To be present or to be absorbed?

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on_and_on
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To be present or to be absorbed?

Post by on_and_on » Sat Apr 24, 2021 9:44 pm

Hi everyone,
New to this forum, I would like to ask you a question.
I am a professional (classical) musician. When I play a new piece or a difficult passage which requires a lot of concentration I am obviously present but also absorbed by what I play. Is it really presence? If it's not presence, how can you be present while playing?
Thank you for your answers

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kiki
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Re: To be present or to be absorbed?

Post by kiki » Sat Apr 24, 2021 11:33 pm

Yes,I would say that to be totally absorbed in whatever you are doing to the exclusion of everything else is a kind of presence. There are approaches to presence via concentration. This sort of approach, however, can be quite tiring because the mind must remain one pointed and that can take a lot of work.

That being said, those who are highly skilled in a particular activity can transition into something called ‘flow’ in which they effortlessly perform action. It’s as if time stands still and their mind comes to rest. In effect, it’s a sort of meditation via action. It’s my opinion that artists and musicians are particularly adept at this. And then there are those who experience presence via ‘beginner’s mind’ who easily perform action by letting go of mental effort.

There are all kinds of ways to drop into presence, many of which come spontaneously and others through different forms of discipline with presence being the goal such as meditation of which there are many types.

The bottom line is that mind is the obstacle to presence, so anytime mind activity ceases presence blooms.

By the way, welcome to the forum.
Kiki
"Miss Kelly, perhaps you'd like this flower. I seem to have misplaced my buttonhole ... Miss Kelly, you know, when you wear my flower you make it look beautiful." Elwood P. Dowd
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eputkonen
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Re: To be present or to be absorbed?

Post by eputkonen » Sun Apr 25, 2021 3:48 am

I play djembe, cajon, and darbuka (i.e. hand drums) and I also feel absorbed by what I play...especially when I am in the groove (like at a kirtan or drum jam that I am playing at). There is no thought, just feeling and playing...100% devoted to the moment. This is definitely being present and fully aware.
Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
https://www.youtube.com/EricPutkonen

on_and_on
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Re: To be present or to be absorbed?

Post by on_and_on » Sun Apr 25, 2021 9:08 am

Thank you for your answers and your welcome.I am very happy to have found this forum because, like you I guess, I have been fascinated by the subject of consciousness for decades.
I totally agree with eputkonen: there is no thought. No room for it. Sometimes if the piece is played by heart the thoughts can come and there is an effort of concentration. On the other hand one can be absorbed in many tasks: DIY, gardening, etc. and what can I say about being absorbed while watching a film or TV or a football match? I don't think we are very present in these cases...

Sorry for the turn of phrase. I was born in Barcelona (Spain) but I live in France. :-)

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Re: To be present or to be absorbed?

Post by kiki » Sun Apr 25, 2021 4:38 pm

what can I say about being absorbed while watching a film or TV or a football match? I don't think we are very present in these cases...


One can witness them and remain thought free. It’s second nature to me. Witnessing TV and movies is training ground for witnessing everyday events.
"Miss Kelly, perhaps you'd like this flower. I seem to have misplaced my buttonhole ... Miss Kelly, you know, when you wear my flower you make it look beautiful." Elwood P. Dowd
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Re: To be present or to be absorbed?

Post by on_and_on » Sun Apr 25, 2021 8:01 pm

Very interesting. Thanks Kiki

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Re: To be present or to be absorbed?

Post by eputkonen » Mon Apr 26, 2021 4:30 am

There can still be fully aware without thought while gardening...for example, I am totally present when mowing yard.

The trick is being present and aware. For some almost go into sort of a trance while being absorbed by watching TV.
You may be without thought in a trance, but not very aware. Being present means being aware.
Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
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Re: To be present or to be absorbed?

Post by on_and_on » Mon Apr 26, 2021 8:00 am

"Being present means being aware"
That's it

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