The Absent Landlord

I was on my walk this morning and there was this moment where I caught myself thinking about an email I needed to send first thing when I got home. Sound familiar? It might sound familiar and seem even normal, but is it really?

It might be worth looking a little deeper into this conundrum – this split between the body and the mind. Age-old it may be, the common experience it may be, the norm it may be called – but what are we taking for granted, putting up with and actually condoning and accepting?

There I was walking along, the body was doing its thing, my legs were faithfully taking me from A to B and my mind was not only in another place, it was actually in a different time zone. My feet as part of my body were on my walk, putting one step in front of another and my mind had catapulted me onto my seat in front of the computer and right into an imagined future event.

To be even more precise, I was in two time zones (the present moment and the future) and in two places (on my walk and in my office) at once.

Shortly afterwards I walked past an empty house: it had been empty for months, a perfectly good house in a great and very quiet location, just standing empty. And the words ‘the absent landlord’ came to me. It felt a lot like what I had just experienced: my mind had been absent to the present moment, unavailable and otherwise engaged.

My body had been left to its physicality, bereft of my presence. I had checked out from the physical body and what it was doing and an obvious disconnection from my ears down had occurred.

Not only that, but I had also lost all those moments when I was elsewhere and in another time zone following my mind’s meanderings – I had actually squandered that time, I had no recollection of it and it was gone.

As I continued my walk, staying present with and enjoying what I was doing, it got me pondering … with the rates of dementia and mental health problems ever soaring, can we really afford to shrug our shoulders and keep thinking that this kind of body / mind split and absenteeism from our-selves is normal or even healthy?

Is it possible that the way we move and go about our everyday life is making us sick?

Is this escapism into our heads one of the cornerstones of ill health?

Is it really okay to live checked out from what we do? And what else does it lead to?

Up until about ten or so years ago, I would not have thought that there was anything wrong with my behaviour. I might have even felt a bit elated or slightly down afterwards, depending on how my thinking had affected me and depending on whether I would have been looking forward to the next task or not.

I would not have registered the disconnect between the body and the mind, quite to the contrary – I would have prided myself on my ability to be elsewhere from my body and be following several trains of thought in my head concurrently.

Or I would have thought, every so often and ever more infrequently, that I needed to empty my mind of all thoughts and achieve a state of vacuousness that would make me immune to the ups and downs as dictated by the quality of my thoughts.

This has all changed since I heard Serge Benhayon present on conscious presence – the ability to have the mind think what the body does and have the body do what the mind thinks, keeping both in the same place and in the same time zone.

This practice has been immensely liberating and totally put a stop to the wild ups and downs of being dependent on whether I find my thoughts exhilarating or depressing. (Sounds like a mental disorder? I am sure that over time it will be seen as such.)

With deep appreciation of Serge Benhayon and the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom, without whom and which I would not have discovered the joy and fulfillment of conscious presence.

By Gabriele Conrad, Goonellabah NSW

Further Reading:
Connection To Self Through Conscious Presence
Leaving It Up To God
Mental Awareness Vs Conscious Awareness

756 thoughts on “The Absent Landlord

  1. There are different ways to activate the body.. for different purposes. When we split ourselves, we activate the body based on what is already in the body locked in our hips. This is what moves us and moves with us. When we are present (that is in the present), our movements are looser. We choose what moves us.

    1. Great point; the lived past being locked in our hips means it accounts for our patterns and behaviours of old, i.e. the tilted sacrum, the uneven leg length, the pelvis being rotated this way or that – we absently walk our talk of yesteryear. And we remain oblivious to the sadness that precipitates via the sacrum, the belief systems that we drag around and are being dragged around by, the deficit of present and on the front foot movement, etc.

  2. Beautiful metaphor Gabrielle. The landlord is absent, but is the house really empty? In the case of our body, when walking and thinking about something else, who is then walking our body? That makes it scary but also gives us the possibility to step in responsibility what we are really doing with our bodies.

  3. How often have I checked out whilst doing something and wandered off into my mind? Having stop moments throughout my day can support me to check in and stay more connected to my body, if I can live this more consistently throughout my day it would steadily build and have a flow on affect that is supportive for many more.

  4. Great to read this again Gabriele, I must say conscious presence is not my strong point and the analogy of the absent landlord is quite true of my experience when checking out from what I am doing. Conscious presence feels like it will be a new foundation for me to put into place.

