What Is The Point of “Being Present”?

Buddha being present statue garden

The following quotation from the late Robert S de Ropp (“Self-Completion”, 1988), reveals much about our usual way of being.

The full awareness of my own being is given to me only now and then. Why? Because most of the time, I am lost in fantasy. I am definitely, not here now. I am wondering around in the past or dreaming about the future, or thinking about the future, or thinking about something, speculating about something, talking to someone who is not even there, imagining, indulging. What a way to live!

But there is another way. Every day, at any time, and in any place, it is possible to be in the ‘here and now’ just by remembering to be. But why bother? Because ‘being present’ prevents a loss of vital energy from the body; it enables the development of a centre of focus within and if practiced for long enough, it imbues an individual with a realistic sense of identity rather than a personality that is largely imagined. There is only one moment which is constantly changing, and being present in the only moment there is, is to be fully alive.

Anyone can experience being present right now by becoming aware of their body through use of the five major senses. What can you hear right now? What colours can you see around you? Is there an aroma or fragrance in the air? If you’re eating or drinking, what tastes are you experiencing? Be aware of what is touching your skin; the pressure of the chair you’re sitting on; feel your feet inside your shoes and the touch of your clothes on your skin. Further, and without losing a sense of yourself, what is happening around you?

Unfortunately, occasional attempts at experiencing being present, though life enhancing, have little impact on personal evolution. If you are interested in bringing about a change of being, being present needs to become a way of life – something that is practised many times a day, every day. But then, why not? Being present means to be truly alive and who doesn’t want to live life to the max?

Be advised though, if you do practise being present consistently it needs to be accompanied by efforts to observe and transform negative emotions. Why? Because being present increases the creative energy within the body and if this energy is not used in a constructive and positive way, it is rapidly expressed through negativity as the body strives to maintain a comfortable level of energy within itself.

Should your aim be spiritual evolution, by failing to transform negative energy into something positive, you can be sure you will be standing in your own way.

© 2014 Therese Donnelly

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