“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
For the following questions there are 2 acceptable answers. Here. Now. Where are you? What time is is? This is presence in a nut shell. Here and Now. That simple. There’s not much to think about for that, and thats exactly the point. Presence is the ability to be fully in the Here and Now with all of your consciousness. Look around you and you will see that anyone who is really good at anything has sharpened this ability to a razor’s edge. Any read or listen to any interview with any pro athlete, great artist, musician, successful business person, or guy who’s great with women. When asked what they think about when they do what they do, most will say “nothing”. They are fully conscious in the moment. They direct all their resources to the only time frame they have any precedence in, Now.
The present is the only timeframe in which any thing happens. All your decisions are made in the present moment, all actions are taken in the present moment, and all results occur in the present moment. We only have so much mental compactly, meaning we can only focus on and deal with so much at one time. If are thinking about the past or future, you are directing you attention, and therefore mental energy to time frames that you have no direct control over. You can’t change what has already happened, and you can’t respond to anything before it happens. Trying to do so is a wast of your resources.
Having your head unconsciously stuck in the past is the source of the pains of regret, guilt, and self reprimand. When you think about what was and wish you could change it, you frustrate yourself because there is nothing you can do about it. This wastes your energy and makes you feel like shit. All negative emotions and negative states of mind are products of the past. “This Happened, therefore Now I feel this way.” In actually this does not need to happen. The past has no real control over your current state. You give it control through memories. The past does not effect your emotions, it is those memories of the past that effect them. By placing your attention in the present you revoke the past’s control over your current state. Reflex, learn from the past, don’t dwell, than let it go, it’s no longer real.
When your head is stuck in the future which is another timeframe that you have no control over you lose attention to the present moment, you become attached to outcomes that you perceive Should happen, and lose the flexibility needed to deal with what Is happening. Fear and anxiety is the product of creating mental pictures of undesirable situations of what might happen at some point in the future. In the present moment, there is no way to form the concept of fear, worry or anxiety. Paralyzing over analysis is when you create a map of the future that is so rigid that that no conscious action can guarantee it. When you are overanalyzing you are to busy trying to control the future and not placing your attention on the moment at hand. This limits your inner creativity that only exists in the present moment. The result is you don’t act with proper timing that only come when you roll with the moment. You act robotic and unnatural. The future can serve as a target for goals, but you can’t program the exact path of an arrow before you fire it.
How do we cultivate presence? Meditation is a great way to sharpen our presence. Look up zen meditation techniques for a great jumping off point, but you can meditate while doing anything. The still and silent form of meditation is just one kind, and is a great way to get a feel for it, but once you get the hang of it you can meditate while doing anything. You can meditate while you eat, meditate while you read, while you run, lift weight, interact with others, and party it up at the club, whatever. The only thing that is needed for meditation is your full attention on Here, and Now. Do what ever you do with 100% of your consciousness and you are meditating. Now what exactly makes you lose presence? Do you ever here that little voice in your head? Im sure you do, but you probably assume that that is just a part of you that is inevitable. That voice is your Egoic mind. It can’t function in the present moment, so when you hear that voice it is pulling your covering up your consciousness in the moment. Next time you here that voice take notice of it. The you that notices it is your consciousness. Your consciousness and and Egoic mind can exist at the same time, so the moment that you take notice of it, it shuts off. Guess what? Now you are conscious and present in the moment. You are in control of all your resources and you will be happy. This is a simplification of philosophies of Eckhart Tolle. I suggest that you read his books “The power of Now” and “A New Earth”. Also watch the Guy Richie movie Revolver, which makes the concepts a little clearer by letting you visually see this happen.
So in review, your assignments are to learn some meditation techniques and use them, observe the Egoic mind, pick up one of Tolle’s books (I personally think New earth is a little easier to understand), and Watch Revolver.
Have fun being present.