When I first began my practice of being present, to remember myself, to be aware of my awareness and so on, it was seemingly impossible. I could remember the first day or two, setting an intention and having the actual occurrence of presence maybe once or twice in a day but the rest of the week flew by without a thought of it unless I was inundated with negativity or anger.
When I continued this effort and search for presence, I found that something built up in me; something that allowed things to get easier without my knowledge.
Before that happened, however, there was a definite pattern to the transformation.
I first had to aim toward more frequent realizations of being here now even if they lasted 5 seconds. They were few and far between but more than I had had before I started these efforts.
When I imposed an artificial reminder, I had the advantage of building up a certain strength, a force that would ease the forgetfulness.
Most of the time in the beginning of these artificial reminders, the alarm would go off and I would not even hear it.
As this ability to stop inwardly more frequently became stronger, I noticed that the quality of the stops began to deepen and lengthen. I was able to hold my attention longer and could stay in this state of presence longer. The duration began to increase seemingly on its own. With pressure from within I was able to develop the ability to stay with this sense of knowing “I am here” for a five minute period.
Sometimes in a more intense situation, like a retreat, i would go in and out of presence often and in between the designated hourly stops. For me, the frequency increased exponentially compared to the duration of the “stop”.
I felt a sense of metamorphosis over time with consistent and concerted effort for a five year period. Things began to be seen within myself. I could witness myself from an extraordinary viewpoint in times of strife. Previously I was unable to extract myself from the pain, the suffering and the inner considering.
I began to notice the very subtle patterns that were the forerunners of negative states.
These states became another reminder and were much more easily detected. It seemed the times of everyday life in utter sleep lost in thought were the more difficult times to increase the duration.
At some point in the process, a cue could go off and I was already there. Nothing needed to bring me to attention. I realized that the quality of the stops had changed too. They were deeper, longer, and more…present.
How are you working with frequency and duration?
What is your experience so far with remembering to remember yourself?
Does it happen more often spontaneously?
Are you able to more easily hold the presence once you have nailed the frequency of occurrences?
Let me know in the comments.