There is a point of harmony between the eternal and the temporal, and it is the sweet spot of awareness we call presence. It is what the world is waiting for. Stop living your life on autopilot.
Are You Present?
The first and most important question is about presence. It’s crucial to find out if you are present most of the time or on autopilot? “Presence” enables us to enjoy the simplest things and situations in life. That’s because the real you can show up instead of just your Ego.
There is more than one way to be present. You can be jolted into the present by a traumatic event, by mediation, and sometimes just by a glimpse of a sunset. Almost any experience can be a doorway. These are the calling-cards of our intuition. It’s trying to tell us to pay attention. It’s asking us to wake up!
The eternal and the temporal meet in harmony when we are present. — Guru Tua
Presence is the experience of a sense of harmony with our eternal nature. It’s an almost undefinable simple joy. It is possible to live in a state of continual presence. But something happens that gets in the way.
So, the question is, are you present? If you aren’t living your life with a sense of harmony and joy, there’s a problem.
The Problem — Living on Autopilot
Why do we live most of our lives on autopilot, missing these opportunities? Our soul seeks and craves these moments when we live in the present. However, our mind wants to maintain control, so it presents counterfeits to keep us busy. Our mind substitutes counterfeit superficial desires for the soul’s needs, which is precisely why material possessions often seem empty when we finally get them. It’s known as buyer’s remorse.
We feel the ache in our spirit when we’ve tried to substitute the temporal for the eternal. When we are present, we can experience without the filters of personality and instinct.
How Do We Solve This Problem?
How do we move beyond this cycle of being led by the mind’s counterfeit desires? How do we gain control of the vehicle rather than just riding in the backseat? We can take back control by learning about ourselves through a systematic process like the Enneagram of Personality. It is a process that uses a scientifically validated questionnaire to identify our personality profile and instincts. In doing so, we learn these Ego mechanisms are just tools of consciousness.
The Real You — The Observer
These mechanisms of personality are tools. They are NOT who we are. The mind wants to maintain control because it is temporary and not eternal. So it presents the elements of Ego, our personality, and instincts as substitutes. The mind knows it is just a temporary tool. These default settings are necessary, and they allow our consciousness to manifest in our bodies.
Who is The real you? It is the person we talk to inside our heads. We are that element of consciousness which the ancients call spirit or soul. We are the Observer of our life experience.
There are many theories about who we are and why we are here. Many ancient traditions tell us these basic questions prompt us to take the Hero’s Journey. It encourages us to explore the unknown. To do this, we need to take back the steering wheel. We need to take back control of our awareness. We need to learn about what triggers our emotional overrides and what it takes to calm the mind so we can be in the driver’s seat.
The Observer is the Real You! The real us is what some call spirit, soul, or Source. “Source” is the underlying consciousness in everything. You’ve probably heard the statements, we are one, or we are all connected. This is how to begin to understand this intellectually and experience it first-hand. When we are present, we connect with the Source of pure consciousness. When you are present, the bottom line is the real you can show up. This is what the world is waiting for. Stop living your life on autopilot!
The Goal of Presence
Through the use of the Enneagram and other similar inner work, we learn to deal with the self-sabotage that impedes presence. When we remove these obstacles, we become more integrated. And, when we are integrated, the Observer is in control rather than our Ego. The Observer is our connection to the source. Whenever we are present, we are connected with “Source.”
We are the Observer, a reflection of an infinite Source. So, the goal of presence is to unite us with our divine nature, our source. So, how do you connect with “Source”?
When We Are Present
There are several ways we can connect with the pure consciousness that is the essence of our being. Meditation is the most direct way to experience the silence of bliss consciousness. We can also bring a portion of this awareness into activity by merely directing our attention to our body and breath.
Being present isn’t hard to do. We need to make it into a good habit. So, here are some simple by effective ways to increase your presence. Use a kitchen timer. Set it for 3 hours. Put a sticky note on the refrigerator reminding you to get present. Move the timer to different places in your house. Place sticky notes on places that you will come across during the day.
Best of all, if you are not at home but have a smartphone set a reminder on your smartwatch every 3 hours. In the reminder, write the three-word question, are you present?
You can use a simple form of beginning meditation to bring awareness to the present moment. This will also keep you present and aware for several minutes after the mediation. Being present makes you feel better. It encourages rational versus emotional thinking.
We are not new to discover the value of presence. Many ancient traditions developed techniques to reach and maintaining presence. We call these spiritual technologies.
Spiritual technologies are what we call the tools for developing and exploring consciousness. They are processes that can alter, change or expand our awareness. Some of these methods open doorways to higher states of consciousness.
These processes come from eons of research by cultures around the world. We use the term spiritual exploration to describe these powerful methods.
We select the best of these ancient methods for our own blended learning process. These processes are time-tested by generations of use, and they stand up to the rigorous tests of science. Several of these methods produce measurable changes in our physiology. These physiological markers prove these awareness partitions differ from normal waking, sleeping, and dreaming states.
Spiritual exploration is not about faith or belief in a religion. They are processes that anyone can use. They don’t require belief. All you have to do is follow a process. We like to think of it just like baking a cake. When you want to bake a delicious cake, you follow a recipe. If you use the right ingredients and follow the directions, you get something delicious. The processes of spiritual exploration are formulas or ingredients for exploring consciousness.
There are many ways to list these methods. We divide these tools into four major categories:
- Analytical Tools
- Awareness Expansion Tools
- Modalities for Healing
The study of spiritual things seems like an odd place to find analytical tools, but these analytical processes are vital to our spiritual quest. This is because their use enhances our ability to use common sense and logic.
