Day Practice - Inner Presence


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In the second day time practice the same presence is trained but by turning your attention primarily inward to your own thoughts, emotions, sensations and reactions. You practice recognising your own inner life as a dream. In a dream after all, you dream your own thoughts and reactions too. Being present with them and noticing them when they are happening will increase your presence since you don’t any more go with your thoughts so easily to somewhere else but your feeling of presence will start to expand and be more open.

Presence is also purifying. It cleans your thoughts of clinging and emotional attachment or resistance. Since everything rises in your own consciousness you are responsible of your own emotional reactions and thoughts. You might think that some outer influence have caused them if you are treated wrongly but in the end they rise in your own mind and you can choose your reaction. Do you want to act from a place in you that is full of resentment and anger? Or do you want to act in the same situation with sense of deep peace and comfort? I guarantee that the outcomes of your actions in any situation, hard or easy, will be totally different. Being present starts to clear these habitual reactions and thinking patterns little by little. In a sense your conscious presence purifies your mind stream.

Most of the patterns especially the most deeply rooted come from your childhood and family. In Tibetan buddhist view they might come from previous lives also. So it might take time to dissolve them, but hey, if you have spent maybe couple of decades to build them there is no hurry to lose them. Just take your time.

Inner presence practice is sometimes called Purifying Attachment and Aversion. This means that you drop your habitual tendencies of clinging to your thoughts and to emotional reactions they bring. You also drop your habitual attitude to resists something you don’t like in your opinion. You might feel like you have a right to resist if something negative happens or you feel something negative inside you. But does that really make you feel better? What if you just could accept your situation with peace of mind and joy of being and then act in in any manner that comes from that peace and joy. Do you think that this attitude and way of behaving might bring more positive outcomes in your life? At least you should try it.

Traditionally in buddhism when attachment and aversion are purified this leads to deeper experience of your true self that is selflessness. There is no longer a separate self acting like things were happening to it but more open experience where things are just happening but without tight self. In buddhism this unknowing or the true empty self is called ignorance. You just don’t know that your own clinging and resistance is creating all the unhappiness or suffering in your life. You can stop doing it and become awake to actual reality where everything is without separate existence. Concepts are created only in our language and words. They don’t exist by themselves. There really is no point in suffering for something that doesn't really exist like dream images. The whole world is just an interconnected web of life and you can start to experience yourself as part of it and not separate from it.