Monday, November 7, 2011

Practicing Presence

I decided to re-read a book called THE POWER OF NOW by Eckhart Tolle because the book sat on my desk next to my bed for some time and my eyes and thoughts kept being drawn to the book. For some reason, something inside of me was yearning to understand a message that the book would give. I decided to heed the prompting, pick up the book and read.

From the very moment that I opened the book my heart was open to understanding. Although I had read the book over a year and a half ago, there was use for whatever the book had to offer NOW. As I read through the pages, and mind you, I'm only at 40 some pages in with allot more to go, I began to receive understanding in a way that I had not when I first read the book, as it relates to the mind.
The mind is the ego, seeking to survive by bombarding us with thoughts of either the past or the future, and therefore if we're not watchful and not careful, we are caught in a vicious cycle of constantly thinking thoughts that are either related to our past or our future and NEVER the present.
As I mulled over this enormous seed which had just been planted, I found it almost incomprehensible that this is what we as people are doing for most of our lives, most of our days, most of our minutes. Thinking only in terms of a past tense or a future tense, constantly. And so, I began to watch my thoughts as the book instructed.

For two days or 48 hours and counting, I have been paying careful attention to what I am thinking. Now, I am sure that some thoughts have escaped me because we have so many in a given day, hour or moment but as I witnessed my thoughts, I noticed that what I had just learned was absolutely correct. Every thought I was thinking, whether contemplating how I could change my bedroom around, to what my kids were going to wear tomorrow, to possibly winning the lottery, was either a past tense or future tense thought and to be quite honest, to think about what a present tense thought even means seems quite foreign until you practice doing it for a while.

In order to be present, it seems that the characteristics or whatever adjective you would assign to whatever it is your looking at or dealing with, would be the easiest way to start practicing being present. For example, I am typing this article right now and I don't really even know what the next words are that I am going to type, yet it is easier for me to simply be present by paying attention to the fact that the keys of the keyboard are black and hard with white letters, and that I am able to rest my palms on the pull-out armrest, rather than to try to come up with what I am going to say next.
The ability to function without much contemplation, appears to be a secondary affect to being present, meaning, I am just as capable of, if not more so, of performing a function in a way that I may not have been able to perform it otherwise, with the point being that my thoughts are not wondering into the past or the future while I am doing what I am doing. I found also that I smile more as I describe in my mind, the present tense sensation that comes with hearing a bird chirp right while it's happening or recognizing how soft my pillow is as I'm laying on it or even recognizing the way my fingers look as I'm typing.

These present tense thoughts may seem small and insignificant as it relates to most of the thoughts we are willing to spend our time thinking about, yet because we are caught up in a cycle that we are unaware of, we perceive that we can't, don't, or won't do anything about what we are mulling over. We are actually wasting precious time in the past tense or future tense of these thoughts so ceaselessly that we have ceased to exist at all in the present.

I ask the reader of this article to utilize the technique that I have stated and practice watching your own thoughts so that you too can understand what it means to be present and to be watchful of your thinking.

I believe this will be one of the most important undertakings you will ever attempt if you approach it with the seriousness and tenacity it deserves.

I wish you an ever present life.

Welcome to the path of Self Awareness.

Lisa Scott/Bachelor of Metaphysical Counseling
Motivational Coach/Life Coach

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