These tools help us think more clearly and make better decisions. This helps us avoid many of the common obstacles in our culture. This group’s primary tools are Logical Reasoning, Comparative Analysis, and The Enneagram of Personality.
The study of logic is the first tool we use in our group practice, but these methods help anyone seeking the truth. We encourage our participants to create a reminder on their smartphone to review these tools every month. This keeps them fresh in our minds, and that’s when they become useful in spotting ploys and deception.
We use a set of three related tools. The first tool is Logical reasoning, which summarizes the basic use of logic in language. It shows how people misuse logic to sell us ideas and beliefs. Next is spotting logical fallacies. This module provides practical examples of the most common logical fallacies. The last module, the logical axioms, ties everything together by contrasting how science and mythology differ in their approaches to presenting the truth.
Comparative Analysis is a systematic approach to comparative religious study based on the scientific model. It is a method of comparing ideas and beliefs from different worldviews, and it is another tool we recommend for the new spiritual explorer.
This process introduces the challenge of comparing their beliefs to other worldviews. We incorporate the use of emotional checks with this process to maintain our emotional equilibrium. This helps us think more clearly by reducing interference from our emotions.
Above all, the use of logical reasoning and comparative analysis will sharpen your ability to discern fact from fiction. So, these aren’t just for research. You’ll find a use for these tools every day. Besides their use in religion, politics, they are also helpful with TV and Radio newscasts.
The Enneagram of Personality
The Enneagram of Personality is a tool of cognitive science that helps us understand the mechanisms of Ego, personality, and instinct. The best authors and researchers write in easily understandable language so the layperson can understand it, while it is deep enough for any clinician. This makes it a powerful system available to almost everyone.
You will find modern psychology and the Enneagram share many of the same concepts and authors. Borrowing and then building on the work of others is a common practice. For instance, Jungian psychology parallels the structure of the Enneagram. It has nine processes of consciousness.
The core of the Enneagram Personality Profile is a series of questionnaires. If you provide honest answers, you will get an accurate personality profile. The scientific method of testing verifies the accuracy of this tool. The system goes beyond identification into deeper thought processes and beliefs. It integrates spiritual and psychological understanding. It will lead you to the source of your personal power.
When you say spiritual practice, many people think of meditation. Seated and moving forms of meditation are the centerpiece of spiritual exploration. The practice of meditation is now common knowledge. Both seated and moving meditation bring many health and wellness benefits.
Seated meditation is the heart of many spiritual practices. Meditation is a range of mental tools for exploring consciousness. It has everything from Mindfulness Meditation through Japa or Transcendental Meditation (TM). And also includes more advanced practices like the Siddhis of Patanjali.
Moving meditation is an action with a heightened level of awareness, and this includes a range of activities involving the mind-body connection. Using these modalities helps improve mind and body connection. This progression includes energy collection modalities like Qigong and Tai Chi. It also includes Forest Bathing and grounding techniques like Tree Grounding and Sun Gazing.
Awareness Expansion Tools
This category has a diverse mix of tools dealing with awareness and perception. This group of processes starts with the Shamanic Journey or Guided Meditation. It also includes lucid dreaming, third-eye awakening exercises, and techniques to improve memory.
Another important tool is the spiritual journal or book of shadows. This is your best coach. It also includes exercises like automatic writing. You could list these tools among some groups. However, we like to list them separately because of their importance to awareness.
The Shamanic Journey is probably man’s first spiritual technology. This traditional method is at the core of many indigenous cultures. It serves as evidence of the historical importance of the inner quest.
There are many variations on this theme, but essentially the same formula. Rhythm is a key element that regulates heart rate and breathing. Then the mind projects an inner world providing the lucid journey.
A Shaman is a person who guides people through this journey in the spirit world. However, you can take this inward journey by yourself. This tool for changing awareness uses a range of seated and moving forms.
This is one of the ancient technologies that people have tried to rename or rebrand. They do this to make the Shamanic Journey more marketable. So, some people know it as guided meditation or creative visualization.
Modalities for Healing
The last group is healing practices. This group includes a diverse set of tools such as Pe Jet, which comes from Indonesia, and Reiki and Shiatsu come from Japan. Vedic medicine is also available, along with other traditional healing forms. Self-care is a vital part of this group. Our overall health and wellness affect every aspect of life.
The practice of any healing method is a natural outlet for our positive energy. Many people come to the healing arts as a secondary interest. They were not initially interested in learning or practicing the healing arts, but they find it enjoyable to give back and help others once they learn.
The real you need to show up every day. There is a point of harmony between the eternal and the temporal. This occurs when we find the sweet spot of awareness we call presence. This is what the world is waiting for. Stop living your life on autopilot. This happens when we are present. Showing up and getting present isn’t that hard. We need to remember to do it. Set a reminder prompting you to ask, are you present? Allow the real you, the observer, to show up.
We hope you found this article helpful and perhaps thought-provoking. You will find more interesting articles about the spiritual adventure of life on our blog. Use the search option on the blog pages to find articles by key terms, words, topics, or category.
Are you interested in learning methods of consciousness and spiritual exploration? We offer a unique training curriculum using a blended learning process that ensures the best learning outcomes. We can tailor this process to fit any learning goals from beginner to advanced spiritual explorer. This curriculum aligns with what Joseph Campbell calls the Hero’s Journey (1).
This curriculum in both virtual and traditional classroom formats. Our face-to-face learning sessions will resume when conditions permit us to do so safely. We started offering our virtual learning sessions in 2018, well before the pandemic.
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(1) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia