One way to find presence is to pay attention to what is in the moment.
The light around you is in the moment, the sounds you hear are in the moment, your breath is in the moment, the sensations in your body are in the moment.
But the mind will not immediately agree with such a proposal. For the mind, to come into the moment is like an interruption. Like if you were driving in a hurry and suddenly you found a traffic jam. Being in the moment is, for the mind, like a traffic jam, an interruption.
Coming into the moment is as difficult as it is for a teenager that has been playing games in the computer for several hours to go out to the park. The teenager may say: what for?! It is so boring there… nothing is happening!
The mind of the teen, full of the speed of the games, the action, the adrenaline, just like a mind that is very busy, worried, anxious, fearful, preoccupied…, cannot see the content of the moment, let alone presence itself!
The moment and a busy mind are at different levels of reality, and they are very hard to put together.
The whole universe is a movement, a vibration of energy, so to speak, and each component of the universe moves at a different speed.
When the mind is busy and agitated it moves at a much faster speed than the moment does, and so it simply cannot see it. No different than a person that is accustomed to action movies will not enjoy an art movie; or somebody always eating heavy food will not enjoy a salad. The action movie and the heavy food move at a very different speed than an art movie or a salad.
In the same way, negativity has a very different vibration than compassion or the appreciation of beauty. Negativity, compassion and beauty are all aspects of the universe, but all of them have very different, unique vibrations. A person that is negative cannot, at least while the negativity lasts, neither feel compassion nor appreciate beauty.
It is difficult to connect to nature or beauty because the mind that usually moves at such a fast speed cannot perceive a more refined vibration, like the vibration of nature, of art, of beauty, of love. Or of presence.
We could say that presence is the most refined, subtle vibration there is.
Often when I bring up the subject of presence in my classes, it is very difficult for many people to see what I am talking about. It is very difficult to slow down their minds to be able to ‘touch’ presence…to ‘touch’ this moment.
If I speak about change, improvement, development or achievement it is easier, since their vibrations are easier to grasp.
But presence, which is not about change or improvement but about ‘what is’, exactly ‘as it is’, is much more difficult.
One way to refer to Presence is as the substance of the universe, like water is the substance of a wave or clay is the substance of a clay-pot.
To be touched by ‘what is’, to perceive the moment ‘as it is’, you need a very refined and subtle mind. All the practices that we do or can do, things like meditation, yoga, breathing, praying, self-disciplines etc, are not for Presence. Presence is always here and now, always available, always present. The practices help the mind to slowdown and to quiet down; and when the mind is more silent, alert, present, then the possibility to re-discover that ’substance’ of the universe, of what we really are, opens up.
And the discovery that the universe, including myself, are, so to speak, made of Presence, is the discovery of true wellbeing, true peace and true love.