Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice

 

Inner Work


For week of April 11, 2016

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Active Presence

(Modes of Presence 2)

Inner work requires initiative. Active presence begins with our choice to be present. "Now is my time to be here." When we choose to be present, however, we are immediately confronted with the issue of how. Where do we stand in the field of this moment, in the stream of time and perception? If we do not know where to stand inwardly in order to be present, if we do not choose where to stand, if we do not know how to stand in presence, then our choice to be present is barren. It is at this point that methods and training come into play and prove their value.

To begin, we stand in our body, in direct, visceral contact with our body. We sense our body. Sensing means paying attention to our body, to the point of having an immediate, organic, sensory contact with our body. We can start with focusing on a hand or a foot and over time progress to sensing our entire body. What matters in this for active presence is that our body is a place to stand. More specifically, we stand in the sensation of our body, in the sensitive energy that mediates our direct experience of our body. Our body sensation is always in the present moment. So standing in body sensation leads naturally into presence, because it puts us here and now.

But we do not lose ourselves in sensing. We know that we are here in this body, in this sensitive energy. We know in ourselves "I am sensing." In this way, sensing becomes a platform for presence, a place to stand. We are more than sensation. We can have contact with higher energies as well.

Indeed the very energy that enables us to choose to be present, to initiate presence, to pay attention to our body, to be in this moment, is the conscious energy. This is the cognizant stillness underlying all perception and thought. It is our fundamental awareness, on which all our sensory experience plays out. When we feel that we are, when we feel the simple and direct experience of just being, we are more or less in the conscious energy.

Sensing our body puts our sensitive energy in its proper place. Our thoughts can also be made of sensitive energy. However, thoughts ordinarily mix with and mask our more fundamental cognition. Sensing our body helps stratify our energies, so that we can stand in sensation while being in consciousness.

At the core of active presence, the axis on which presence revolves, is the one who is present, the one who is actively choosing to be present, namely our "I." We feel and experience that I am here. Our intention to be present, and the associated attention, are our will, our I. Our I ranges through our entire presence, through our consciousness, our sensation, and our body, mind, and heart. I actively decide to be present and the power behind that choice organizes, stratifies, entrains and relates all my parts, the whole field of experience, into this one presence, into being able to say in truth "I am here."

For this week, please choose to be present, please practice active presence.


     

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