CREON NOTES – February 2020
To be present means to be in the here and now. It means to be totally in the moment. When you are in that state you will notice that your mind automatically becomes quiet. You become aware of your breathing, aware of your body and, even in a crowded room you become aware of inner silence. Most of all you become aware of The Presence, a sense of being surrounded by and immersed in a silent, eternal power that feels familiar and natural and all-pervading.
Human beings are not encouraged to experience Presence. The cultures in which the vast majority of people live are designed to do anything but encourage quietude and mental ease. The mind is forever seeking distraction and occupation and fills itself with all sorts of thinking which takes it away from present moment. There are those, of course, who develop the skills of mental quietude and contemplation but they are small in number compared to those who don’t, won’t or feel they can’t practice simply being Present.
The mind is an instrument of addiction and you become aware of this simply by noticing that you think the same thoughts every day. Change your mind and you change your life is an old adage, and it is true. The only difficulty is that few people are really able to change their minds as the addiction to habitual thinking processes is absolute. No drug is more powerful or more addictive than consistent thinking, for good or ill.
Thought arises and it is followed by emotion. A negative or difficult thought will stimulate a hard emotion, a happy thought will stimulate a pleasant one. The combination of thought and feeling is what makes thinking processes so addictive and unable to control. Whatever you are able to change in your life, you will never be able to change your thinking processes by using your mind. To try and do this leads only to suppression and distortion which is worse.
There is only one way to rise beyond the moment by moment cycle of thinking/feeling is to become aware of your thoughts which necessitates being in the Present moment. To become aware of the machinations that go on in your mind by simply observing them is to gain sovereignty over the chaos. To willingly become witness to your thinking automatically diminishes its control over you. Your mind loves its dramas but once you take a witness position those dramas rapidly diminish in their power to control you. In becoming the observer you discover that who you truly are is not your mind but a single point of awareness which registers your thinking. To become Present with full awareness is to be free in the moment and it is here that you realise that you are the Presence and not the drama that you see playing out on the screen of your mind. Just as you sit in a theatre watching a play you are free to engage emotionally in the drama in front of you, experiencing a range of feelings from thrill to fear when all the while you are sitting safely and comfortably in your own seat which is unaffected by the play. Your own life is a drama which you can either be dominated by or be the witness to and, by being the witness your sense of Self remains whole and unaffected by the dramas playing out before you. This allows you to participate more fully in life with greater joy and ease, and to share yourself with life without fear.
We are not suggesting that you try to stand mentally on the sidelines of life without participating for this would be pointless. What we suggest is that you develop the habit of observing your life and your thoughts with compassion and without judgement, and experience yourself more deeply as the eternal point of awareness that you truly are. You can see this by simply reflecting back on past situations, events that may have taken place many years ago, and notice that you were really there while those things happened in your life. And you are still here now, the same I Am-ness that was there then, whole and complete at the level of awareness that has travelled though what is experienced as earthly time to be where you are now.
Never be afraid to observe your thinking and actions. If what you regard displeases you or makes you feel guilt or fear, pause for another moment, focus on your breathing and feel the Presence. Take another look and you will see that just by doing this unpleasant emotions dissipate and a deeper sense of gentle quietude pervades.
Life is a gift and it is precious. You are designed to participate in whatever it is you are deeply drawn to doing for this is your destiny. But you do have a choice. You can either perform your life’s works against a backdrop of mental and emotional chaos, like a ship forever tossed about on a roiling sea, or you can dwell in Present moment awareness allowing the current to carry you to your correct destination, with ease of heart and peace of mind.