The Essence of Who We Are: Living in the Now

Posted on August 19th, by Dr. Puff in Articles. No Comments

The infinite reality of now is what life is really all about. In many ways, we have created a prison around ourselves. The walls are all those limiting ideas of who we are, who others are, and what life is. Practice neti neti: not this, not that. Let go of all the false identifications you have for yourself and everyone around you who limits both you and everyone in your life. We create a prison not only for ourselves but for everyone else, through our limiting attitudes and thoughts. Let’s allow the walls that encase our minds to crumble. It’s time to let the prison doors swing open.

How? We do this by being with what is. When we let go of the labeling, the judging, the attaching, the craving, and the identifying, what’s left is pure I am-ness. In that simple state of being, who and what we are becomes apparent. It is, always has been, and always will be.

When we experience this, it cannot be described in words. We come to a place of bliss and peace beyond imagination. There is only one thing in the entire universe that is for certain, and that is you. That you are. Anytime you add a label to who you are, that label can change. That label will change. Therefore, that label cannot be not the real, eternal you.
Let’s get back to being who we are. By getting rid of all the concepts, we experience life in its pristine, raw form. Let us flow with life without embroiling ourselves in the constant internal mind chatter. If we allow ourselves to observe and to witness our racing thoughts, as if they are clouds in the sky, they dissolve and float away.

In meditation, we practice clearing the mind of thoughts for a brief period of time. In enlightenment – the ultimate goal of meditation – we live our entire life without mind chatter and limiting judgments. We bask in the pure joy of every moment, simply flowing with life.

While witnessing your thoughts, you may find they don’t stop coming. Even just observing them brings us to a meditative, pristine state of awareness, where we can sense our true self and who we really are. The way to get there is to block those repetitive thoughts (mind chatter), and to no longer identify with them.

We get obsessed with identifying with our bodies and personalities. “I’m kind.” “I’m mean.” “They’re rich.” “He’s popular.” “She’s beautiful.” “I’m poor.” But those cannot be who we are, because they are impermanent, transitory labels. The only thing for certain is that we exist. We need to identify with that.
Everything exists because we exist. If we don’t identify with all that changes, we begin to experience life in its truest, most natural state: the beautiful state of pure being. And that is a state of indescribable bliss.

One of the best analogies for the nature of life is gold. Gold can be molded into a variety of forms. No matter what shape it assumes, gold is always gold. That is its essential nature. It may be mixed with alloys and made into an ornate piece of jewelry. It may become a shiny chain or an expensive coin. It may become a ring of promise for two people in love. But fundamentally, the gold contained in the chain, the coin, and the ring is always gold.

When the life of a piece of gold jewelry is over, it is melted down and returns to its original state: gold. Then it is made into a new object, which eventually gets melted down again. This can go on for thousands of years. But every time, it is able to maintain its gold state through all of the changes. Its essence – that which is most important about it – never alters. It will always be – simply, serenely, and gloriously – gold.

What stays the same for us is that we are always consciousness. That is our “gold” state, our essential nature. Consciousness can take on many shapes and forms. Yet it remains consciousness, began as consciousness, and always will be consciousness. See yourself as that: pure “is-ness.”

When you were a baby, you had no opinions, no concepts. All you had was pure beingness — your state as pure gold. As time went on, your mind began to cultivate interpretations of reality and started labeling things, others, and yourself. With those labels came limitation and suffering.

What if you started losing those labels and got back to just being, experiencing life in its pure, raw form? All those labels aren’t reality. They are going to change, including the labels you give yourself. Today you think you’re the greatest and tomorrow you think you’re the worst. But ultimately you are neither outstanding nor horrible: you simply are.

Our likes and dislikes change. What doesn’t change is the beingness. If we stay in that state of simple I am-ness, we find that life gets much better. Why? Because we’ve gone back to our original “pure gold” state.

While this original state of beingness is truly beyond description, anyone can experience it. One of the best ways to do that is to practice regular meditation. Meditation quiets the mind and brings us to a state of serenity. It’s a wonderful way to lose all the chatter in the head and to just be.

Resource Box:
Dr. Robert Puff, Ph.D. is a meditation expert, international speaker and creates a podcast and articles that explores the world of Enlightenment available at He also has a blog at He is the creator of the weekly Meditation For Health Podcast, available at He has a weekly podcast that explores the world of Happiness at If you would like to contact Dr. Puff, his e-mail address is

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