Look at your aquarium. See the fish constantly moving round-the-clock. Focus just on one as your selected friend; look at it every day for a few minutes. It would appear that the fish is waiting for your presence. You can have eye contact with your pet animals like cats, doves, dogs etc. Well-trained dogs can be very close to you ready to take your commands. These animals are very much aware of your presence, and they make their presence felt and even touch you for your response.
Now look at a flower. According to Gautama Buddha: “If you could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, your whole life would change”. There are plants that yield a flower once in the whole life and dies with it. There are millions of flowers, all with unique beauty and perfection. Enjoy the splendor of these lovely creations. Little wonder, the mystics enjoyed the wonders of nature. The founder of Buddhism advised his followers “to radiate the boundless love towards the entire world”. Even a tiny flower makes the world a little more beautiful by its presence even for a few days.
Your presence is the most beautiful and precious gift you present. It is gracious and lovely, it brings joy and happiness, and it shows you care; the world is little more enjoyable with your presence. Albert Einstein said: “Weak people revenge, strong people forgive, intelligent people ignore”. This also reveals the worth of our presence in different occasions and contexts. Sometimes you don’t know how your presence inspires and motivates others. If you are not there, there would be a void, and you alone can fill it.
We are like a grain of wheat. Given the presence of sunshine, air and water, it dies out and a new seedling is sprouted. We need to transcend our ego and be present to the one in need as the grain of wheat; this again reveals the need of ours/others presence. Years ago, a busy executive officer was to travel from Delhi to Mumbai by Rajdhani Express. Carrying his hand bag he was rushing to catch the train which was just to move; as he hurried, he dashed on a poor vendor’s tripod who was selling some toy material. It was his livelihood. All the items on the tripod fell down, and the poor vendor was in tears. The officer stopped, bent down and collected all the items on the tripod, and pleaded with the vendor “ I am sorry”; The vendor was deeply surprised and asked: “Are you God”?
No religion has got a right word to express God’s name, but all have the experience of the presence of the Almighty. It varies from places, traditions, ethnic experience of years of struggle. When I can transcend from my ego, I will be able to be present to others. Anything that draws you outside of yourself is making you present to the one outside of you by a friendly look, smile, etc. Presence is never self-generated but a gift from each other. Presence must be offered and given, evoked and received. Churches, mosques, temples, prayers and conventions can be boring and will make sense only when presence is mutual as person to person. Our relation to the other must be one of “subject to subject” and reciprocal, being intensely present to each other.