  5. To liken our lack of presence in our body to an empty house with an absent landlord is a fantastic analogy Gabriele. It also makes me wonder when we check out and get lost in our mind in our absence what is going on in the rest of our body.

  6. Before I had the understanding of conscious presence I used to think that multi-tasking was essential to getting everything ‘done’ but now I realise how exhausting it is to try and be in several places and several time zones at the same time.

  7. I have been so absent from my body for a large part of my life, and I feel had I not come to Universal Medicine and learnt from Serge Benhayon how to connect back to life and learn to be consciously present as much as I am able, I would be on my way in the future to having dementia.

  8. I have been finding that in slowly building a more steady foundation through being more present with my body and the lovely flow that is established moving with a certain quality and awareness, when I become distracted and go into my mind I notice the lack of flow far more quickly, to then stop and bring myself back.

    1. And there is great joy in that, in the realisation that we have abandoned the body because it is something we would not even have noticed before, before The Way of The Livingness; and even if we had noticed, we would have lauded ourselves for multitasking, being speedy albeit rather careless and altogether assumed this was a totally normal way of living life. And ‘normal’ it might be called by the majority but normal is not natural and neither is it wholesome, fulfilling and joyous.

  9. It’s odd to consider that we think multi-tasking is a good thing I know I did, and now looking back and it can still occur I can feel how in doing so I am losing out and not being fully there in anything I do, either right now or that future I might be considering. To now understand that I can live connected to and with the body has been life changing and in doing so, I am so much more aware of my body and the quality of how I feel, think and move has changed utterly.

  10. There have been many walks that I have taken, many meals that I have cooked and many floors that I have vacuumed where “my mind was not only in another place, it was actually in a different time zone.” In fact, I am sure that I was in the other time zone even more than I was in the present. No wonder life was a struggle and there were many disasters and injuries as a result of my lack of being present with me in the moment. I was definitely an “absent landlord”; what an empty, and often painful, way to live.

    1. And being absent hurts the body and is in contrast to our delicateness; moving divorced from our body configures us in a way that is perpetually straining and assaulting of our innate divinity.

  11. An absent landlord is a great analogy for what happens when we let our thoughts wonder and we are effectively living in two places at once. The danger of this is that we are not effectively fully aware of what we are doing, so it’s a bit like going out and leaving the door wide open – anything could come in.

  12. Super interesting when you put it like that Gabriele – that the mind and body are split into two different places and time zones. No wonder there is a feeling of disconnection when we do that, or equally how totally wonderful it feels when the two come together in the same moment.

  13. A very pertinent blog to read today, as I sit here with a pounding headache which has followed on from exactly what you are describing Gabriele – my mind constantly being somewhere else while my body is here. It is an exhausting way to operate and when we start to clock it, as confronting as it may be, we start to bring more and more conscious presence into our day – and then when the mind takes over, boy does it hurt!

    1. Yes, it does hurt when we allow the mind to run the body and the more that we are consciously present, the more it stands out and the more it hurts.

  14. When we allow ourselves to be absorbed by life, we check out from ourselves and we are all over the place at once. Suddenly, our movements dance to what is to be done. There is no connection with oneself. In those circumstances, though, checking in changes instantly the quality we are moving in and with. We are no longer lost and moving in alienated mood.

    1. Very true Eduardo… no matter how lost we think we are all it takes is an awareness as to where we are at and feel the impulse to change our movements. We may even feel the pull to go back to our old way but the commitment to the connection to ourselves is too strong… we are back.

      1. We open our eyes to what cannot be denied, we become honest and take responsibility for our choices, for our life. That is the biggest turn around possible on a personal level.

  15. Reading this article tonight I can feel how important it is to bring back a quality to how we live. To not only choose to keep our mind with our body, but to want to, because we enjoy the beauty of our own presence palpably feeling it in our body, there to be shared joyfully with all others.

  16. Indeed there is a huge fulfillment in being consciously present, as it leaves you to be with you in the moment feeling enough. Whilst normally we possibly would crave something more outside of ourselves to fullfill us because we werent consciously present !
    How simply one connection can be made and see its effects, helps us observe our way in life and how we can change.. By moving our attention to our body that means working together with our mind, spirit and Soul. None is left out.

