Presence is an elevated state of Consciousness in which an individual’s attention is completely focused into the Present Moment. We live in a multitasking society where value is found in performing multiple complex mental functions simultaneously. If you ask the ordinary person what percentage of their attention is focused Here/Now, the common answer is 40 -50%. We are a society of Thought Addicts. We are constantly processing information about a wide variety of topics, and frequently see The Moment as something to get through. Get through to what, another day to get through? Is that living?
The psychology of thought is one in which the body physically reacts to every thought the mind thinks. We call that reaction emotion, but it is a physical phenomenon. If I were to think worry thoughts about being mugged in the parking lot later this evening, my body would begin to react immediately. My blood pressure would shoot up, my pulse rate would increase, adrenaline levels in my blood stream would rise, and muscles groups would tense up, reacting to the thought of immanent danger, though there is no danger in The Now.
If a person is 50% present, the 50% that is not present is rarely focused on a single topic, but probably a multitude of concerns. Frequently, due to the nature of our culture, those thoughts are most likely fear thoughts (worry, concern, anxiety about the future) or the replaying and revising of past events (I should have done that different!!).
Presence Practice is about developing skills and techniques intended to discipline the mind to focus one’s entire attention into the Present Moment as the only reality there is. Notice, for instance, that when the past happened it was NOW. When tomorrow gets here, it is today. The deeper truth is that NOW is all we have. The past and future are artifacts of language that enable us to communicate about what happened before NOW, or what may happen after NOW. But the secret hidden in plan view is that, it is ALWAYS NOW. The past and future have no existence except in the mind of The Thinker.
Learning and practicing PRESENCE relieves us of the regrets of yesterday and the fears about tomorrow, teaching us to live FEARLESSLY. In a state of total PRESENCE psychological symptoms like depression, anxiety, panic, posttraumatic stress, substance abuse and more diminish or completely vanish, creating Inner Peace.
The ultimate intention of PRESENCE PRACTICE is to master the powerful tool we call Mind.