The 1st time - Again
with Leo Drioli

Efforting to get back to the View or the True State of Pure Presence never works. The more we do, the further we go, the further we go, the further away we get from This that is always right here. When we clarify into this moment, it’s done, we are here, it’s total and complete.

And how many times in our day do we land right back here? It’s inevitable, we drop back into here constantly … yet most of the time when we do find ourselves back here in the “Net of the Now”, we shift out again by bemoaning our distance from it, or by conceptualizing about having it or not having it.

Don’t Nod!

When I interviewed Eckhart Tolle’s teacher Barry Long, just before his death some 15 years ago, I remember one powerful moment that has stayed with me ever since. Right in the middle of the interview, as I was identifying with and listening to the answer to one of my questions, he stopped mid-stream … raised his finger and like a school teacher admonishing his student strongly said, “Don’t nod, you have never been here before, you are listening to these words for the very first time … Don’t nod.” I immediately understood, pulling out of the past in my head, and gave myself over completely to the moment.

The View - Free the Moment it’s Seen

Every breath in truth is another fresh and new encounter with what is, a “seen the moment you look, free the moment it’s seen” moment. Without efforting, as we land back into this precious placeless place of pure being, we can always find another opportunity to stop nodding and start being. And here we can realise that This, yes This … right here, just as it is. Before we are swept away in another thought we can realise that we always end up back “here” … this fresh, ever-new Here that we are in for the very first time. Here, this place that we’ve never been in before.

“The moment of not being involved in thought, you spontaneously have arrived at the view, automatically.” - Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche

The above reminder is the final practice. After many long years of meditation, contemplation, investigation, conceptualization, imagination … we finally reach this placeless place of pure being and pure knowing. Here, the search ends. Here we have arrived. Here, we realise our innate freedom and authentic identity as the Eternal Vastness, that which is prior to all form, yet allows for all form to manifest. Here, love is realised as oneself: I am that! And in this we come to see that, the That which we are is absolutely empty – we discover that we are emptiness Itself: pure, clear, whole and true.

How simple, and this treasure-trove awaits us all. All that it requires is the realisation that, when identification with thought ceases, what remains is what we’ve been seeking. Then every thought is seen as the constant outflowing of emptiness into form, and form back into emptiness.

Thought Requires a Dancing Partner

Here’s a simple enlightening experiment. Take one breath in right now. Allow yourself to be caught in the net of the now. Ride this one breath in completely … As you breathe in in full clarity, notice how enlightened beingness is already here. Do we dare call it enlightenment? What is enlightenment if not this? This is it! One breath in, one breath out … watch carefully, watch clearly, watch consciously - thought-free wakefulness … this is it!

Feel the vastness in this one conscious breath, breathed in and breathed out. Stay gently focused, effortlessly watching what is … If thought starts to form, staying clear and present will free the thought before it can take shape because a complete thought requires your borrowed awareness for it to morph into form completely. If a thought does arise however, understand that you have lent your own beingness to it, you’ve unconsciously given yourself over to it, allowing thought-free awareness to transmute into form once again. Thought requires a dancing partner! And this is OK … Simply see it and let it go. The instruction here again is: “Seen the moment you look, free the moment it’s seen”.

Watch the process carefully, see it, really see it and you are immediately liberated back into This, ever-fresh, ever-new, in it for the very first time once again.

Leo Drioli is editor of Innerself Newspaper. Also an author and singer/songwriter, his book “Every Moment’s a Miracle” and debut CD “Let Your Spirit Sing” are available at