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
Connection To Self Through Conscious Presence
Leaving It Up To God
Mental Awareness Vs Conscious Awareness
763 thoughts on “The Absent Landlord”
Gabriele what you have bought to our attention is the state of the world, doing one thing and being some where else. The norm! But, to be present in every moment requires us to be committed and consistent and things can change. And when we are in the conscious presence, life is so much different, instead of thinking the body doing its own thing.
Can we imagine life if every walking human was present to every moment? Life on planet earth will be so much different. I wonder what the state of mental health, exhaustion, health etc be at if we all lived from this point?…
When the mind is checked out from the movements of the body there is a disconnection from who we are.
And from this disconnection, we become exhausted, disgruntled and probably hating life, living in this eternal unsettlement..
Thank you Gabriele for an amazing blog that really does highlight how we can abuse the mind and body by multi-tasking. I too used to pride myself with the ability to have several thoughts or conversations going on in my mind at the same time, where as now I can understand and feel how unsettling and damaging it is to the nervous system and the whole body in general as it confuses us and sets us up to not be in the present moment. Though of course, when we have been so used to doing this all the time, it can take a while to make a change and ‘train’ our thoughts and mind differently.
Isn’t it amazing how everything is upside down and back to front? We might pride ourselves on multi-tasking to the nth degree while it is the very thing that leaves the body we move in and with abandoned and absent of any kind of presence. How would we respond if not react if we were totally, uninterruptedly and abusively ignored?
The mind is designed to think and think it will – in fact if we do not give it something specific to think about, then it will be given something random to think about. This is just a fact, so my approch is that I would rather give it a task to think about that involves the body and being present with the body as this is what actually super supportive to us in looking after ourselves and also in soothing and settling the Nervous System.
As opposed to this, which is far from supportive or settling, ‘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.’
Our mind and our thoughts can certainly be this wandering ‘thing’ that just keeps jumping from one thing to the next whilst not really wanting to be in the present moment. And yet this is crazy really as why should we not be thinking about and feeling everything of what we are actually doing? I sometimes feel that my mind has this ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder especially when it comes to being in the present moment. Sure I can function well in life but when it comes to being with me and conscious presence it is not as easy as that and it does require quite an effort or focus, which then feels amazing and so steadying in so many ways.
A relationship with conscious presence and the ensuing appreciation of that deepening connection is a simple part of our evolution.
A wise choice, being consciously present, instead of abandoning 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 give so much credence to the mind that it is hard to see that actually it (the mind) is not it and that the body is it. And thus, that we can live a life feeling whole, warm and complete when we bring the mind to what the body is doing.
“… 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.” When we are not with the body and running our mind into the future or past, or in imagined scenarios stimulating emotion, there surely must be an effect on the body. I know when I am not present with myself it’s like a disturbance, plus I am unaware of the effects of this on my body so the emotion or rushing, etc, can escalate and the disturbance can become greater, putting more pressure on the body.
Lack of presence comes with a price to pay, to the detriment of the physical body and our mental health, in the short and the long term.
Lack of presence does have consequences, ‘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?’
It suits us to make light of the role of our body in our health, physical and mental, and blame a gene or other external circumstances. To our own detriment, may I add.
Ultimately – if you leave something empty, whether it be a house or we check out of our bodies in our minds we leave it open to being used for something other than it’s original purpose. Nobody would want squatters in their house – so why do we allow constant wayward thoughts in our heads?
Great point and comparison – thoughts that are not in line with who we are in truth are indeed squatters that have taken advantage of the opening that our absence has created.
Absolutely – our thoughts can completely lead us astray onto a path we would never truly want to be on – so our presence and our full occupation is everything.
Once our thoughts have been let loose, they keep circulating – as we probably have all noticed when trying to go to sleep but unable to stop the agitated and evermore agitating merry-go-round that revs up the mind and keeps the body unsettled.
“Nobody would want squatters in their house – so why do we allow constant wayward thoughts in our heads?” When you put it this way the intrusive nature of negative thoughts is really felt!
It’s only because we have become used to these squatters that we think the mind chatter is normal and something we have to live with. That makes me wonder who is actually conversing when two people meet and start talking to each other? Will the real person please stand up?
