Presence and the Present Moment

The Eternal Present


Yogic teachings emphasize awareness in the here and now, what is often regarded as being in the present moment, not concerned being about the past or the future. This has often been misunderstood. For most of us, being in the present means getting into what is immediately happening around us in the world of the senses. It implies experiencing the moment and its shifting pleasures and pains, which is the pursuit of sensation outwardly, not awareness of Being inwardly. This is to become driven by the stream of external events like a leaf blown by the wind. To be such a creature of the present moment is to have no enduring values in life, caught in the fleeting shadows of the external world.


The true present is not of time. The present that lies between the past and the future is an insubstantial moment that has no reality of its own. It is the most fleeting and insignificant of all things. The true present is the presence of consciousness which observes time but does not change along with time. In that pure presence of Being, the images of time appear like bubbles or clouds that have no real substance of their own. The true present is a state of awareness, not the experiences of the body or mind. It is the state of the witness or observer, not the doer attached to the action.


The way to truth is not to try to hold on to the ephemeral present moment, which does not endure even for an instant, but to remain composed in the eternal presence of consciousness that encompasses all time. The true presence of Being has no form or motion, though it is reflected in all things and holds them like space. To open up to that undying presence is to no longer be disturbed by the transient events around us, which are always uncertain – but to embrace all time as a process of perception of the eternal witness that is the consciousness beyond the mind.

True meditation requires not dwelling in the changing present moment, but dwelling in unchanging presence. Presence is Being, which is in all things, in all time and beyond, in all our states of waking, dream and deep sleep, birth, death and beyond, not just in the images that our senses provide us. You are that presence of consciousness, which is your true nature beyond all karma, the Atman within.


Remain present in your own Being and you will discover that the entire universe will move around you as a dance of bliss. All time and space will be your reflections.

April 4, 2018

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