"How often do you have to practice the presence of gravity? All the time! Any time you forget about gravity, and fail to practice your relationship with it, you fall on your face. So it is with practicing the presence of God. We are told to 'pray without ceasing.' It could be said the reason we have problems is that we stop practicing the presence of God." -- Dr. Eric Butterworth
Isn't it interesting how we take our relationship with gravity for granted? Yet, when we are consciously aware of this natural law and we respect it, we use it in ways that serve us immensely. Flying in an airplane is using gravity to our advantage. Knowing not to step out the door of a plane in flight without a parachute is simply practicing the awareness of the presence of gravity and respecting it. My point is when we use gravity mindfully, we don't take it for granted and it serves us well.
Just as with gravity, many people also take the presence of God (aka the Presence) in their daily lives for granted, and in so doing miss the fact that every moment of every day offers us an ongoing opportunity to live in the mystery of life and love the adventure of it all. Something quite amazing happens when we enter each day consciously knowing we are part of something far greater than what we see in the mirror. When we practice the awareness of the Presence we tend to naturally extend more loving-kindness, reverence, respect, generosity and selflessness to others. Mindfully living in the Presence in the present moment can change our experience of life in a heartbeat. Living consciously, connected to the whole of life changes how we see ourselves and our world -- it makes the planet a better place because it makes us better people.
The good news is we don't have to be ascended masters to practice the Presence -- we need only be conscious and willing not to take it for granted. It is no more difficult than practicing the awareness of the principle of gravity working in our life in every sacred second. It starts with a realization that we are already in relationship with the Infinite One just by virtue of the fact we are alive. The only question is, will it be a conscious or unconscious relationship? I have done it both ways and trust me, conscious is better. The result of consciously partnering with Presence can yield many profound experiences, the least of which will be a sense of inner peace that passes all human understanding. Again, as within, so without... and the world is that much more at peace because we are.
As a way to consciously begin practicing the Presence, consider this Mindfulness Practice: Become aware of your very next breath. On your in-breath, silently affirm to yourself, "Wherever I am," and on your out-breath affirm, "Infinite Presence is." Do this five times in a row. Continue to do this as a mindfulness practice as often during the day as you can remember.
If you really want to get into the spirit of the exercise, place a rubber band loosely on your wrist and keep it on all day long. Each time you see the rubber band throughout the day, give it a gentle snap, then smile, breathe consciously and do the affirmation. The purpose of the rubber band is not to inflict pain -- it's to assist you in remembering to remember you are never alone -- it's to awaken you to living consciously in the presence of God, never taking it for granted. The happy result is before long you will be practicing the power of presence 24/7, and, in the process, making the world a better place for us all, and that's a beautiful thing.
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