I had to laugh. The other day I was reading The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and on page 93 he was talking about the state of presence. I thought I could pull one over on him. He said, “You can’t think about presence, and the mind can’t understand it. Understanding presence is being present.”
“Try a little experiment. Close your eyes and say to yourself: ‘I wonder what my next thought is going to be.’ Then become very alert and wait for the next thought. Be like a cat watching a mouse hole. What thought is going to come out of the mouse hole. Try it now.”
With a grin on my face and a determination to prove Mr. Tolle wrong I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and like a cat I watched the mouse hole in my mind for my next thought. To my dismay, the hole stayed empty. Twenty seconds, thirty, finally a minute or so had elapsed without a thought so I opened my eyes, turned the page and read on.
“I had to wait for quite a long time before a thought came in.”
“Exactly. As long as you are in a state of intense presence, you are free of thought. You are still, yet highly alert. The instant your conscious attention sinks below a certain level, thought rushes in. The mental noise returns; the stillness is lost. You are back in time.”
Okay. He got me. My ego so badly wanted to prove the author wrong. I sat there grinning and read on.
“To stay present in everyday life, it helps to be deeply rooted within yourself; otherwise, the mind, which has incredible momentum, will drag you along like a wild river.”
Wow! I’ve been white water rafting before so I understand the power of a wild river. Thinking about that experience, those of us in the raft attempted to guide it one way or another but for the most part, we were simply along for the ride. Incredible momentum is an understatement!
So I had to wonder, how many times do I let my mind take over and gain so much momentum that I’m simply drug along for the ride? Honestly, more often than I care to admit.
What about you? Did you try the experiment I mentioned above? How often do you stay present? Or, does your mind drag you along like a wild river?
PS. I’ve been working on my What Women Want blog post and there is simply more information than I can fit in one post. I decided I would break it up into smaller posts so be watching for those. Peace.