Presence is not a practice, it’s who you are. You are the consciousness or presence that is aware of every thing that arises in the Now. In other words, you “are” the field of Now in which all forms (including your body) arises and animates. When you are lost in mind identification it just means that you are deriving your sense of “self” from the mind’s idea about who you are.
The mind doesn’t know who you are, but it keeps trying to judge you and label you, because that’s what minds do. Minds constantly try to “understand” and label everything that they encounter. If you believe your mind’s idea about the reality, and about you, it’s called “delusion”. When you let go of believing your mind, and just stay as the “presence” that you are, you start waking up to your own truth. There are a few practices that can be taken up for a while to get a sense of your “presence”, I have cited them below. Once presence becomes awakened in you and embodies you, there won’t be any need for practices, but it usually takes a few months before this happens.
Watch without interpreting – This practice is also called “pure perception”. All you need to do is “watch” with your awareness without labeling the images with your mind. You will notice that the mind is constantly labeling the thoughts, visuals, senses and feelings that arise in your awareness. This practice helps you “break” this pattern of the mind and increases the power of your awareness. Just be aware, but don’t label or interpret anything – let the thoughts be, let the images be, let the feelings be – don’t judge or label anything. Just stay as pure awareness or attention.
Be one with the stillness of nature – Take a walk into the nature, or just observe a tree in your backyard, see how calm and still everything in nature is. Even the strong movements, like the winds, water currents and tornadoes, have a sense of stillness in them if you can sense it. Everything in nature helps you get in touch with your own depth. Just observing the vast skies can instill a deep sense of stillness in you because it helps you get in touch with the vast depth within you. Being still with a flower, or a tree, can awaken the realization of how “deep” and still you are.
Get to know a “feeling” deeply – The usual tendency of the mind is just “label” a feeling and judge it. For example, as soon as a feeling of heaviness arises in your body the mind may label it as “sadness” or boredom or fear, and then judge it as a bad feeling (and try to get rid of it). However, if you ignore the mind’s labels and just be “present” with the feeling, it opens the door to a great freedom.
Just be fully aware of the feeling, know it completely for what is – see how the feeling moves through your body, get to know its texture, its body and see if you can sense its boundaries. Awareness does not label anything, it just stays aware and anything that is touched by pure awareness is always transformed into the nature of awareness which is love, joy and peace.
Be aware of your energy field – Sense the aliveness in your body, be aware of what your body is going through at this moment. Can you feel the animation in the body? Can you sense that your body is mostly just “space” interspersed with movement of energy? When you become deeply aware of the energy field of your body, you also realize how “spacious” you really are. The mind imagines that you are a “solid” being, but in truth who you are is highly spacious, you are more like air than a body.
Allow presence to deepen in you – If you simply stay with these practices for a while (say a few months) there will be a radical shift in the power of your awareness. The more the light of awareness that shines in you the more inner transformation that it will bring forth. The light of awareness has the capacity to transmute all the negativity in you, and get you rooted in a vibration of love, peace and joy. Allow the light of awareness to become brighter and brighter until it takes over your entire being. Pure awareness is the truth of who you are, and being rooted it keeps you rooted in life.
Initially there is a duality, in that there is a “you” which is trying to be “Aware”. But as awareness starts deeping, and awakening, in you, there will come a time when you realize that you are the awareness, in other words “awareness” knows itself as awareness – this is self-realization. The practice of being present is simply a tool to awaken this realization in you. After that there will just be a sense of natural movement, awareness starts moving you and you become aligned with the movement of life.
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