Alan Watts and Gus

To understand music, you must listen to it. But so long as you are thinking, “I am listening to this music,” you are not listening.~~Alan Watts

That gets me thinking…

Gus jumps up on the window sill. A bird or fly has flashed past.

I find myself gazing out the window with him, notice the sky, the clouds, but in the next second I have left–gone into the past or the future. My body sits in the chair, but I don’t know it. I am looking at the sky, but do not see it. There are sounds outside, but I do not hear them. Gus is tuned to the vista, its colors, shapes, movement. I am not here.I come back to the present with a start–as if an alarm went off to wake me. I do not know what alerted me to life again, but usually it is nature or some creature. We acknowledge that we need dogs and pets for their unconditional love (well, maybe conditioned in Gus’s case…) but we may also need them because they bring us into the present. They offer us their presence in a way most humans cannot, see us as we are now, not as we were or could be.

I stroke Gus’s soft fur and come back into my body as I notice his warmth on my lap. Gus, I think, must always sense his body and mine. I, however, do not inhabit my body while I am lost in thought, and I am almost always lost in thought.

Gus and other creatures, it seems to me, are examples of minds that are in tune with the “primary consciouness” that Watts describes here and that Buddhists would recognize as an awakened mind:

The “primary consciousness,” the basic mind which knows reality rather than ideas about it, does not know the future. It lives completely in the present, and perceives nothing more than what is at this moment. ~~Alan Watts

What if the present moment is full of pain or grief? Ahh…That is for the next blog…

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