• June 13, 2019

    I am sure you know this, but I will say it anyway. There is a great difference between entering the present and being present. But perhaps this is a distinction that is easy to lose?

    From my perspective, entering the present is perhaps the most important transition that I can make of my own will. I voluntarily bring attention into my sensations and surroundings. I enter present time…not the illusory future or the invented past where I tend to spend most of my energy. I sacrifice thinking about the things that are not part of my immediate experience.

    Now, you may disagree that this transition is an action of my will. Perhaps I am surprised by something beautiful, a sound, a word, a gesture that draws me into the present. True, but even then, I agree to be drawn or the drawing quickly passes.

    But who enters the present? Why me, of course. I have identities, history, future engagements, places to go and people to meet, but I have temporarily brought attention out of them and into the present. Nonetheless, these realities inevitably shape and limit the present that I engage with. And if I react to incoming stimulus, my reactions will likely be my standard, habitual reactions.

    If my presence should happen to become present in the present, something very different occurs. I am no longer me. The presence of my presence has entered the present and I am temporarily unidentified. This immediately opens up space for seeing and responding differently. Past and future still exist but they are not me, they can be present in an expanded Present Moment without determining my state. What is it that makes the invocation of presence into the present possible? In my experience, it is an act of submission, of giving myself up.

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