Sometimes I just sit and watch what is going on around. I live in a fairly populated city. I used to think that it was the best city in the world. Of course, I’m born here, so I suppose that I would just adore the place where I’m born.

And then I traveled. And there too, I sat on a bench and watched people.

And I loved those places too. Because there are other human beings. Many stories to be heard. I don’t speak any other language than french or english (20 yrs ago I learned mandarin, but that’s been forgotten long ago. But I understand intentions, feelings, commitments. When I’m very present to the person in front of me, he could speak gibberish and I would understand.

I am amazed by the capacity we have as human being to not be present to what’s going on around us. Except if it’s “out of the ordinary”. People are still uncomfortable being next to a someone talking to himself. Funny looks and whispered comments.

I used to be on auto-pilot. One day I just sat there in the midst of it all and cried. No one notice when you cry.

I see a lot of people crying.

Sometimes I smile to them, when they realized that they’ve been seen.

I wonder how come people are surprised. We spend so much time looking good in case someone sees whatever we don’t want them to see about us or to show something we want people to see. The flip side of it is that we are so busy with ourselves that we don’t notice what’s going on around us.

So sometimes I sit and watch what is going on around.

Presence attracts people. The longest time I’ve spent alone is about 8-10 min. People want to talk and be listened too. I am not a ‘good listener’. I don’t counsel. I don’t offer anything to ponder. I don’t give advice. I just listen.

In the middle of intense activities we always look for the space where we can be at peace. We surround ourselves with activities to simply forget that we are not at peace and then, we strive for quietude and silence.

I have been meditating for more than 20 years and the only thing I can say about it is that the mind is the noisiest place on the face of the earth.


I don’t look for peace of mind anymore, I go for presence. Being present to myself, the people around me, the world. Being present opens up on compassion for others and respect. It allows new perspectives on a situation, less drama, new words to express and new actions to take on.

So sometimes I just sit there and wonder… if everyone would just stop and be present to what’s going on out there how the world would turn out?

50 years ago Dr. King had a dream. He became present to the world around him, expressed a new vision and new actions were taken. Where are we now?

With great respect!


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