• June 12, 2023

    Being present in the present is the first step in sobriety and the path of re-membering.

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  • June 3, 2023

    To be present is to step out of personality and recollect being in the field of impartial attention.

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  • June 1, 2023

    To be present is more than to be in the present.

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  • August 6, 2022

    When I invoke presence, I pivot, I turn towards the real world.

    What is the real world? It is easier to describe what it is not. It is not the world of my personality, the world of the things I want, my anxieties or ambitions, my worries and fears, my roles in life. Being present, other things can enter, the possibility of feeling, of open perception, an objective view. My state is a prayer. I stand at the doorway.

    Being present does not last long. The reverberations of the machine…the body and mind…continue and pull me back into habitual living. The life of the world beckons. How to remain in the real world? We are advised to waken the machine. What does this mean? In the waking state, body and mind have no negative emotion…no emotion that drains my energy down and out. (Negative in the electrical sense, as much true of euphoria as anger.) I am translucent. I have energy. I am an energy transformation device converting sensation to consciousness and consciousness to love. I enter the real world.

    You may think you can ‘do’ this…become present, waken the machine, join the work. Perhaps you can release your personality for a moment and call your presence to be. To waken, much more is required. Your attention must be able to hold, note every flutter of habitual sensation, thought and emotion and release them as they arise. With no discharge, you fill with energy and higher functioning is possible. This is exaltation.

    Some teachers of the work state the rules of procedure for waking the machine. You cannot rely on them. The rules come after the experience. They become clear when you have travelled the path. You cannot begin with a view of the end point. You struggle to observe self. You see that all higher states are gifts. You slowly fall in love with the simple, with nature, with smiles and small gestures.

    Trying to awaken is like trying to put hay through the wrong end of the elephant. One day, your experiences will begin to waken you, when you have stopped your pathetic need to react to everything habitually and your ambitions fall away. Then you can work.

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  • December 12, 2021

    In prayer, or when I meditate, my mind wanders incessantly and I have to keep bringing it back.

    This is the human experience. The ordinary mind is continuously turning over with mostly meaningless content. I’m not aware of it during the day because my activities and body sensations are dominant. Ordinary life is grounding. When I am tired or sleeping, the ongoing mental content becomes more evident. It’s a kind of ongoing ‘subvocalization’ or commentary often entirely disconnected from my life. I call it the ‘backdrop’. It’s a whole fantasy dream world exposed when I become inactive.

    This backdrop can be exposed in meditation or prayer.

    The first remedy is always to place attention on sensation. Voluntary attention cuts the backdrop’s power cord.

    But there is more. We are three part beings…body, psyche (thought and emotion) and presence. The psyche is in disorder so I cannot remain in the present. I am therefore vulnerable to being drawn into the backdrop. Entering the present with voluntary attention on sensation is a partial remedy. A further remedy is to encounter my timeless identity, the true ‘I’ that is found through the doorway of presence, where I meet myself as I always was. My original face before time began.

    Prayer can enable you to meet your real self. The One who is remembered in prayer enables me to remember myself. I am called to my true identity, as I was created in the beginning. When this happens, you won’t be satisfied to live in the unstable, inexhaustible churning of the psyche. You will sense that something is missing.

    Is this what it means to be present?

    It fulfills presence. I can ask to be present in the present and dis-identify from my personality. That’s stepping up to the threshold. Someone or something calls me through to the other side where I am who I always was. I am re-membered. It may make you uncomfortable to think of this someone as God but this greater presence needs no name.

    How do I know if I am having the experience of my original face?

    This is hard to express in words but I’ll try. There is a deep feeling of familiarity with myself that is wordless and timeless…a feeling that is direct, not mediated or derived from something else. The state recognizes itself. There is a sensation as if my face is shining. And there is a sense of being seen, as if I am facing in the right direction for an intimate meeting with an honored guest. There is nothing grim or forced. It’s a feeling of perfect security as if I have come home.

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  • 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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