I am a fan of Eckhart Tolle and have read many of his books, including The Power of NOW, so here are a few notes from this video titled “The Secret of LIFE”. I found that he elaborates on Presence and the concept of being present better here than in other videos I’ve seen from him. The actual YouTube version is listed above if you are interested:
“…There are two dimensions to you—to who you are—one that you are very familiar with—the person—the personal entity with a past and a future, ….including the physical body—the entity of ME—its life situation. That is usually the limit to people’s perceptions of themselves, not realizing that there is a deeper dimension in them that is…the Light of Consciousness—so that any moment you are both a person and you are the Light of Consciousness that has nothing to do with your person or personal history….when the Light of Consciousness predominates over the personal sense of self, I call that being Present. There is a presence which you cannot touch or see or make into an object of consciousness. ….Because the Presence is an eternal subject not an object to your consciousness. …
“So in any situation—in the NOW—when you can sense the Presence rather than the personal, ….who are you really? Are you the Light of Consciousness seeing others around you without judgment, …or can you only operate as the Person of YOU with your psychological makeup—your sense of limited perception? How do you feel, ….how do you sense, …the deeper Consciousness itself (of which you are only a minute part)?… At this moment (when you are in Presence) your problems have NO reality… you have only Presence. Therefore, you have no problem. …(Only when you start thinking about things do you perceive ‘problems’. Problems do not exist in Presence. There may be situations and interactions occurring, ..but that is only what they are…situations and interactions occurring around you, …you can observe them in Presence. When you judge them and designate them as deleterious to you, then you make them ‘problems.’)
“The transcendent dimension can be experienced at any time as the simple powerful fact of the Light of Consciousness that you are. …before the Light of Consciousness turns into a thought. ..So you transcend your life situation and see your life situation as a timeless self immersed in the Light of Consciousness. ..So then you can either be present or you can be immersed in your own stuff (that you judge and perceive as problems).
“…You carry the world inside your head with you,…so you cannot escape it. So you must bring the Presence into your daily existence so you can see thru the gaps in your daily life and simply be the Light of Consciousness… simply BE the Presence (without judgment or emotion). When you are lost in your thoughts, you are lost in an illusory state of existence …unaware of who you really are. When you are Present, you can sense the peace of who you are in essence …you are not totally trapped in the personal sense of self. A simple sense perception can take you out of your (thinking) mind and into your sense of just being. This is when you can occupy two dimensions simultaneously: the formed and the formless—the personal and the Light of Consciousness itself.
“The fact that you are conscious at this moment is beyond doubt, but anything else could be a dream. …When you can know yourself as that Light of Consciousness (recognizing the illusory matter you call LIFE for the illusion that it is), …it is called self-realization.
“You are the LIGHT from the projector, ….NOT the projection on the screen,…you are just the light.
“Challenges may distract us from our Presence, ….but then we wake up again to who we really are, …the Light of Consciousness, ..(not the projected image on the screen, ….we are just the Light behind it).
“We may experience challenging situations, but we do NOT have to suffer because of them, …because suffering is a choice. Suffering is how we choose to view any situation. Things happen to us, yes, …but SUFFERING because of those situations, is optional.”
“It’s wonderful to see you liberated from your personality. To simply be your Presence without your rigid thought patterns or beliefs, …that is to be liberated. And as you awaken there is a freedom in that, even though you may have your own particular characteristics, ….there is a transcendent consciousness that persists through it. That is who you are.”