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state of Presence comes several times a day. Any advice?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 2:12 pm
by NaturalDude
Hi,

While reading The Power of Now, I entered into a state of presence, of no-mind, of being more aware. I was exploring this state a little at first, was just entering it, and trying to see what is it. I observed my vision was more vibrant (with more depth, 3d like), and a state of peace, of awareness. Also, more intuitive actions.

At first I stayed in this state for like 20-30 min. But after several days, this states seem to come naturally to me several times a day, and last for up to an hour or more.

I don't really understand what these states are. Do you have experience with this? Can you give me any advice?

Re: state of Presence comes several times a day. Any advice?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:30 pm
by kiki
"Presence" is your natural state of being prior to the influence and conditioning of the mind. Realizing that you are this witnessing consciousness is called awakening to your true nature, your natural state of being, and abiding there is sometimes called "enlightenment".

For most people an initial awakening is often rather brief, but as one becomes more and more familiar with it its duration is extended. The "knack" of slipping into presence becomes habitual as one learns to recognize and then let go of those things which seem to obscure presence. If conditioned thinking, judgment and labeling what one experiences drop away presence shines. Eventually presence stabilizes during all activities, and can be felt even during thinking and the arising of emotions. The timing of when stabilization happens is unique to each person.

In other words, presence is always here because you/true nature/the natural state of being/consciousness is always here. If you stop to consider this deeply you'll realize that you must always be present to experience anything because YOU ARE THIS CONSCIOUSNESS, the very bedrock upon which all experience arises.

Put another way, your habitual and ordinary experience had become conditioned into you to the point where you thought and believed it to be your "normal" state of experience. Your mind had put you in a sort of prison called "me", a separate being, but in reality your true state is freedom - freedom from the mind constructed prison bars of the separate me. The fruit of living from one's true perspective of freedom is peace and stillness.

Awakening is the "prison break" from that conditioning, and leads to the realization that there IS no "me"; never has been and never will be, but there is an "apparent" me that seems to function in the world. The apparent me doesn't go away, but is seen for what it is, a temporary phenomenon that relies on mind because it's constructed out of thoughts. What YOU are, however, is not dependent upon mind/thought.

Re: state of Presence comes several times a day. Any advice?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:50 pm
by NaturalDude
Kiki, much thanks for your detailed answer!

I'd like to add also that while this state of presence comes to me, my mind seems to function as before. Only the vision is changed (more vibrant, 3d). At first, I entered this state by stilling my mind, first I was in no-mind, then thoughts appeared - they were slower, and I was conscious of them. But after a few days, I just enter this state automatically and it changes almost just my visual perception, but my mind is still like before.

I am not sure if that is the right way, and I find it strange that I enter this 'enhanced vision' state several times a day.

Re: state of Presence comes several times a day. Any advice?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 1:17 am
by kiki
I'd like to add also that while this state of presence comes to me, my mind seems to function as before.


Excellent!


Only the vision is changed (more vibrant, 3d).


In all likelihood this will be less noticeable as you become more used to presence. The enhanced "vibrancy" will become the norm, and therefore less noticeable.


At first, I entered this state by stilling my mind, first I was in no-mind, then thoughts appeared - they were slower, and I was conscious of them.


Very good. People are so used to constant mind-chatter that they don't even realize that something else is there, so when it abates presence stands out in sharp contrast. In this clear and alert natural state thoughts can be seen arising and dissolving all by themselves, and they can be seen as "slowing down" as you have described. So that's another very good thing on your part. Or, they can be seen at more and more subtler levels before they become fully formed. I call these "proto-thoughts", and at these very subtle levels they can be allowed to fully form or to dissolve back into the consciousness from which they arose.

I do want to add a cautionary note about trying to make the mind thought free. The very effort to do so can keep you trapped within the mind, setting up a struggle and frustration when the effort fails. Here's how that can happen. If ego/mind creates a belief that it must bring about a thought free state in order to be present it will embark on a mission to achieve such a state. Its very effort, however, is what keeps it from happening. I liken it to standing on a board and trying to lift yourself off the ground. Your very weight is working against the goal. The effort of the mind to get rid of the mind works against achieving thought free awareness. Awareness/consciousness is ALREADY present. It's what sees thoughts arise and dissolve again. It's always there because it is YOU, the real you.

Somewhere among all those thoughts are a bunch of thoughts that collectively can be called "me", or ego. These are the thoughts that make you believe you are separate from everything else. They revolve around the beliefs we have picked up from parents, religious institutions, schools, culture, society, and national identity. They give the "illusion" of me, but that "me" is only thought forms that are identified with. The real you, the true you, is that which recognizes these as only thoughts held in the mind. When those thoughts aren't there what remains is freedom, peace, stillness, silence, and clarity. The illusory me, the apparent me will still make appearances, but it will eventually be seen to be the insubstantial entity that it actually is. And when it is present, the underlying reality of the real you will still be felt, which seems to be your experience already.

