Behind the relentless commentary of our mind, which sounds something like “me mine not mine I want I can’t have I love I hate I can’t I won’t I wish I hope someday I will I wish I had he did she shouldn’t,” and rarely pauses to take a breath, there is consciousness, awareness, presence.

If you can catch yourself telling the “saga of you,” there is a chance for an opening to presence.

Presence is what sees you doing what you are doing. Presence is free from mind. Presence has no story and sees that the story, the story-teller, all of it is not real. Presence is available in the split second of waking, before the mind reaches for a story of not sleeping well or of dreading the day ahead or looking forward to coffee.

It is almost certainly seen clearly just before death, when the saga is revealed to have been an elaborate movie or play, what hindus refer to as “lila,” and there is comfort in the Presence that never dies.

The good news is that it is actually available to you always, at any time. The really, really good news is that You ARE It.

Self-Inquiry is one way of touching this presence, asking questions like “who am I?” or “what of me has always been here?” When the mind stops after asking such a question, that space, that pause, that nothingness, that relaxation is Presence.

And then, typically, the mind tries to make meaning of what is(not) happening. And the saga of you continues. The process of awakening is returning to this presence, which is your true Self, when you feel yourself returning to the struggle and strife of the mind, with relaxation and equanimity.