How often are you truly present?

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GreenTea
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How often are you truly present?

Post by GreenTea » Thu May 29, 2008 11:31 am

It might be tempting to criticize the wording of this question, (i.e. you can only be present now, not often, etc.) but I hope you guys will understand what I'm asking and share your experiences and insight.

Eckhart Tolle's teachings have helped me immensely and I continue to learn, or unlearn, from them. More and more I catch myself resisting the present moment--this is good in one sense, because before I wasn't even aware that I was in resistance. But honestly, I do sometimes still feel frustrated that I'm not consciously one with the present moment "more often". I know intellectually that feeling frustrated or disapointed in myself for this is a trap of the ego and that I need to bring acceptance to it--sometimes I am successful in doing that, sometimes not.

Can anyone relate to this? Is being truly present ever challenging for you? Or are you living completely unidentified with the stream of thinking?

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Webwanderer
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Re: How often are you truly present?

Post by Webwanderer » Thu May 29, 2008 1:36 pm

GreenTea wrote: Can anyone relate to this? Is being truly present ever challenging for you? Or are you living completely unidentified with the stream of thinking?
For me it's an on again off again thing all day. Every morning an evening I dedicate some time to specifically to sitting in clear presense allowing this natural state to deepen. Then during my day, I return to presence multiple times (too many to count) whenever I find myself engaged in a thought story. But I never beat myself up or allow frustration to enter into the equation for losing presence. I learned long ago that to do so only fuels the ego identity. Just gently return to presence with gratitude for the recognition at every opportunity.

WW

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Re: How often are you truly present?

Post by Sighclone » Thu May 29, 2008 9:06 pm

GT -

I hate to sound like an echo voice, but I do exactly what WW does, and add a few moments before sleep of pure present-awareness. I can go up to an hour without much thought intrusion. A while ago, ten minutes was a strain...it gets easier.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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Re: How often are you truly present?

Post by innerhike » Fri May 30, 2008 12:04 am

Contrary to the what the school of "sudden enlightenment" claims, I am a believer in gradual enlightenment.

I am shown deeper levels of letting go that I am yet to do, deeper levels of stupidity and resistance that are lodged in me, with every passing day.

It all depends on how earnest and sincere and deeply desiring one is to stabilize in PEACE/NOW.

The more resistance I uncover, the more darkness, the more unconsciousness I see in myself, the better off I am.

I cannot deal with what I choose to ignore.

The first moment that you are truly/fully present, your consciousness levels increases by many thousands of points.

From that point on there will be many plateaus, valleys and cliffs in your journey. But always stay dedicated to that which helps you and you will know what to do.

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Re: How often are you truly present?

Post by GreenTea » Sat May 31, 2008 3:23 am

Webwanderer, Andy, and Innerhike, Thank You very much for your responses--it is so helpful to me to hear about other people's experiences with this.

After posting this question I was re-reading some parts of PON, mostly about inner body awareness. I know (intellectually anyway) about inner body awareness but it seems like every time I reread or relisten to Tolle, what he writes/talks about sinks in at a deeper level. It is amazing.

I know all of you have already read it, but this section in particular was really helpful to me. I had stopped making it a habit to feel my inner body, and this was the perfect reminder of how crucial it can be to staying present.
The key is to be in a state of permanent connectedness with your inner body--to feel it at all times. This will rapidly deepen and transform your life. The more consciousness you direct into the inner body, the higher its vibrational frequency becomes, much like a light that grows brighter as you turn up the dimmer switch and so increase the flow of electricity. At this higher level negativity cannot affect you anymore, and you tend to attract new circumstances that reflect this higher frequency.

If you keep your attention in the body as much as possible, you will be anchored in the Now. You won't lose yourself in the external world, and you won't lose yourself in your mind. Thoughts and emotions, fears and desires, may still be there to some extent, but they won't take you over.

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Sighclone
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Re: How often are you truly present?

Post by Sighclone » Sat May 31, 2008 6:46 am

Thanks, GT!! Chapter 6 of PON is all about the inner body and its power to calm us...

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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Re: How often are you truly present?

Post by gapeaches » Sun Jun 15, 2008 4:00 am

It's still an effort for me. I find myself going in and out of remaining present in my life. I find it easier when I'm alone...then my kids will come home and complain that there's "nothing to eat" after I've just gone grocery shopping and I'll feel my heart start pounding and my anger rising and before I can stop myself, I'll snap at them. Or, I'll get in my car and some jerk will try to cut in front of me from a TURNING LANE and I'll let out a string of obscenities a mile long. I have not developed the knack of accepting annoying things without blowing up yet.

So to answer your question, when I am alone, I can stay present and feel peace quite a bit but as soon as other human beings enter the picture (quite often), all that peace flies out the window.

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Re: How often are you truly present?

Post by Sighclone » Sun Jun 15, 2008 10:30 am

Here is what may seem to be an insipid, off the cuff and trivial answer, but isn't: Take a deep nasal breath and count to ten, slowly.

That actually does three things: 1) it takes your attention off of the perceived "problem", 2) it puts another thought in your mind (feelings come from thoughts) and 3) the vagus nerve lies close to the nasal passage...when you breathe deeply as in yoga asanas, it introduces a calming sensation...to your brain.

