tyson knew from his first meeting with Joey that they had something to offer each other. Although it wasn’t clear from the start he trusted his instincts, which led him back to Joey. They were from two different worlds, but there was a common ground that ‘change’ was necessary in both of their lives. Tyson was living the street life, and was inevitably going to end up dead or in jail if he didn’t make a move in a new direction and Joey was falling further into the black hole of depression, losing all hope that he would ever find a way out of the mental suffering.
Two worlds collided and the necessary change manifested for both of them. Tyson showed Joey where peace could be found, and Joey provided Tyson with an opportunity.
They decided to go out and celebrate at one of the finest restaurants in town. It sat at the top of one of the towers in the City and had view for miles.
“Wow!” Tyson said, as he looked out at the city lights. “I can see Trentan from here, just across the river there.” He said as he pointed out into the night sky. “Coming from that neighbourhood, I never imagined I would ever be dining in such a fine restaurant.”
The emotions got the best of him and he began to shed a few tears. It was a bitter sweet moment for Tyson, he was standing dining in luxury but his family and friends will still stuck in Trentan. Although he knew it wouldn’t be long until he had his family out, it was the community that needed the change more than anything.
Tyson was the change that was needed, he had the potential to teach and inspire the younger generation. And show those who were already caught up in the street life that there was other avenues to pursue. But most importantly he could teach people how to connect with the inner peace underneath the chaos. The place where all true change comes from.
Tyson and Joey sat back in their seats and smiled before making a toast. “To the next chapter,” Joey said out loud. “To the present moment,” Tyson responded back. They clinked there glasses together and began to laugh. “You got me there,” Joey said. “You would think I would have that one figured out by now after all your preaching.”
“What can I say, you’re a slow learner.” Tyson replied with chuckle. “But on a serious note, cheers to the coming together of two guys from different background and helping each other to evolve to where they needed to be. Thankyou for trusting me Joey, not many people would have taken me in like you did. I’m forever grateful for that and the opportunity that you have given me, I will never forget that.”
Tyson’s words really touched Joey. “It’s my pleasure; I feel like for the first time in my life that I’m doing something meaningful. I’m forever grateful to you as well. I wouldn’t be feeling the joy and peace that I do today if it wasn’t for your teachings. I was stuck in the dark hole of depression and you showed me how to get out of it. How about we call it even?” Joey responded.
Tyson nodded in agreement. “Sound good to me.”
“Look out at the vastness of it all,” Tyson said as he gazed out into the night sky. “Really makes you feel small in the whole spectrum of things.”
“It all comes from the same source my bro, the source of everything, consciousness itself. It lies underneath all that you see on the material plain. Everything manifests from there, me, you and the vast stars that populate the night sky. Makes you appreciate the power of it all doesn’t it.” Tyson said as he looked out the window.
Turning back Joey he looked him intently in the eyes before continuing on. “You Joey, you can access that power too. As long as you’re connected with the present moment it will flow through you into everything you. I heard a metaphor the other day that explains it perfectly.”
Presence is eternal, it’s the space where everything comes from and everything returns to. When you’re connected to this space you realise your mortality is simply on the material plain and that at your core you are eternal.
Metaphorically speaking our life here on earth is relative to a ripple on top of the ocean, a temporary event on the surface of something greater. The ripple comes from the ocean and will return to the ocean, therefore to identify with the ripple and look for yourself in it you are cutting yourself off from the ocean, the source of where it arises. To know this is freeing, as you are not defined by your temporary existence on earth, you realise that it is simply a ripple of activity on the surface.
To know this gives you peace within and an appreciation of your own morality. From this space death is only the end of your physical form as a human and has no implications on what you really are. Understanding this truth allows you to live a fulfilled life. When the ripple knows its connection to the ocean it can do amasing things while it’s active.
Thank you for reading my book. If you have any questions or queries please feel free to contact me via email. [email protected]
This is a story about two young me from different worlds. Tyson is from the low socio-economic area of Trentan, and Joey is from the affluent northern suburbs. Through a chance encounter their worlds collide, making them question their current situations. They come together again and begin a shared journey of self development, one which brings about necessary change. The story has a self-help thread throughout which is inspired by the authors personal experience with anxiety and depression. The story conveys the truths that enabled him to over come mental illness and live a fulfilled life today.