How to Try out "Presence"
Do you have a reference for what it means to simply "BE"? Similary, to "BE PRESENT"?
Today the world is moving faster than ever. This tends to mean an average person's brain is working faster and more easily distracted than ever before. People are much more likely to be stressed and anxious than even five years ago. These days it's hard to accurately diagnose who has actual Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and who has simply been conditioned to today's instant gratification, hi-tech digitally demanding world. Can you stand in line or wait in a doctor's office without checking your phone? What would happen if you tried it?
The majority of our thoughts either involve reviewing the past or fretting the future. How many are focused on the present moment? Not many.
So how do we practice presence? There are various techniques and most involve a certain amount of bodily awareness. Bodily awareness means noticing the fact that you have a physical body, with breath and sensations like warm/cool, tense/loose, trembling/still, etc. Richard C. Miller, PhD, Founder of iRest Yoga Nidra, says bringing attention to sensation slows down the thinking mind (http://www.irest.us).
Try this 3 minute exercise to start. It can be practiced in private or in public, eyes opened or closed:
Recognize that during this exercise you were likely more present, in the moment, less stressed, than before the exercise when you were likely ignorant of your feet. When you are actively noticing physical sensations in the moment, it is impossible to also be having thoughts about past actions or future "to dos." The world around you slows down when you practice body sensing because you have become more curious about your internal world.
When we practice presence, we get closer to practicing longer experiences of simply "BEING" which means more calm, less stress.
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