I love this photo because that sums up being present.
Keep quiet, no inner dialogue.
Don't think...stay out of your mind.
Don't make any effort...just breath and be as you are.
So many try to complicate it or make it new, like who you are is all new and they can sell it to you in a myriad of forms.
It is simple and does not need to be re-marketed into something flashy and appealing to our minds.
Presence, God, Life Force, Omnipresence, what ever your preferred language is non negotiable.
It is who you are.
It is what everything is.
Keep it simple for yourself.
Sure, sometimes you may need a little guidance, a helping hand to remember but that is all it is, you remembering, not discovering something new. You are returning to your natural state, not seeking anything outside of yourself. As I say, it is not magical or mystical or a new age sensation, it is simple, timeless and true.
Over complicating it keeps you in the mind's story of yourself and the mind's story of God and what it is, should be, shouldn't be, how to do it, etc.
Getting lost in the seeking is a common trap for many people.
Some have ecstatic expanded experiences, blissful or peaceful encounters and then continue to seek to replicate that state.
This causes much suffering.
Be with what is.
Even the term "spiritual" is a trap.
The more you become present, the more everything just is and spiritual becomes a falsehood.
It is not something you put on or do, or try out or a ritual you perform. You are the ever present life force, in all of its incredible forms.
All that is required is for us to release our obsession with the mind's concepts of who we are and to notice the subtle current of life that is always there. Pay attention to it and things will start to return to a natural equilibrium.
Without the attachment to thought, it becomes clear that beyond the mind is a place of peace, an aliveness, a pulsating field of presence that just is.
Next time you seek to "learn something spiritual", try tuning out of your mind.
Take a deep breath.
Take a few.
Focus on your breathing.
Allow a space to open.
Melt into Being.
Nisargadatta chapter 51 - I Am That
You want something like a round-the-clock ecstasy.
Ecstasies come and go, necessarily, for the human brain cannot stand the tension for a long time.
A prolonged ecstasy will burn out your brain, unless it is extremely pure and subtle.
In nature nothing is at stand-still, everything pulsates, appears and disappears.
Heart, breath, digestion, sleep and waking -- birth and death everything comes and goes in waves.
Rhythm, periodicity, harmonious alternation of extremes is the rule.
No use rebelling against the very pattern of life.
If you seek the Immutable, go beyond experience.
When I say: remember 'I am' all the time, I mean: 'come back to it repeatedly'.
No particular thought can be mind's natural state, only silence.
Not the idea of silence, but silence itself.
When the mind is in its natural state, it reverts to silence spontaneously after every experience or, rather, every experience happens against the background of silence.
Now, what you have learnt here becomes the seed.
You may forget it -- apparently.
But it will live and in due season sprout and grow and bring forth flowers and fruits.
All will happen by itself.
You need not do anything, only don't prevent it.
Nisargadatta chapter 51 - I Am That
So often in life, we are governed by our unexplored emotions.
We feel something so we take it to be fact and then we react in accordance.
This can be an internal reaction or an external reaction in response to something that is said or done to us.
Our emotional reactions block a more expanded view of how things are in that moment.
The emotion bubbles up or just bursts out and we say or do something we would rather have not as our thoughts are coloured by the emotion and we can not clearly see the bigger picture of the situation.
In a moments clarity, we could see through the emotional reaction creating a space in which we would chose a response more in alignment with who we are, rather than just unconsciously react to a situation.
In truth, no one really wants to hurt anyone, we just project our own pain onto others. So many times a simple gesture or words of compassion can diffuse an otherwise heated situation. If we move our position from one of feeling like we are under personal attack to seeing anothers pain, we can truly make powerful change to our own experience and often, the outcome of the situation.
A simple example is road rage. Do we really think that if people were coming from a deeper understanding of themselves they would come to blows over cutting someone off in traffic?
If someone cuts me off in traffic, I would be more inclined to make more space between us as it would seem they are not so aware of space and safe driving in that moment. I am sure I must have done it unintentionally to someone somewhere in my life as I drive a lot.
If someone says something to you that you consider rude, do you take offence?
Do you feel that need to defend yourself arise in your body and feel indignant, or fire up ready to let them know just who they are dealing with or skulk away with a festering wound?
We are responsible for what we say and the energy or meaning we put behind it. We have all met the smiling assassin before, someone who smiles and says something nice but clearly means something else? The energy behind what we say is palpable.
The space we hold is important, our "field of awareness", as it is how we really communicate.
Being present allows us to notice what is happening in our bodies and become aware of how to bring ouselves back into alignment.
Using the breath is a powerful tool to open the doorway to presence.
Each time you bring yourself into the NOW, you are stepping out of habitual thought and Being.
The more you do this, the deeper and more expanded your awareness becomes.
You start to remember more of who you are and recognise how easy it is to function outside of habitual thinking.
It enhances every part of your experience of life and takes you to the essence of all life.
What could be better than that?
Keep it simple.