  17. It makes sense that the more we choose to check out and escape into our mind the more likely it is that this could lead us to eventually experiencing illnesses like dementia.

  18. As I was driving home last night it was snowing and the conditions were challenging so I was fully focussed on my driving which made me realise how often I am on auto pilot when driving the same route to and from work. A great reflection of how often I leave myself during every day and yet it is something I know innately and is only ever a choice away.

  19. The weather has suddenly got cold in England and as I was walking yesterday I was already projecting forward to getting out of the cold so my body had the double whammy of me not having wrapped up warmly enough and being on its own with no loving attention or presence – a situation rife for causing accidents.

  20. Our mind can come in and take over, and then all of a sudden we are not with ourselves, ‘My body had been left to its physicality, bereft of my presence. I had checked out from the physical body and what it was doing and an obvious disconnection from my ears down had occurred.’ We would not disappear if we were looking after a baby or toddler, so is it really ok to abandon ourselves, and what are the implications when we consistently do this?

  21. Something about how we are living is certainly making us sick with rates of illness and disease escalating at alarming rates, ‘Is it possible that the way we move and go about our everyday life is making us sick?”

  22. Great article Gabriele, at times when my mind is all over the place with thoughts past and future my body feels stressed and worn out, it takes time for me to stop and choose to reconnect back to my body again, but when I do what a difference this makes.

  23. “To be even more precise, I was in two time zones (the present moment and the future) and in two places (on my walk and in my office) at once.” A great way to look at the discrepancy between mind and body. Love the ‘absent landlord’ analogy too.

    1. No evolution is possible from a foundation of self-critique; it is like trying to build a skyscraper on top of quicksand.

  24. A simple yet powerful analogy Gabriele. It’s amazing how often I notice I am absent from my body. These days I notice when I’ve checked out more often. The good thing is, it means by noticing, I’m already back.

  25. I agree Gabriele, allowing our body to be at the mercy of our thoughts instead of staying present with our body makes us separate further from ourselves which then allows ill-behaviours to influence and reconfigure our body.

  26. What you share here could well hold the key to early stage dementia. What if paying attention to this pattern is the way to turn this around – re-engaging with both our bodies and our lives.

  27. What a beautiful reflection this empty house and the words that came to you ‘the absent landlord’. When we are open and willing to see everything is been given to us to evolve and to let go of patterns that not support us.

  28. Conscious presence is when I am present in the present with all what I am. This is something very empowering and unifying, as there are no energetic leaks or distractions, but full awareness and the ability to respond to what comes to me with so much clarity and steadiness. This is something that is worth to be practised and fully integrated in my life.

  29. I once presented a workshop to doctors on communication, self-care, and listening. Some of the doctors were literally shocked when I gave them the synopsis of what was probably going on in their heads as they were listening so to speak, the patients as they talked. Information overload has led to aural multitasking in which as you say, nobody is served.

  30. The ‘conscious presence’ practice as Serge Benhayon has taught to hundreds of people for many years will one day be recognised by Medicine for the true power and healing it can offer everyone.

  31. In a world that champions multi-tasking we can see just how the rise of such illnesses like dementia and Alzheimer continues to climb. I was very good at multi-tasking too once upon a time and sometimes still do as I am not perfect but I find it is a lot easier to reconnect to my movements when I make it simple. For instance if I find myself chopping vegetables in the kitchen and I start to think about tomorrow, I simply stop and connect to my hands and how they hold the knife and instantly my connection to my body returns. It’s great to note that we always have a choice to reconnect to our bodies and the divine expression we hold within.

  32. If we are not present with our bodies what then is the quality moving us? This is wise for us to consider for if we are not with ourselves who is? For what you speak of here Gabriele is the practice of yoga in its true sense, something we all have the opportunity to practice every day with our every move, in order to live its true meaning that is the union of God, Soul, body and mind moving as one. This is where our true power lies as we then are able magnify the quality of this Divine union through our bodies and into the lives we live.

  33. Keeping my mind and body in the same place at the same time – sounds like a dream come true! Well, I know it’s possible because when I am reminded of conscious presence, I give it a go, and look, it sometimes only lasts the 10 paces I’m walking until another thought about the future pops in my head, but with practice, like anything, you get better at it. It is very liberating when you allow yourself to realise that in that very moment, you are only required to do one thing whether that be walking, cooking, eating, reading etc.

