How to educate my mind to be present?

Remarks by José Parés Pérez. Concepción, Chile.

Like most of the subjects that we learn in life, being present is learned through practice. Being present is a condition as natural as we are that it is difficult to understand how we could have forgotten it. As children, before we understood anything at all, we were always present in ourselves because we immediately declared that we didn’t like what we felt. Whatever we felt, we immediately alerted others that we were feeling it.

There was nothing that could interfere with that decision: not fear, not distraction, not a schedule to stop us. We were totally spontaneous. We lived our moments. But that changes very early on in life; the thread of the relationship between this and that began to transform into a maze, to mesh, to thought. From there, onto desire and fear are very short steps, and we end up learning that there are ways to get what we want, that “I don’t like what they make me do,” etc.

Everything that removes us from living the present moment causes us to live outside of ourselves because we don’t accept what we are living. We are perfectly capable of taking notice of reality in our old age. But we don’t always accept that life is the present when we live and flee from it, leaving our reality and our presence.

However, it’s such a simple thing, that which we call “waking up,” returning to live “our” life. There is nothing to learn or change. You must only “realize” once again that you are the one who “realizes.” Practice the “realization” by feeling your body in this exact moment. Whatever you’re doing, you can feel it, take notice of what you’re feeling. Practice and, as they say in a phrase I like, “the rest will be an addition.”