What Is Presence?
Presence is just to be present at least this is what it means for me. Just to be present in whatever you are doing right now. When you are present, your mind ceases to think of the past and of the future. The only thing left is the present moment or the now and you just enjoy it. Presence is when you are putting your attention on the present moment.
When you kiss a girl, your mind is not in the future, nor in the past, or what you are going to do tomorrow or things you didn’t do yesterday. Your attention is on the present moment with a beautiful girl you like and you are kissing her. It is the same thing when you do something dangerous or thrill seeking. When you jump off a plane or ride a roller coaster, your mind does not think of what you are going to do tomorrow or things you failed to do yesterday. You are in the present moment, enjoying the experience. Same thing when you are doing your passion. Your mind does not think of the failures that you did in the past or what is going to happen in the future. You are enjoying your passion. Like photography for me. When the light is correct, and the angle is good, all I could think about is getting as many good shots as I can.
How The Mind Works
The mind or the ego mind never wants to be in the present moment. It always prepares for the next moment. The mind treats everything as a “means to an end” or whatever I am doing right now is going to give me happiness in the future or prevent pain in the future. It looks at the future as either a scenario that will give pain and must be prevented from happening or a scenario that will bring happiness. It does not want to look at the present moment because when you are appreciating the present moment, the mind no longer exists. The correct term is actually the ego and not the mind. The senses take over and you are just experiencing life.
The Most Common Examples
The most common example is when a person is taking a shower in the morning. This person is not in the shower, his mind is already at work. What he is going to do at work, how terrible work will be, how he hates his boss and so on. His mind bypasses the present moment. He is already at work. He is already hating his time. He has this great moment of relaxation with a hot shower on this cold January day. He is completely not there. He is already in suffering mode.
He makes his breakfast which is a delicious croissant made just the way he likes it and he just gulps it down as fast as possible because he does not want to waste time. I remember people give treats to a dog and the dog just swallows the treats without enjoying them. The owner got mad because the dog did not enjoy the treats more because they cost a lot. He smashes them and feeds the dog slowly so that the dog can enjoy it more. It is the same thing with human beings. Everything is a means to an end. The guy eats his breakfast just so he has energy for work. He could have enjoyed his breakfast for 5 minutes. For 5 minutes, he could be enjoying a nice flavorful breakfast with a great tasting coffee or tea. he could be enjoying every bite. It would have been paradise for 5 minutes. However, his mind is already in suffering mode.
Theory Of Presence
This is the theory of presence which is to put attention on the present moment and not on a future scenario. I notice this correlates with the title of this website which is “making every moment count” also lol. So it does not matter if you hate your time, you accept it and put presence on it. Let’s say your job is boring and all you do is spend your whole day on a cubicle typing stuff on excel spreadsheets. You put presence into it. You feel how your fingers move, how your mind works, how everything works in that present moment. How the light works, how the computer works, how you breathe, how you emanate heat from your body, how your finger tips feel the plastic keyboard and so on. You put your attention on the present moment. When your attention is on the present moment, your mind or ego mind cannot create suffering. The ego mind cannot exists in the present moment. When there is no suffering, then you can enjoy your moments more.
The Beauty Of It All
The present moment is all there is and all there ever will be. The past does not exist nor the future since both are just thoughts in the head. In the present moment, you are alive and provided for. The ego wants you to suffer so that it can exist so it always projects the mind into some future fantasy that may never happen. It will always come up with scenarios where you are lacking, there isn’t enough, and the future will bring pain unless you prevent it. But if you look at the present moment, you have everything you need so if the future is pretty much the same as the present moment, you will have enough and plenty. Once you start appreciating the present moment, everything becomes beautiful. Just sipping a cup of tea or coffee, it becomes beautiful. Just eating your breakfast becomes beautiful. You will have one of those epiphanies where you say to yourself, “hmmm this moment is so good, life is pretty good.” You can have these moments even just by taking a shower, eating breakfast or mundane tasks. You will be like “this present moment is awesome.” There is just something beautiful about the present moment.
Presence Does Not Mean Inactivity Or Passiveness
Being present does not mean you become inactive or become passive. It does not mean you become less passionate or less ambitious. In fact, you realize that all your power, all your creativity, and all your action is in the present moment. You can only change your life in the present moment. You become more empowered and more passionate to go after the experiences you want and the life that you want. Presence just means you enjoy and appreciate the journey more. You enjoy the rewards, achievements and experiences more as well.