1-30-22 The Depth of Presence


The Depth of Presence

How often am I not present? How often am I somewhere else, thinking of what was, what will be and how will others see me? How do I get what I want, and how do I avoid what I don’t want?

Examine your feelings and thoughts: watch how do they come and go. Don’t be attached to anything; just be mindful of whatever there is to see. This is the way to the truth. Be natural.

Everything you do in your life is a chance to practice. It is all truth.  When you do your chores, try to be mindful. If you are emptying the trash or cleaning a toilet, be mindful of exactly what you are doing. When you are speaking to someone, know the importance of the words you use. When you are listening, simply and completely listen. When you pick up a pen, smile, because you were fully present in picking up the pen. You felt the hand move, you saw the pen, you felt the fingers close on the coolness of the pen. You felt the weight and texture of the pen. Now write with the pen, experiencing the same presence with your writing.
Slow down a bit and be mindful of all things you do and think.

 Don’t feel you can only “practice” when you’re sitting in meditation; that is where we begin our training. The rest of life is where we utilize and sharpen our skills, in order to live fully in the reality and richness of life. When you get upset at traffic, forget something, others are not doing your bidding, or trip over something, take a deep breath and try being Present for the tension you are feeling. You may laugh when you realize you’re feeling entitled to a perfect, pain free, “everything should go my way” kind of life.

No matter how long or how hard you practice, wisdom will not arise from desire. So, let go. Watch the mind and body with awareness, but don’t try to achieve anything. What is healthy and what is unhealthy, what to accept and what to reject will be fairly obvious. Refrain from evil and do good, live simply keeping to basic needs, purify the mind. That is: be watchful of your mind and body in all postures, whether sitting, standing, walking or lying. Know yourself. Here we have the complete practice of the Buddha.

“Hold every moment sacred. Give each clarity and meaning, each the weight of thine awareness, each its true and due fulfillment.” —Thomas Mann

“Those who have not found their true wealth, which is the radiant joy of being and the deep, unshakable peace that comes with it, are beggars, even if they have great material wealth. They are looking outside for scraps of pleasure or fulfillment, for validation, security or love, while they have a treasure within that not only includes all those things, but is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer.”  Tao Te Ching

Presence is not about attaining or doing something; it’s about letting everything else go, and feeling the moment.  Knowing exactly what is happening. Awareness, in this sense, means “presently knowing.” We know what is happening in our present experience. We know when we wander, and we know when we are present. Awareness simply notices and reminds us to apply mindfulness. Do not hold being present too firmly or seriously; a sense of effort may be necessary at first, but presence should be open and joyful. A person with a sense of joy may confuse others, but they are not confused.

In my addiction, I was always trying to control and manipulate in order to get what I wanted, or to avoid what I did not want to face, to a rather absurd point. There was no sense of true presence or mindfulness in my life. Today I can still be consumed by what I want, do not want, or fear, which always takes me away from fully being in reality.  We are so, so, so used to being anywhere except the present that we need to have the discipline to continually bring ourselves back to the NOW.

Today, as I work with being aware, mindful, and present, I feel growth. I can sometimes feel a sense of not wanting to make the effort to be present, and that’s ok. But it is not ok to not work on growing up. I do not permit myself to continuously dwell away from the richness of NOW by the mental entertainment of “poor me,” or “if only,” or “let’s keep watching this mindless movie of many judgements and soap operas in my head

True presence is very powerful and very soft. It enriches and informs our lives. When we quit trying to get what we want, or avoid what we do not want, we will begin to receive what we really need. Learn to breathe deeply, relax, and feel the present moment, just as it is. Do this many times every day.

Our past difficulties have been based on a reward system, such as: “I do not want to be present for reality, so I will do a drug or a behavior to get the temporary ‘reward’ of avoidance.” But it’s never enough, so we need more and more. Eventually, we crash.
We can begin to train ourselves in a new reward system: that of a deeper, more positive, uplifted sense of being and presence.
When we are Present and authentic we can feel the dishonesty in any action and feel the reward of facing reality with gentleness and honesty for ourselves and others. We learn to not re-act, but to consider and act well. It becomes a way of LIFE.

Presence is the realm of not-knowing. Although it can be frightening to be this transparent, we now have the resources with which to welcome fear, to be present for it, and to transform it through our awareness. In this way we break the habitual patterns we’ve used to defend ourselves against feeling fear. This is how we heal

“Enlightenment is not separate from our everyday life. It is nothing special. With this kind of open and spacious awareness, we are complete, and this moment is complete. This kind of mind is like clouds in the sky, water flowing, a light wind; nothing obstructs it.” – Joan Halifax Rosh

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you
know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”  Dr.Seuss 

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.

Heart of Recovery website — fcheartofrecovery.com