This is about directness—simply noticing, being aware, open, free—and not getting entangled in the thinking attached to these words.
It’s not difficult—in fact it is the absence of effort. If anything, the words used here point to a simple “feeling” and even beyond that to the absence of any feeling.
This might be called lightness.
It might be called softness.
What exactly is that? Here’s a specific example. Right here, now, it is Now. Is the Now that is present here, now, struggling to be here, now? Don’t think about this—simply relax and notice—feel—the incredible ease, the softness, with which Now is present. In fact, the presence of Now is so easy, so soft, there’s really nothing to feel.
Stop and let this indescribably soft, gentle ease really “sink in.”
Is there an end to it?
Is this ease of Now present only in the morning?…only when meditating?…is there only a week’s supply before having to get some more?
Can this delicious ease of Now ever be shut off?
Next, stop and consider—how much does this Now weigh?
Is Now heavy? Does It weigh a ton? A few pounds? Even a single ounce?
The Now that is softly, gently present now has absolutely no past. So how light, how completely without heaviness, is that which has zero history?
Again, don’t think or reason about It—simply “feel” this unspeakable “floatingness” directly.
Now cannot be said to have any qualities, let alone heaviness. Strictly speaking, Now can’t even be said to be “lightness” as opposed to “heaviness,” because Now has neither. If anything, Now might be described as the absence of any degrees or amounts of weight. It sounds funny, but it’s almost like having a feeling that there is nothing to feel.
Now touch the edge of this computer screen with a finger. It’s got some hardness or density to it—the finger doesn’t go right through it like it goes through the air.
Next, try to touch the Now that is here, now. Can it even be done? Can it be said that Now is hard, thick or dense like a screen, or a brick? Even the air has more density than Now has.
So how truly “soft” is Now?
Really check this out–because It’s the only kind of “You” there is!
Now is so soft, so utterly without hardness or density, It almost can’t be called soft!
All words used in spirituality and nonduality today never are “the thing in Itself,” as often said. Also, Now, Awareness, Presence, Being, Love, emptiness—and even lightness, softness—could be said to have an opposite: Awareness/unawareness, Presence/non-presence, Being/non-being, etc.; as well as lightness/heaviness, softness/hardness. So admittedly, while words like “lightness” and “softness” are wrong, they are meant as a valiant but flawed attempt to point to that which is “beyond” duality and degrees. As used here, they are not meant as opposites, but simply an attempt to point in a new, more direct way.
Those who appear to embrace what are called “emptiness teachings” or the “middle way” might argue (and rightly so) that emptiness is neither side of this apparent duality. For example, they would say there is neither self nor not-self, because to say there is either implies its so-called opposite. In the same way, it would be said that emptiness is neither weight, nor non-weight (light). Emptiness is neither hard nor non-hard (soft). It would be said there is only THAT which is not anything that can be said or labeled, not even as “emptiness.”
Okay. But whatever THAT is, THAT cannot be put on a scale and have any weight or amount of hardness applied to it. It is in this sense that “lightness” and “softness” are meant—not as if they were opposites to some other state.
Put it this way: the Now that is effortlessly here, now, is not as heavy as a brick, is It? Nor is It as thick or dense as a brick. It is in this sense that terms like lightness and softness are used, which is about as close as is possible to come with words.
That to which lightness or softness refer, is not the same as words such as tree, bottle, newspaper, which label what seem to be objects or things. Those involve mental forms or concepts. In using words such as lightness and softness, the point is simply to be direct; to “cut to the chase” and bypass getting into concepts—and even feelings, too—leaving only alive openness, unlimitedness, Awareness.
Notice further–can this easy, light, softness of Now ever be made to go away?
Let thinking really try to think Now out of being present now, so It goes away. Really try to get rid of Now.
Is it ever not Now? Now is now with zero effort—and It’s never not this way. It is the very essence of ease.
So here’s another direct word—ease. The key difference is that this post is not for knowing something about ease, softness, but literally being it.
Again, what does Now’s utter absence of heaviness “feel like”?
What does Now’s complete absence of hardness “feel like”?
What does Now’s zero effort “feel like”?
The “feeling” that answers those three questions is the same—there’s no heaviness, no hardness or effort to feel.
If anything, there is a light, soft, indescribably easy gentle aliveness, or what is sometimes called Presence. It never is something one is doing, but what is unavoidably, unstoppably, presently functioning.
What is of value here is not any thoughts about Now, but the actual—the “taste,” the alive direct “experiencing” or being of what Now here and now is. This easy softness and lightness is about as direct as it gets in conveying what Life Itself here, now, is being.
It is simply Awareness presently being the lightness and softness It cannot fail to be—yet gently alive, alert and “un-knowing.” It is open wondrousness being freshly alive—the wondrousness of Life Itself, as present Awareness, never being even a moment old.
The point of this “directness” of softness and lightness is to make obsolete the need to read book after book. In fact, you are already so lightly and softly present, so completely being deliciousness—you don’t want more words.
Lightness and softness are about as “direct” as words can be when it comes to pointing to the Infinite, the Unknowable. So why not simply bypass all the conceptualizing and directly “abide as” or be this lightness and softness?
In fact, to this present Awareness, is there even a choice?
Whatever “lightness” is, It is directly Itself.
Whatever “softness” is, It is directly Itself.