Namaste, Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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Re: How often are you truly present?

Post by Webwanderer » Sun Jun 15, 2008 4:27 pm

Hi gapeaches, welcome to the forum.
gapeaches wrote:t's still an effort for me. I find myself going in and out of remaining present in my life. I find it easier when I'm alone...then my kids will come home and complain that there's "nothing to eat" after I've just gone grocery shopping and I'll feel my heart start pounding and my anger rising and before I can stop myself, I'll snap at them. Or, I'll get in my car and some jerk will try to cut in front of me from a TURNING LANE and I'll let out a string of obscenities a mile long. I have not developed the knack of accepting annoying things without blowing up yet.
Consider this useful little exercise. Pick a day (like today - or tomorrow if it's late) and go out looking for trouble. I'm serious. It is a lot more effective to look for impending trouble and prepare for it than to live the day lost in thought and constantly be taken by surprize.

If you have children then they are prime real estate for pushing your ego buttons. When you know they're going to be coming home get prepared. But the world is filled with events that trigger our emotions, so opportunities for open experience abound throughout the day. The point of this exercise is not to avoid painbody eruptions, but to hunt them down and really feel the energies as they flow out.

Do not try to justify their presence with rightious judgments (of course you're right in feeling anger, we're always right when we feel anger :lol: ), that's what egos do. Just seek to recognize a painbody event in progress. The point is to observe the experience from a clear and present perspective that is free of the thoughts that cause us to identify with thinking. There is a fundamental difference between "I am angry" and "I feel anger". One is an identifier, the other a recognition. But even this distinction is too wordy and is useful only in removing identity from experience. Remove all discriptions from an emotional event and sense it's texture from a perspective of open interest.

There is a richness in all of life's energies, but what turns them into persistant painbodies is our judgment of their wrongness and our subsequent resistance to the experience. This exercise is to reorganize, or reaquaint ourselves, with ligitament conditions as they unfold in our life. The conditions in our lives is not a matter of right and wrong, but of cause and effect. Painbodies, in large part are the storehouse of our judgments/beliefs in right and wrong - not just about worldview issues but also about whether our children "should" appreciate what we do for them.

What ever happens in your life, there is a far deeper understanding that is found as events flow through silent and attentive clarity, than through analytical deductions of an emotionally charged mind. Look for opportunities to get reaquainted with the painful energies that take over your mind during painbody eruptions. If you are willing to experience the the energy without engaging in reactive thought, you can change the event from outburst to spacious response.

WW

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Re: How often are you truly present?

Post by HermitLoon » Sun Jun 15, 2008 5:45 pm

"It is what it is" :|
"This, too, will pass" :|
:)
Peace

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Re: How often are you truly present?

Post by weichen » Tue Jun 17, 2008 1:14 am

How often are you truly present?

Maybe you could change the question to "How often space is present?", or "How often space is present around thinking stream?", because when Tolle say "Be present", IMO, he refers to "space is present", "watcher is on", "awareness itself is there". I try to replace the ambigous word "I", "You" with something more specific, then the simple English word "present" is clear as the opposite of the English word "absent", rather than some mysterious meaning.



Since awareness IS sensory awareness, so the degree of presence can be translated to "scope of sensory awareness". For example when you expand your visual sensory scope, i.e. to include areas in the peripheral, see a big picture, then you are deepening the presence.

During Tolle's speech, he often interrupt his speech and take a few seconds to look at the ceiling. This behavior expands his sensory awareness, to see more inside the auditorium. He does not want to see the details on the ceiling, but he only wants to expand his scope of awareness. IMO, this is what Tolle mean: the highest quality of teaching: teaching in presence. (i.e. perform the teaching in the presence of high scope of sensory awareness, which coincides with reduced thinking stream)

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Re: How often are you truly present?

Post by Onceler » Tue Jun 17, 2008 2:17 am

I really like all the replies to this topic and can see truth in each one. I wake up in the morning and spend about an hour in silence--coffee first, though. I often read a little Tolle or Byron Katie, do some breathing, do some inquiry into my thinking per Katie, etc. After about 1/2 hour I am into some deeper silence and my thoughts slow down. Sometimes I am just "gone" and my body expands with my conciousness.

This exercise helps me come back to presence throughout the day. If I don't do the morning routine I often find it harder to be present--which, of course, is also a learning experience and not a "bad" thing. My time in presence varies from day to day. I often examine my thoughts for truthfulness throughout the day rather than actively seek presence in another way. If I am not working and just able to drift, my time in presence increases greatly.

I have found that time increases in presence with the passage of time, so I agree with Innerhike in this.

Gapeaches, those pain body attacks will diminish over time as well. However, just when I think I am over anger, pain, etc....I get a necessary wake up call. They are useful in clearing out extraneous garbage.
Be present, be pleasant.

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Re: How often are you truly present?

Post by D'ray » Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:48 pm

Hey, don't judge me on how often I am present! ;)
There's no "I" to become enlightened. The "I" can have spiritual experiences.

DON'T resist the RESISTANCE! The resistance is there. Walk into it. Feel it. Become one with it.

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