A Transcription by Sandra Gonzalez of a Dialogue with Toni Packer, Stew Glick, and Sandra.
Love does not want or fear anything.
Laying in the lounge chair under the honey locust tree out off the deck, looking up at the many layers of branches, larger branches branching out into smaller branches and again into smaller ones, all covered by small green leaves with amazing shapes, not one exactly like any other. The sounds of bird song is everywhere, birds are flying in and out of the tree and the flies are buzzing about, some of them landing on the skin—the energy of it all! The touch of fresh air, the sounds of life, vibrating right here… beholding it all in its fullness, not living space for the thousand of should’s and should nots that we are programmed with from our upbringing, programming which leaves its mark as energy blockages in the body. In this hereness, there is nothing to learn and nothing to be taught is there? Everything is here with no sense of tension or lack.
The memory of today’s Sunday Program is very alive this moment and there is a strong urge to share it.
This morning, a gorgeous summer day with lots of sun and cool fresh air, a group of people, including myself, gathered in the sitting room and sat in a circle waiting for Toni’s appearance for the usual Sunday morning talk followed by a group dialogue. The silence was enveloping the sounds of steps coming into the room, some voices in the background, the moving of mats and the placing of chairs on mats, the rustling of clothes as people were sitting in the chairs. A short while after, Toni entered the room and sat in the black recliner, followed by a deepening sense of quiet.
Toni started the talk, by apologising for the late start, saying how this was a big change for her since she was used to being so punctual. She invited us to listen to the inner motion of hurrying, to all of the internalised commands that manifest themselves as knots of tension in the body, around the eyes and mouth for example. Can we just listen to them from a point of total stillness? Stillness meaning from a point of no anxiety about what time it is and with no goal to reach for.
As she was talking, this body-mind was bathed in an amazingly gentle, soft and loving energy which was clearly filling the room. The body could not resist any longer and knots of tension, resistance that was inadvertently running, became transparent. In one fluid movement, there was a cascade of tears, an expression of the melting of tensions that was taking place, a warmth energy filled the body as it relaxed mirroring so clearly the hardness of resistance—resistance which suddenly stopped and dissolved in this loving embrace of presence.
In the group dialogue that followed the talk, I brought up this event. For the sake of accuracy and clarity, let me transcribe the dialogue that took place:
Toni’s response: There is a beauty with awering and sharing awareness. With this comes wisdom and love; not love in words, but as you describe it, the feeling of tenderness, of being wrapped up in love, not of sentimentality.
Sandra: So, Toni, it is clear, after this event, that there wasn’t only the sharing of words, words as pointers, but there was more than that. The words were enveloped in this tender loving energy. Presence, awareness, tenderness—whatever words we want to use—were underlying the words. Right now, I am remembering a dialogue of yours in the book “The Wonder of Presence” in the chapter entitled: “Can This Work Be Transmitted?”. If I remember it well you said, “Transmission of the mind takes place when two people or a group, see completely eye to eye—one eye seeing,” and you end by saying, “the instant of seeing is the timeless teacher”. This is so true, isn’t it?
Toni: Yes, then we don’t have to learn by memorising scriptures because this direct touching can happen anytime, again and again, and then we talk out of the presence and not out of the memory or scriptures. Talking from memory, has an effect but doesn’t go deep—it is very superficial.
Sandra: And now, Toni, let’s look at this whole issue of, what it is that truly touches us. Often here at Springwater, people wonder what will happen when Toni goes—what is going to happen with the teaching? Looking now in the light of discovery, what is it that can peer into these walls of conditioning? The personality plays a roll functioning as an instrument for expressing understanding. For example, Toni, you have your way of verbalising things, of expressing things that I can never reproduce, since I have my own background and ways of talking. The same can be said of each one of us. So, what is it that makes tensions, fears, and thoughts transparent? Like what happened just a while ago in this person, it wasn’t the personality of you, Toni, sitting here. It was this tender, loving presence in which knots of tensions, resistance upon resistance, couldn’t resist anymore and thus gave themselves up to this presence that came with you, enhanced by you. But it is neither yours nor mine, it is here. The blockages were dissolved for the time being. It is clear that as soon as there is inattention, the building of tension in the body starts to happen again—this is inevitable, isn’t it?
Stew: Presence resonating with presence, not really the personality touches and opens space.
Sandra: Yes, you just said it, Stew. Presence invites presence when there is no resistance, no ownership of ideas, experiences or things, no worrying, no hurrying, no judging, no defending, just the ease of life when we meet without wanting things to be otherwise. Certainly we all can participate—presence is free and available to all of us. There is a true beauty in this.
Looking deeply right now into the question, what truly touches us? The truth of it all is that I don’t know. Presence/tenderness/love cannot be known but can be felt and touched very palpably. Whatever I have named or described, is not it. One can describe what took place the best one can, but the description is not the actual thing. Words cannot reach it, nor define it. Definitions and descriptions are merely attempts by the mind to describe the indescribable just for the sake of sharing. So be it.