I had always read, heard and thought I understood what the word “present” meant. In fact I think I was just being over alert most of the time. Since I have experienced practical presence I decided to explore this topic during the workshop I taught in London on Saturday for students who will be attending the Breath of Life workshop in Sri Lanka in April 2012, we explored ‘being present’ in a very pragmatic way.
Alertness is important but not just being alert to what is happening around you, in the outside world but more how you react mentally and emotionally in the inner world to the outer world. For example someone critises you, immediately you start feeling the heat of shame. NOW WATCH, instead either saying to yourself, “oh it is does not matter” (denial) or getting annoyed and blaming the other person (reaction) you need to just feel without mental commentary the feeling of the emotion in your body. I generally feel it as a heat or energy in my body generally around my solar plexus (above the belly button). It takes time and observation to get to know this inner you, so do not be disappointed if you cannot notice anything or you get sucked up into the emotion, keep on trying. When I physically feel the heat or energy I try and witness it without mental commentary and then lift up to feel the heat in my heart or up to the top of my head.
Another practical method is when you are checking in with yourself and seeing how you feel immediately become conscious of the breath. Easier said than done, well try literally pumping your stomach out on the inhale and pushing it in on the exhale. A few conscious breaths with be a good starting point to see how you are feeling.
That’s all for today. If you are interested in this you will enjoy guru singhs podcasts. I listen to him daily for inspiration.
By Fiona Raymond