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I’m on a hike with dogs and I wonder…

Can I be present with all of this?

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Can I be present in the midst of walking over uneven ground, rocky soil with a dog on the end of a leash pulling and stopping and another one who likes to stop and eat horse poop if I don’t watch out?

With the wind and this view of the mountains?

With occasional mountain bikers who distract the dogs so I have to wrangle them?

Can I be present with all of this?

In this moment, it seems that I can.

I’m expanding my awareness to include, to accept, and even to embrace, all of this. The whole experience – even my irritation with the dogs who are just doing their dog things.

It’s actually really beautiful.

What is presence, anyway?

Presence, it seems, it’s not a place, although sometimes I experience it like one.

It’s not a state of mind.

It’s simply being with. Being. This. It’s simply this.

Life living, stripped of my thoughts about it.

Just this.

There’s no efforting or struggling in the moment, even when the experience of struggling appears.

Presence is an exploration. An unfolding.

It’s so much bigger than my small self.

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