Being present means accepting whatever is happening right now and just staying with it as long as it lasts.
If we stop to think for a moment how much time we spend pushing away the things that we don't want to deal with, trying to change things, trying to feel better, it is amazing how much time and energy we actually spend trying to avoid whatever is happening right now.
A little shift in perspective here can be very revealing. If we turn the 'camera' of our mind around and take a selfie, just as we are now and if we are prepared to stand by what is reflected back to us, without trying to manipulate the image in any way, then we are taking our first little baby steps in 'owning' this present moment.
If true freedom is about letting go of our concepts, then imagine the feelings that will flood us when we begin to just start 'living our lives.' This means living ALL of what ever comes our way, not trying to deflect what is not wanted or invite what is. Not trying to manipulate the moment in order to change an outcome, not trying to change how we are, by replacing it with an image of what we 'think' we are.
Usually, depending on our innate tenancies, the minute we begin to feel the slightest twinge of discomfort our habit is to 'reach for something.' Be it the phone, the TV, something to eat, a cigarette.
Anything that will distract us from what is actually happening.
Its true isn't it? We don't even realise that we do this constantly. Yet we are all, almost obsessively, busy with nonsense most of the time. When we are already distracted and our attention drawn elsewhere we are fine. The moment a space opens up before us we shut it off by turning our attention elsewhere. Why are we afraid?
We don't know how to just be any more. Our modern age has robbed us of 'ourselves.' Whether we are actually doing anything or not our attention is constantly engaged in the 'outer,' whatever that may be at any given moment.
This is a kind of modern epidemic of constant engagement and busy ness. The incessant inner 'noise' prevents our natural ability to just abide. It prevents us from just letting ourselves go and allowing whatever is arising in this present moment to wash over us without any resistance from our side, without any judgement, with out trying to change anything.
If it is painful, let it be. Taste the pain, know the pain. Accept the pain and above all look into 'who is feeling the pain.'
If it is fear, watch it rising up inside, let it come, look it in the face. Look at what and who it is that feels the fear.
If it is sadness, allow the tears to flow, don't judge yourself, don't try to interpret your moods, don't try to stop them. Simply recognise them.
Our inherent power arises from tasting all the moods and emotions that arise within us without accepting or rejecting. When we are familiar with the moods, we no longer fear them. At a certain point we come to see that what it is that is watching the moods is never in any way affected by what is going on. We begin to understand that we are not our moods, that moods arise and pass away, yet something is always present and aware.
Our thoughts operate in the same way, they are constantly coming and going, yet can we say that 'we are our thoughts?' Can we identify the thoughts as ours? Can we find the source of our thoughts?
As we begin to notice these fundamental aspects of the way that we live and express ourselves in this world we begin to give ourselves the opportunity to function in an entirely different way. Becoming conscious of our inherent reactions can empower us to begin to view things differently. Rather than blindly following our thoughts and emotions, we can begin to witness them. Remaining as the hub at the centre of the wheel and not the spokes spinning around and around endlessly we give ourselves the opportunity to connect with the inner core of silence which is always present and which is inseparable from who and what we REALLY are.
Discovering this is not discovering something new or created or in any way contrived. It has quite simply always been there, from the very beginning.
How many fish are aware of the water that they are swimming around in. They could not exist as fish, without it, yet do they notice it? In the same way, how many of us are aware of the air that surrounds us and fills our lungs; the air that makes it possible for us to breath and remain alive in our bodies? Yet if the air were not present, we all would very soon perish.
In the same way, who and what we really are is the very basis of our existence. Nothing is more vital than discovering this truth which is nearer to us than any other...
The true selfie enables us to dive beyond the image,
to dive within and remain,
just as we are in this moment,
reserving all of our attention for what is,
for what has always been and will always be.