Presence (Part II)

Have you noticed how your attachment to digital devices affects you ability to be truly present to yourself and others? Did you notice how much time seems to slip by while you are scrolling? There is no doubt that constant engagement with digital technologies impairs our attention, presence, thinking, reflecting, talking and relating.


So while we live in an age where we have more and more ways of connecting, we were never more disconnected. Has the technological age allowed us to connect more deeply with ourselves and others? To what extent are we lost in the middle of the cyber world?


To what extent is the self lost in this space?


Michael Foley in The Age of Absurdity speaks about The Four Ignoble Truths

  1. We can’t sit still
  2. We can’t shut up
  3. We can’t escape self obsession
  4. We can’t stop wanting things


The digital age feeds into these truths. We are currently told that the amount of data and knowledge in the world is doubling every 8 months.


Where is the life we have lost in living?

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?

Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

– TS Elliot


This is a wonderful age to live in. Technology contributes significantly to this wonder. Our challenge is to find balance, to connect with the self at least as much as we do with technology – the many different versions of self:

Saturated / Bountiful self

Empty / Full self

Absent / Present self

Deprived / Rich self

Fragmented / Whole self

Dislocated / Engaged self

Disconnected / Connected self

Displaced / Anchored self


We are challenged to focus on the opportunities to be present to ourselves and others, because the occasions for distraction are ever present.


How can we be open to being in this present moment?


There are several doorways available to us to enter into the present moment. I believe that the three most available to us are mind, body and spirit.


Mind   – The mind is an organ of great observation. It is through our mind that we observe others and our selves. It is with our mind that we make choices. Becoming present to ourselves is first and foremost a choice, a decision that we make to focus and become aware.


Body  – It is through our bodies that we experience our own aliveness, through sensations. By connecting to the sensations in our body we can become more fully alive, more present in any moment any place. The body is a rich source of information about what is going on within ourselves and relationship to others.


Spirit  – The spiritual connection with self is when one moves beyond the mind and body to the place of deep presence. The essence of who you are. Your spirit holds deep wisdom and knowing without the need to justify or find cause. Being present at a spirit level radiates out to make connections with the spirit in others. As Teilhard de Chardain says


We are spiritual beings having a human experience


Take Time to Pause:

  1. Take time today to breathe to become aware of the thoughts in your mind. Breathe slowly and slow down your thoughts even just for one minute.
  1. Stop! Notice all that is happening in your body. What can you become aware of in that one moment on time?
  1. Connect with the spirit of you – the essence of who you are. Take time to listen to your inner self, to connect with your spiritual journey.

“The miracle is not to walk on water.

The miracle is to walk on the green earth,

dwelling deeply in the present moment

and feeling truly alive.”

– Thich Nhat Hanh

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