Saturday, November 8, 2008

Practicing Presence ~ Katie Davis, Author, Awake Joy


One question that I have been pondering is: How should we actually practice the presence, awareness or tranquility in everyday life? I guess that should become very natural for us, but as we have opposite tendencies that we are accustomed to, it is not so obvious at all!

If I practice being present, how much of the awareness should be in the outer 'things' and how much should be directed inwards? And should I be aware of details in my sensory experience or should my awareness be kind of diffuse and not to be fixed to particular things (if that is not needed in a particular activity)?

Does being present require psychic or mental energy? I ask this question because I have not found a way of being present that does not make me strained after some practise. I guess that I am doing something wrong as I have an intuition that awareness should come very naturally. How does the awakening to that kind of natural presence happen? Just by grace only?

Just yesterday I read an excerpt from Osho and he wrote that happiness is always fleeting but bliss can be found constant. How can I realize that bliss or inner joy are constant?


Presence is natural and does not require anything more. In other words, Self-realization is not an attainment or something you strive for. This Being-Consciousness-Bliss that you are is ever-present. It is right now.

The situation seems to be that the thought "I" arises. In the old world, out of habit alone, we misidentified with the concept of "me;" the "I am the body" idea. When this misidentification takes place, the "dreaming" I has extraordinary pulling power and suddenly all the other thoughts appear. So the thoughts are really not problematic. It is our misidentification that is at issue. "I" is just another word. Where is the word pointing? We were taught that it was pointing to the body. This is true on a relative level of course. But is it true that your identity is limited to the body. I say this is not so, but this will be for your direct investigation. It requires great curiosity because you want to know the ultimate Truth. Ideas and concepts remain philosophical … instead we need to notice directly through authentic experience.

When this misidentification with the "I" thought occurs, a veil drops and we are unable to be conscious of the being-consciousness-bliss that we are. To remove the veil, it requires that you seek this "I." Sit quietly for a few moments right now. Just close your eyes and be aware of how exquisite the air feels as it moves in and out your nose. Then ask this question, "Who am I?" and listen with every cell in the body. We are not looking for a thought in reply. If a thought arises, such as "I am Katie," ask the question again, aware of your breath, "Who am I?"

That question alone with lift the veil to perfect peace.

It is beautiful that you are practicing being present. The best tool for this is attending the breath. Breathing is always occurring right now and the present moment is the portal to the perfect peace within. The body's sensing is another tool. What do you hear right now? Do you smell anything? The body is part of the content of the present moment and therefore the key to the inner body.

But let's take this a step further. The "I" that is practicing is the ego, the separate sense of self that needs more time and experience to realize. This is actually a postponement strategy of the ego. The more appropriate question might be, who is practicing?? Who am I?

You are aware when you are driving your car, aware when you are shopping, aware when falling asleep. Are you aware that you are always aware? You are this Pure Awareness that is closer and more intimate to you than even your given name and your body. You are appearing within this Awareness. You ARE this Pure Awareness that is beyond your name and form.

So we are naturally present all day long during everything that is being done. However, most often, we get carried aware by compulsive thinking and lost in the thought stream in the head ... instead of being in the body. The resolution? 1. Bring the "I" thought home by asking "Who am I" and then truly listen. 2. Are you aware of breathing? 3. Are you aware of sensing.

It does not take much effort to become aware of breathing all day long. It is always happening in every day life.

This is a first step and perhaps even unwise to move forward from here. Eventually the outward going mind (on its own accord) will remain within the Heart. Of course eyes are looking outward, the body is functioning and sensing as it does, we are just deeply at rest … being still … while the body does what it does.

Body movement and activity can become Zen-like. During the morning shower, be aware of every movement. If there is a set habitual routine, change it. How does the soap feel as you pick it up in your hands? How does the water feel? Are you breathing? You become consciously present without rushing to the future about anything. Even if rushing is required, we are consciously present with that.

You soon find that the real effort is the misidentification with thought, having to maintain all of the ego's ideas; constant thinking is exhausting!

This not require psychic or mental energy. All that is appearing within the Awareness.

What you shared about Osho's words is true. When we misidentify with "I" we move into time and space and then are caught in the world of duality. Relative happiness will eventually cycle to the opposite duality of sadness. Then, sadness will once again cycle to happiness after a certain duration. Neither are stable … whereas the bliss and unending joy are permanent. Now, don't go looking for it. You ARE it! When you are seeking, it cannot be found, which is why I say be STILL and notice what truly already is. Only still permanence can realization that which is permanent. Be still.

Only This Love ~ Katie

Questioner Report:

I am so grateful for your kind reply. I have read it now for a couple of times and I think that it is very close to what is required at the moment. :-)

I have observed an interesting phenomenon after the question I posed about practicing presence. During last two weeks or so I have found that I have been resting in peace more often. As I have attended to this peace, now and then I have investigated the question "Who am I?" Replying to this question feels utterly impossible and absurd. It feels that there is no "I" but just a vast presence. I guess that is probably how the question is meant to work, to leave the thinking mind disarmed so that it can surrender to the consciousness that it is born of. In gratitude ...


Thank you for letting me know. Excellent, what are you attending right now? The perfect peace within or the noise in the head? Are you aware of breathing?

I am so grateful for this report. And you have now realized directly through asking this question “who am I?” that when you seek it, it disappears … no where to be found … only “vast presence.” Delightful! At ease. And yes, that is the point of asking the question. The dreaming I disappears into the Heart of all being … the Pure I that is the Pure Consciousness … unending joy … perfect peace … free of time.

Now when you notice once again that you are lost in the head (habits are sometimes hard to break!), just silently ask the question and there you are once again … being peace. Or, just for an instant notice the breath … notice sensing. Then we are in a type of meditation all day long during all that is being done. Being peace … paying bills … being peace … taking the shower.

All Love True Heart ~




Dear Katie,
The "I" thought arises from the spiritual heart centre,rises to the brain,identifies with the body and creates the illusion of an individual self(Jiva)which inhabits the body and which controls all thoughts and actions.The "I" thought accomplishes this by identifying itself with all thoughts and perceptions that go on in the mind and the body.The idea that one is an individual person is generated and sustained by "I"thought and it's habit of constantly attaching itself to all the thoughts that arise.Self-enquiry reverses this process by depriving the "I" thought of all thoughts and perceptions that it normally identifies with.If we can break the connection between "I" thought and the thoughts it identifies with then the "I" thought itself will subside and finally disappear.This can be done by holding on to "I" thought,that is the inner feeling of "I" then the power of self pulls the "I" thought back into the heart centre which destroys it so completely
that it never rises again.Then the presence of self is felt by pure mind and i feel that this is the way to practice and feel the presence of self.

Katie Davis, Author, Awake Joy said...

Quite so ...

Then when thought arises, it is arising from the Heart, the pure consciousness as Self-dynamism.

We have realized that there is no thinker. Ego-thought is always based on the known.

When required, pure inspiration is fresh, new and the source of all true creativity as it flows onto paper in writing, when spoken, in composing music or in painting.

All Love ~ Katie