Presence and Being Busy

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Presence and Being Busy

Postby barbarasher » Fri May 27, 2005 2:18 pm

Do you think that it is possible to have an extremely full/busy life filled with many activities, and interactions with many kinds of people and still be present.

Or does a state of presence require a significant or a certain amount of daily down or quiet time?
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Postby Triple T » Fri May 27, 2005 6:45 pm

Barbara,

For me, the noise of the mind can be just as loud if not louder when I am alone in my thoughts - no pun intended - as when I am interacting with others. One aspect of presence is the absense of noise, for me anyway.
Are you refering to a particular situation?
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Postby barbarasher » Fri May 27, 2005 10:04 pm

I identify completely with what you say. Our thoughts make up such a large part of how we experience the world.

I was referring to the fact that I am thinking less, and feeling more peaceful and a slightly less busy.

Also, my youngest daughter went to sleep at her friend and I thought (turned out I didn't) I had two hours Friday morning (we don't work here on that day), with no plans or rushing to do.

I was wondering if this peace, which has been coming on gradually over a long period of time ( I expect because of the internal work that I do), and the fact that I may have my schedule more under control are connected.

When you say "absence of noise" do you mean internal noise or external?
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Re: Presence and Being Busy

Postby kiki » Sat May 28, 2005 12:14 am

'Do you think that it is possible to have an extremely full/busy life filled with many activities, and interactions with many kinds of people and still be present.'

Of course.

'Or does a state of presence require a significant or a certain amount of daily down or quiet time?'

When one is first exposed to the idea of presence many may feel it helpful to set aside some time for becoming familiar with just what presence is. After a while, presence becomes so familiar that it is consciously maintained during activities as well. 'Outside' busy-ness continues as before while there is silence/stillness 'inside'. At some point you will realize there is no outside or inside - just 'this'.

Individual expressions of form may or may not continue with periods of 'down' time expressly for presence. But to impose 'requirements' for presence is to submit to an egoic viewpoint; there are no requirements for presence is always here. Do what feels natural and spontaneous.

'Personally,' I feel presence during activity of all sort, yet 'I' continue to sit quietly each day doing absolutely nothing because I find it enjoyable and not because of any need. Perhaps it's a residual effect of so many years of meditation.

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Postby Triple T » Sat May 28, 2005 2:19 am

barbarasher wrote:When you say "absence of noise" do you mean internal noise or external?


Very much the internal variety. Although I get what Kiki is saying too - that presence is always there. I just seem to be more aware of the noise level sometimes and then really enjoy the non-noise when I can send my attention into the body. The technique Eckhart talks about in Flowering of Human Consciousness where you close your eyes and ask your mind is my hand really there - that works for me because I can feel the energy buzzing in my hand. Sometimes I can feel it moving deeper into my body.
As soon as I can do that its as if there is an energy shift and more peace, less stress, fewer thoughts are swirling about.
I have tried this when alone but not in a busy interaction with others.
It sounds as if the momentum of feeling presence is becoming stronger for you Barbara.

Your initial question made me wonder and I'm glad that it was Kiki that responded because I wanted to ask you - is there what Eckhart calls a momentum? It appears to me that as Barbara continues to practice being present and it becomes a more conscious or automatic experience for her - is that because of a momentum, an arising of consciousness.
Thich Nhat Hanh uses a phrase - habit energy which is the habit of reacting for years and actually generations a certain way to certain stimuli.
For example the habit energy of anger that flares up when as he puts it - someone waters the seed of anger within me. The word he uses is mindfulness instead of being present. The energy of mindfulness when cultivated will absorb the energy of anger and slowly lessen its intensity.
Is that what is being described here by Barbara - a momentum, an arising that evolves because of her desire to be more present?

For me, it seems that my work environment is where I continue to be less present. Its as if I am asleep all day until I get in my car and remember - Oh I can be present now. Is that habit? Am I more in the habit of being present while driving than when working?
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Postby barbarasher » Sat May 28, 2005 9:01 am

Thich Nhat Hanh uses a phrase - habit energy which is the habit of reacting for years and actually generations a certain way to certain stimuli.


The Kabala talks about creating new habits by doing things 70 times. I have found this helpful in some things, like changing my eating habits and reducing my pepsi-max addiction.

I am now using it to stop judging and labeling people so much and so automatically when they speak (mostly I did/do it in my mind, and only sometimes out loud).

