How to Stay Present Part 2
(Original Post from Dr. Brenner’s personal Blog, September 20, 2013)
Self-observation demands a split in consciousness between one’s bodily sensations and what the senses are focused on outside of the body, be it a person, thing or one’s surroundings. This state is the evolving present moment. Our senses connect the observer to what is being observed as one and the same. There is no separation. In such a state of consciousness, there is no past, future or thought but only the experience of the present.
Awareness of the present moment occurs in a meditative state with the eyes open. I found that using the same prayer or phrase each time serves as an induction into this state of consciousness. What is interesting is that the prayer or phrase can spontaneously changes over time and becomes a source of personal wisdom.
As you begin the process the first thing that you will notice is a palpable alteration in your body’s physiology: a tingling that feels as if a part of your body is asleep. This sensation is enhanced through yogic breathing, inhaling slowly through your nose and exhaling equally slowly through your mouth. In this state you have both a heighten awareness of your body while simultaneously experiencing being inseparably part of anything or anyone. It is an awareness that consciousness exists in all things.
For me, this state tends to be more difficult to stay in with family members. Familiarity too often takes us out of witnessing and experiencing. Familiarity tends to hold us in our past. Engrained memory of people, place and things can puts us to sleep. But if you can stay awake in such and environment, it can add excitement and newness to old relationships.
The silent, thoughtless, hyper-state of the awareness of your inner experience interacting with your outer experience is an ecstatic existence when alone, in nature or with another. The experience and the wisdom that you are part of something greater then your self, is spirituality. In such a context, you will never, ever feel loneliness again…Your home!
Paul Brenner, M.D., PhD