Practising Presence

Ramana Maharshi

When my attention is caught up in the whirlwind of the mind, I find these tools help me to come back to Presence:

  • Remove TIME from the experience. Realise that Past and Future are ideas you carry around in your head, and disconnect from them for a moment. Simply observe the sensory input of the moment you are experiencing without attaching Time or Stories to it. See what is, simply as it is now in this moment. This will also remove any sense of urgency or impatience.
  • Discover the answer to the question: “What takes no effort?” Being your True Self takes no effort. Trying to be someone else takes effort, even if it is something you’ve been “doing” for years. There is a flow to Life, and presence helps you to go with the flow; and discovering the most effortless action in each moment helps you to go with the flow also. Now, it is important to note that the most effortless action isn’t necessarily the most comfortable action. Your flow may take you into unfamiliar territory which is uncomfortable for the ego who likes things to stay the same. Also worth noting is that sometimes the flow leads you to stillness and no-action. Trust it. Inner space helps you to feel the guidance of your intuition and the flow of life or your resistance to it.
  • Refrain from Judgement. Something happens and you judge it to be a help or a hindrance to your goal of a happy life. Judgement leads to blame, guilt, fear, excitement, pride, criticism, frustration, anger, etc. This judgement is based on thoughts you trust about what is best for you, which leads to more thoughts and fantasies about your situation; but thoughts are not Truth. Thoughts can change. Truth simply is.
  • Don’t identify with thoughts, feelings and sensations. If something is observable, it cannot be You. Any thoughts you have about yourself can be observed, so they are not who You really are. The same is true for feelings and sensations and anything perceivable. Yet, you still are; so who are You? The answer will arise spontaneously as you observe without identification.
  • Non-attachment. Following on from the last two points, people become attached to objects (including people they have objectified) because they believe they will help them achieve their goal of a happy life and/or because they help to strengthen their Identity through association (designer clothes, abusive partner, etc.). Let go of the baggage of your attachments. Be fresh and free, not attached to stale ideas about yourself and others. This will help others to be new too.





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