“Will the real person please stand up?” I had to laugh, yet it’s quite a serious consideration. Yesterday I was feeling the quality of thoughts that have come through my body that degrade, put down, demean or are generally negative. I started to ask the question of how they could possibly be a true part of me or human life when surely if such thoughts were, we would have destroyed our bodies long ago. No animal naturally has self harming behaviours unless it’s been abused or interfered with in some way. It’s just not a natural part in the order of things. The more I examine such negativity the more I feel how out of place it is with the love that naturally is within me, and that such thoughts come from a source outside of myself.
Great point and I love the conclusion, in that such a force has to come from outside of us. There is no other explanation. No green tree frog would be sitting there, doing what a frog does, and think to itself that its colour is not green enough, its eyes too small, its bottom too big, its leaps not long enough, etc. It is as ludicrous as it sounds but we keep engaging in this behaviour without ever questioning it.
I used to think I was going for a walk to ‘clear my head’ but actually I was just walking my physical body while still trying to unravel the prevailing problem. Walking with conscious presence and walking in awareness of how my body is moving offers a clarity and simplicity of just being with myself.
It is very easy to trudge around while circulating the same mental energy that got us stuck and distressed in the first place. Only connection to the physical body and moving with conscious presence can change this muck from keeping going around and around and around.
“It might be worth looking a little deeper into this conundrum – this split between the body and the mind.” I often found my head ruling my body, and have found that when I allow my body to make the first move I have a natural flow that supports me far better than my mind.
Sally this is a powerful realisation – and really the head/mind is like a king here to serve the body (the people) and always be there to look after it (them). Of course there is the corrupted version of royalty that can rule the show.
And what are the long term consequences of living in such a way, not present with our body, ‘Is it really okay to live checked out from what we do? And what else does it lead to?’
It is an easy thing to allow your mind to runaway with different thoughts or scenarios as we go about our daily tasks, the problem is we are never concentrating on the job at hand, I have found the easiest way to quiet the mind is to simply feel my body as I work, if I am writing I feel the pen in my hand the touch of the paper and my breath, all of which allows me to just be.
The mind finds settlement when we connect to the body and let it lead the way.
The great divide between mind and body is beautifully exposed here Gabriele. From many years past, I remember there being an exercise taught by a meditation teacher – whenever you found the mind going off at a tangent, you had to go to where the mind had gone too! What an impossibility that turned out to be – one moment a thought about somewhere abroad, the special grocery shop in another county, the supermarket….on and on it went, that simply exposed how scattered the mind was.
That is very graphic and true insanity in anyone’s book.
Meeting Serge Benhayon and his attending presentations brought a great realisation to me – I genuinely ‘thought’ I was connected with my body prior to this and it soon became very clear, it was only ‘thinking’ about conscious presence, not actually living with true presence with my body. Much to appreciate here – thank you Serge Benhayon for lighting the way to return to inner stillness from being in conscious presence with the body – and there is always more to deepen into.
“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”.
Simply understanding that checking out of life is literally that… And that the ramifications are extraordinarily powerful and are wreaking havoc upon humanity.
‘Is this escapism into our heads one of the cornerstones of ill health?’ For me there is no doubt it is and I notice with myself that when I am not present and am in several places at the same time, one with my head and one with my body I forget what I have done or I put something in the fridge what does not belong in the fridge, sounds weird but I do know this being checked out is not healthy at all and can be the start of dementia when I don’t change this habit (or is it an addiction?) of being somewhere else with my mind.
I put that to the test in the gym yesterday and noticed that my heart rate goes up when I am elsewhere in my thoughts to where my body is. My body hates being deserted like this, it seems to go into a state of disarray, if not mild panic. Makes me wonder what else happens along the line?
What a great test to do, and then see the immediate consequences.
That is a disorder to have our presence split and even to think that that is perfectly normal.
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.
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.
Are our movements contributing to our state of well-being, ‘Is it possible that the way we move and go about our everyday life is making us sick?’
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.
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.
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.
I too struggle with conscious presence Melinda, and yet when we set our mind to it literally and surrender the body to it then we can feel how simple and powerful and natural it is… and then we again allow the other thoughts to barge in and disrupt the space …to start all over again!
I think it is a learning for many of us, to stay consciously present throughout our day, ‘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.’
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes, there is basically no one at home, and anything can then come in.
A great reminder Gabriele to be on the ball with where my mind is more often!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Conscious presence is also not losing myself in the things I do or see while I can have a mental focus on it. It is always feeling my body at all times first.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?”
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.
“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.
No evolution is possible from a foundation of self-critique; it is like trying to build a skyscraper on top of quicksand.