And to stop automatically interpreting everything they say as having to do with me. Most of what people say has to do with them. This way, I feel kinder towards them, which creates a new dynamic between us, and a less victimized me, since they react as they do because of them and not everything needs to be interpreted as how it affects me or with an assumption of bad intentions.

Triple-T. This may be helpful to you in the "seeds of anger" situations you mentioned. It's mostly about them, when they talk. It seems a little bit like magic, but when I am more present when listening to them, the interaction changes from their side too.


Mostly I am using this repeated habit development to stop thinking and be more present, which is the most important change. It is such a wonderful thing. I am just at the beginning of this, but see the beauty. Wow!


Triple-T, regarding your comment " For me, it seems that my work environment is where I continue to be less present.".

Yes, I can identify with that. I think that the work environment and the people there especially has so much to do with ego. At work, there is a lot of jockeying for position, a lot of interaction with new people who are all there to succeed and get ahead and a lot of opinions and ideas and someone deciding what is actually going to take precedence. Also, many times work may be a place where we have the least control over our environment and the people who are there. I own my work place, but still…

I know that people feel my "being" when I interact with them even if I am trying to act differently. I will give an example to clarify this point:

In my profession, technical writing, I train the people who work for me. I hire for ability and train for skill. It is a hard profession and requires a lot of discipline. I select people who are intelligent, have succeeded in their previous profession and have a trainable personality and are very motivated.

But, there are a million skills I have to teach and a million things that it seems to me that everyone should know, but I know from experience that they don't. I review and correct their work so that they can see the changes, and then I call them in to verbally go over the lessons to be learned. Even though I make up my mind to be as nice and constructive and encouraging as I can. Even though my mind is telling me to make sure I am nice, and I give compliments and encouragement first, and even though I am telling myself to arrange my facial features in a pleasant expression, my being/mind was/is many times saying: "oh boy, can't anyone do anything right?, why do I have to teach the same thing over and over?, isn't this a basic thing that they should know?, didn't I tell them this last time?". When my being is like that, then the vibe I give is THAT, no matter how I try to cover it. I am changing my being to more loving, compassionate and sympathetic in order to act differently, and get a different reaction from them. If they feel better about the interaction, it will re-enforce the positive energy.

I think if you and I can be more present at work, it would be a significant step and an opening for achieving presence in all else.


I am also very present when driving, since it is such a controlled, encapsulated and quiet environment. Never mind what is going on outside the car (traffic), I am listening to my CDs, or looking at the trees or sky (when the car is stopped). I love that time.


Kiki,

I always look forward to your answers (as I do now). They are so profound. I respect you a lot and am so glad that the answer that you gave is "yes, presence can be brought to everything we do".
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Postby Triple T » Sat May 28, 2005 2:52 pm

Thank you for such a great example :!:
That internal split between what you intend and what is actually running through the mind is VERY familiar.
The word alchemy comes to mind in all of this.
The magic and delight that you speak of in relating to others seems to happen when there is less of the tyrannical little I in the forefront.
This creating new habits you speak of - is that actually opening a door for spirit to come in and transform old habits with results you could have never imagined? Its as if you decide to reprogram the way you interact with others and then spirit takes that willingness and up blooms a whole new flower, a whole new expression, a new attitude that makes you want to jump outside of your body to see who it is that is saying and feeling these things.
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Postby barbarasher » Sat May 28, 2005 7:04 pm

Yes, well said. Thank you
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Re: Presence and Being Busy

Postby quitesane » Tue May 31, 2005 2:06 pm

barbarasher wrote:Do you think that it is possible to have an extremely full/busy life filled with many activities, and interactions with many kinds of people and still be present.


By way of a generic reply, yes. For you, specifically, I don't know.

barbarasher wrote:Or does a state of presence require a significant or a certain amount of daily down or quiet time?


Not in absolutes. There are no "pre-requisites" to being present.

Perhaps the arising of the question in you is more indicative of the answer than any "answer". Is the question pointing to something you already know or feel? Inquire within.
Patrick

"Whatever works." - Tolle
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Postby heidi » Tue May 31, 2005 2:49 pm

Thanks for a great topic that seems to have taken a stroll through positive spiritual practice :) Barbara and all, I really appreciate everything that's been written here. I have nothing to add except , Thank you :)
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