Being Present

How do I sense being present in a moment of my life?

Being present varies considerably. Moments have a different level of intensity when I am more wholly present – more collected. These are usually moments of great drama; being in love, having the feeling of being in danger or ‘being in the zone’ during exercise. In contrast my usual days, when I don’t really feel present, can be quite flat – even to the extent that sometimes I’m not even that interested in my life. My life goes on but I’m not there.

‘I am’ describes a real sense of being present; a lucid head, sensation in my body, being in between my calm inner life, looking out clearly from behind my eyes, and the ever changing outer life. Being present to the inner and outer.

Mr Gurdjieff said:

One of the best means for arousing the wish to work on yourself is to realize that you may die at any moment. *

This thought raises the drama of a seemingly mundane moment to make me appreciate my life and the lives of those around me. I really want to be present.

But I have a sense that I don’t control ‘being present’. I often don’t notice my lack of presence. Being present is not something to switch on; it requires ‘work’ over a period of time.

To develop a taste for the different responses that come in different moments of being present, here are some questions to ponder:

  • Am I really fully here now?
  • What does it feel like or mean to ‘be here now’?
  • Am I deceiving myself by talking to myself –  turning ideas over in my mind?

*One of G I Gurdjieff’s Aphorisms

The next Café Gurdjieff event in Central London on the theme of “Being Present” will take place at 11am on Saturday 26 November. For more details email cafe@gurdjieffstudies.eu or visit our Meetup Group.

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