So it boils down to this: ego will use a strategy to become present through its own efforts motivated by the mistaken belief that it must get rid of thought to be present. In effect, it is standing on that board and trying to lift itself off the ground. Coming at it from this angle will be frustrating. Coming at it without this mistaken belief will be much smoother and more effective.

Presence is already present because consciousness is already present. We can side-step the mind chatter by becoming fully absorbed in whatever we are doing. Stay completely focused on whatever action you are performing. Even simple things like washing the dishes, bathing, doing household chores, walking, listening with full attention, and simply looking without compulsively labeling or judging allows presence to come to the forefront of our experience. Quietly watching thoughts come and go without trying to do anything about them will lead to insight about who/what you are and open you to presence. Allow emotions to flow through you without trying to hang onto them or fighting against them. And when you are required to use thinking for some chore or interaction with others then do so, and then return to the simple act of being fully absorbed with whatever is in front of you.

But after a few days, I just enter this state automatically and it changes almost just my visual perception, but my mind is still like before.


Sounds good to me.

I am not sure if that is the right way, and I find it strange that I enter this 'enhanced vision' state several times a day.


As you get used to it the strangeness will go away. But also be aware that it's common to go into and out of presence, and seemingly "lose ground". Just don't judge yourself when it happens. It's all good.
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Here are a couple of guys to check out. Adyashanti was a great help to me. His website is filled with lots of useful stuff, and many videos of him can also be found on youtube. His "True Meditation" approach is very very good. http://www.adyashanti.org

I just came across Dean Sluyter yesterday, and his "Natural Meditation" approach aligns perfectly with Adyashanti's teaching. He has free audios of his guided meditations at the following site, or you can buy the entire talk for $7 and download it. I would start with the link for "Rest as Awareness".

http://www.deansluyter.com/content/guid ... tion-audio.

Re: state of Presence comes several times a day. Any advice?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:02 pm
by ashley72
Kiki,

What you're saying in another way is that our execution attention which is control of seeing or attending to something afresh (present moment) or without feedback (mental analysis or labeling).... is the purist state of being.

Its widely accepted that analysis of things too often can lead to paralysis, in fact people who are perfectionists usually suffer from stress & anxiety because they over worry about too many minute details at once.

I believe the best modus operandi is to stay focussed on each task one at a time. In other words, don't try juggling too many tasks at once. Giving things our undivided attention is our best mode.

Re: state of Presence comes several times a day. Any advice?

PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 1:06 am
by kiki
Yes, that's what I'm saying, ashley72.

Being fully attentive to tasks and surroundings helps to subvert conditioned mind chatter. One of my favorite chores is washing dishes. If done with full attention to the task while putting attention on the associated sensations of the task it becomes meditation in action. The feeling of the warm dishwater, the scent of the dish washing soap, the sound of the running water - immerse yourself in these and mind quiets down. When you notice mind beginning to chatter about something return attention to sensations of the task at hand. When you notice mental labeling of objects return to the simple sensory experience of them.

While walking down the street let yourself become a sensation sponge by putting attention on the sensory gates: instead of attending to mind chatter attend to simply seeing, simply listening, simply feeling the sun/wind, simply smelling, simply hearing and when you notice mind activity entering again return attention to the senses. Soak within the sensations and enjoy what is experienced.

While exercising attend to the feeling of the muscle groups being worked; attend to the feeling of muscles working and then muscles relaxing. Feel the breath going in and out, feel the heart beating more rapidly, feel the body get warmer, feel the sweat form and drizzle down the body. Whatever physical movement is performed feel it deeply instead of thinking about it or some other non-related thought. Return again and again to the senses without self-criticism if you find yourself back in thinking mode.

It may be surprising how little one actually needs to attend to thought stream throughout the day. In those times when mind isn't necessary practice doing one thing at a time, with complete attention on sensory input and mind chatter will begin to recede from the foreground of awareness to the background of awareness, and then eventually dissolve altogether. This is how to meditate throughout the day.

Re: state of Presence comes several times a day. Any advice?

PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 4:42 pm
by Webwanderer
Abe makes the analogy that quieting the mind is like a cork floating to the surface. The cork's nature is buoyancy when not weighted down with attachments and turbulence. When one's mind becomes quiet there is a natural and automatic tendency towards regaining clarity and alignment. I've found this to be spot on. When the turbulence of concerns enter my mind, a simple relaxing of thought allows a natural return to the clarity of presence.

WW