I’m going to talk about the presence of the self. This has become more apparent to me recently because I was born and raised in Minnesota, where I lived my entire life surrounded by familiar surroundings. However, last month I moved from Minneapolis, Minnesota to St. Petersburg, Florida. During the four days of travel with all my belongings, I started noticing something. There was a sense that who and what I truly am wasn’t moving. The scenery changed as I passed by, there were sensations of centripetal force in turns, gravity, or acceleration, but none of that was identified with my true essence. All motion occurs within the self, within that which is everywhere and nowhere. The self is omnipresent, here and now.

Living in Florida, where everything looks very different, has made this even more apparent. I feel that what I truly am hasn’t moved at all. This deepens my understanding when past teachers insisted that the self doesn’t move. I have also taught that motion still happens, and it does. I can see my hand move, my lips move—there is motion in the world. It’s not an illusion in the sense that nothing moves or happens. Within the self, there is undulation, change, and transformation. But there is no identification with a specific piece of that motion. To feel motion, you would need to identify with a specific aspect of it. But if you’re not identified with any of it, there is just the self—a center that is everywhere and a circumference that is nowhere. Where can it move? There is no other place for it to go. It is ever-present, here and now. It doesn’t move.

I wanted to talk about this because it has been an interesting feeling of not having moved, both in terms of physical location and even within the body. Where would you go? Even more so, when we are not identified with the body-mind. Ramana Maharshi, when he was close to death, said, “The doctors tell me that I am dying, but where could I go? I’m here.” This statement carries a profound meaning. You aren’t going anywhere; you aren’t moving. The self is ever present, here and now, regardless of the movement happening in the world. It’s the stillness within movement, the actionless action, the effortless effort—similar to the old Taoist teachings. It transcends apparent movement, and part of it comes from non-identification with the body-mind. If you’re not identified with it, you’re not overly attached to its motion because the self, what you truly are, doesn’t move. It has nowhere to go.

I hope this sheds light on the topic and doesn’t confuse the issue. Thank you very much.

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