Being Present – October 1 2018

Being Present – October 1 2018

Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
Mother Teresa
 
The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.
Thich Nhat Hanh,
Peace Is Every Step: 
The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
 
What do we mean when we ask ourselves to be present? Can we actually be anywhere but in the present? Not really. We always are present in both senses of that word: in the here and now. But in our mind we can dwell in the past or in some version or versions of the future. So when we say we wish to be present, we are speaking about our mind and about having our mind in the same time/space as our body.
 
To be anywhere other than here and now in this moment is to be in speculation. So in our practice we say, simply, stay out of speculation. Get present. Come to your senses. Literally. What are my senses telling me right now, in this moment?
  • What am I seeing? The colors, the shapes, the forms, the shadow and light. Movement.
  • What am I hearing? The hum of the air conditioner, murmured conversations from the hall, distant traffic.
  • What am I smelling? Someone’s cologne, the incense from today’s puja, the dog.
  • What am I tasting? Toothpaste, tea, cracker, banana.
  • What am I feeling? My bottom against the chair, the shirt on the skin of my arms, one leg crossed over the other, the breeze on my cheek.
Come to your senses. It takes all of about half a minute. And then I am here and now. Completely.
 
We get present to the information of our senses. As often as we need to. Until living in our senses (rather than in our speculating mind) becomes our new habit.
 
There is a ‘manifestation teacher,’ Brent Phillips, who says in one of his courses that, for purposes of manifestation and being able to surrender attachment to results, all of the following ideas are synonymous with the idea of being present:
  1. Releasing attachment to results
  2. Presence
  3. Being in the now
  4. Being in your body
  5. Getting out of your head
  6. Living in the moment
  7. Surrendering
  8. Being in the flow of life
  9. Having present moment awareness
Whichever idea works at a given time to help us let go of speculation and be present with ourselves. As we know from the Veda, speculation leads only to suffering. Conversely, being in the eternal now brings us into alignment with the movement of the laws of nature, and allows us the opportunity to feel the bliss that is our birthright; and it gives us the possibility of connecting with the Divine. For to the Divine, to God if you will, everything is present moment awareness. Everything is right here and right now. It would follow then that for me to be in contact with the Divine, I would have to be here and now as well.
 
Today I will set a timer on my phone for every 30 minutes, and when it chimes, I will become present–walking through my five senses, letting go of speculation, taking a breath, being here, now.
Red and Green, Soho, New York
All original material copyright © 2018 Jeff Kober