    1. I find that the sheer fact of being aware that the mind has gone elsewhere is in itself already a blessing; years ago and before Universal Medicine, I would not have felt that there was anything wrong with walking around in a head that is separated from the body it is a part of.

  34. We all know this joy of having the mind be with what the body is doing: that’s what we experience in things like intensive sports, high speed racing and dangerous mountain climbing (the Mount Everest!). All these events force us to have the body and mind perform as one otherwise we dead or we lose. We think we enjoy the racing, but it is actually the conscious presence we enjoy.

    1. Interesting, I’m pretty sure that it’s called “being in the zone”. And to know that we don’t have to engage in anything extreme to be in the zone, it only requires being consciously present. How good is that?

    2. Absolutely Willem, the focus is intense but, having needed this focus at times in sport and other activities there is also an absolute disconnection from my body which is saying “What on earth are you doing here? why are you looking for a thrill in a way that puts life at risk???” If we are really connected to our bodies then perhaps it would be “you know this is madness – no more!”

  35. Being on another time zone and place while being here and now – sounds fascinating, and we chase after this very ‘here and now’ when it becomes ‘there and then’ – it’s just insane. We are piling up emptiness on top of each other – for me, that used to be a very familiar way of being as well. Constant anxiousness and nervousness was part of life so much so I wouldn’t have called it as such. And I totally agree that this way of being has a lot to do with the increasing cases of dementia across the globe.

  36. Is not being in the body making us sick? In time we will know this is true, because when we are not connected to our bodies, when we have checked out, when the landlord is not there, something else can enter, which is not pretty. The illness and disease resulting will prove this fact, sooner or later.

  37. Yes it is interesting how we often pride ourselves for being able to juggle multiple jobs at the same time yet we fail to pick up on how the rushing around flitting from one thing to another has on our body in our focus to be ultra-organised and get everything done.

  38. “Is it possible that the way we move and go about our everyday life is making us sick?” The simple answer is Yes.

  39. Dampness and decay have set in in areas around my home, I definitely need to get back and attend to it. There’s a room where a really warm hearth is, this is the centre and the furnace of it all. I reckon the attic and the basement need some loving attention and a few places in between.

  40. Thank you Gabriele. This blog absolutely stuns me because I am seeing the choice to check out in a whole new way. If I am not present within my own body then what on earth is really running me? I have used ‘checking out’ as an escape but you are reminding me that it is not worth the price that I am paying (and it’s not a true escape either – I’m always left with the consequences).

    1. So true – checking out only ever works for so long, even if it is lifetimes. Sooner or later we are all left with the consequences, no matter what. There’s no escaping the Universe that we are a part of.

  41. It is almost crazy that the things that we can champion in life can be those that cause us great harm…. You can’t but wonder at what point however will people really stop and consider that the way they are moving though life may be contributing to their physical and mental health? It feels like one of our greatest flaws is that we are not motivated to take responsibility for, or even question our choices, until our health is adversely affected… but sadly rarely before.

    1. And even this can be the painted rosy picture version in many cases as – I find even when our health is affected by the choices we make daily, there is still a tendency to shirk responsibility and seek a quick fix or handy solution instead, something that buys time.

  42. It’s interesting I read this blog now because this morning while I was collecting the eggs and giving water to the hens my mind was in the future and couldn’t wait to get into the house. It’s interesting because my awareness in that moment was so clear and strong. I felt the disconnection to my body, I stopped the thoughts and let go and brought myself back to what I was doing but it was done mentally and not in connection to my body… it is great to reflect on this.

    1. That sounds like you were virtually standing to attention and trying to change from being in your mind to being WITH your body; it is great to then feel the difference between that and coming FROM the body.

  43. Gabrielle’s comment on what will be seen as a mental disorder is indeed prophetic, as what we accept as normal now in so many aspects of life will be revealed as the deeply dysfunctional paradigms that they are.

  44. ‘Is this escapism into our heads one of the cornerstones of ill health?’ This is a concept that is definitely worth formally studying Gabriele. Great blog.

  45. My mind has been on getting ready for work while I have been reading your blog. Not a coincidence! A gentle reminder to stay present with what I am doing. Thanks Gabriele.

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