Offering a synthesis of spiritual teachings viewed through the lens of modern-day. personal experiences, Being Present provides practical insight into how to cultivate a peaceful mind, live skillfully, and nurture a spiritual connection through the power of the present moment. Darren Cockburn shares practical exercises, meditations, and reflections, revealing how to free yourself from becoming lost in unhelpful thoughts and emotions, while bringing acceptance to what life presents you with.
Find our how to generate true mindfulness, utilizing the connection to your breath as well as immersion in nature. Learn how to use your body as a tool for raising your level of consciousness and how to weave exercise, diet, breathing techniques, and sexuality into your spiritual practice. Learn to view and work with occurrences like tiredness or pain as spiritual teachers for enriching your presence of mind and being. Darren explains how simplifying life brings a better understanding to harmful thought patterns and all types of addictions. Identifying these provides the opportunity to view them afresh and release or manage them differently and thus creates precious breathing space for our often overly busy minds. A stable practice of mindful presence enhances the quality of communication with others, be it at home with family and friends, or at work.
Alongside a comprehensive introduction to meditation techniques Darren provides useful guidance on how to successfully integrate a regular spiritual practice into your day-to-day activities. You will find pointers that explain how to create your own unique and personal structure in order to support your ongoing spiritual practice, the fruits of which will ultimately be a peaceful, calmer, and more connected experience of life. Whether you are starting out or arc keen to deepen an existing connection with the spiritual dimension, this structured guide provides much valuable support.
DARREN COCKBURN has been practising meditation and mindfulness for over twenty years, studying with a range of teachers from different religions. Coaching and teaching groups in different contexts, he has supported hundreds of people in meditation, mindfulness and finding a connection to spirituality, with a focus on applying spiritual teachings in everyday life to cultivate a peaceful mind.
Darren also works as a business consultant supporting organizations with strategy formulation, interim leadership roles and transformation programmes. Outside of his work, he enjoys reading, walking in nature, spending time with friends and his two children. In addition, he is very passionate about yoga.
Living in the present moment will enhance your relationships, help you experience joy, happiness and a lasting connection to a higher source that you cannot achieve any other way. Ina world filled with many surface pleasures, it is easy to miss the most important connection; the connection to one's self.
Being Present is a roadmap that will take you on a journey to finding your own connection. Lessening the noise of the outside world that leads to unhappiness, addictions, unrest in the mind, anxiety, fear, destructive habits and patterns, Being Present will help you tap deep into your soul and unlock the connection that is your human right.
Darren Cockburn is a spiritual teacher by nature. His skilful articulation of complex spiritual concepts helps novice to advanced spiritual seekers alike cultivate a peaceful mind and spiritual connection. I had the pleasure of meeting Darren years ago on spiritual retreat and now consider him a close friend, confidant and teacher. Immediately taking to his warmth and loving nature, I found myself captivated by his presence. We talked for hours about life, love, mindfulness, meditation and spirituality. It quickly became obvious that Darren has been a long-time practitioner and has studied a wide range of religions, philosophies and spirituality.
When Darren told me he was writing a book, I was thrilled to know his knowledge would be transferred to the mass. Darren has a message that will resonate with all people from all walks of life. His experience, passion and understanding will help you find your own internal peace and ultimately transform your life.
As a wellbeing expert, I am exposed to many teachings, writings and practices. My book, Back to Balance, was written as a manual to help readers integrate mind, body and spirit to achieve ultimate health. I am constantly searching for and learning new ways to incorporate spirituality into my busy and sometimes stressful life. The key is to stay balanced and like everyone else, I am always looking for ways to keep myself centered. Darren provides structured teachings, reflections and exercises that have helped me stay present and cultivate a still mind.
If you are looking for spiritual practices to help you in everyday life, easily implementable solutions to cultivate a peaceful mind and spiritual connection, Being Present is the book for you. Through this easy to read manual, you will move deeper into your practice, gaining freedom from destructive patterns, thoughts and emotions. You will learn how to apply traditional spiritual teachings in your life. We are all faced with a wide range of stressors from our careers, relationships, addictions, financial pressures, illnesses, and responsibilities of all kinds. Learning hoot to manage these stressors is essential to living a balanced life. Being Present provides the tools to do so.
I wish you peace and love as you begin this very important journey to Being Present.
A good place to start is to ask the question "What is Presence?" Keep that question in mind, as you are about to read a book which will point you towards the answer. Only you can make the connection, as the answer can be known, but not explained. You can ask me how it feels to bathe in the sea, and I can describe the temperature of the water, the sensation of the waves crashing against my body and the beauty found within the reflections from the sun. You can only know how this feels if you wade in and experience it for yourself. Even then our experience will be different every time because both the sea and us are constantly changing.
Being Present means connecting to something formless and unchangeable. However, the way we become Present is changeable, leading to a unique journey every time. The word "form" is used throughout this book. It includes everything within the universe, including thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and anything that can enter the senses. Form represents everything that we can describe, down to individual partides within atoms. Formlessness or emptiness, on the other hand, is what cannot be described, only known or pointed towards.
You may have already discovered Presence. If you have, wonderful! You can use this book to deepen and increase the frequency of your experience. If not, reading this book may help you discover it. Experiencing even a brief flash of Presence is enough to allow you to reconnect with it again and again.
Characteristics of Presence
I will explain what Presence means to me in the form of six characteristics. This personal account is provided in the hope that my words point you in the right direction and may help you recall times when you have felt it for yourself. Your experiences of Presence, which may be described differently, connect to the same source. It is absolutely fine if you do not resonate with or understand the characteristics at this stage. Allow them to wash over you. They will become clearer as the book progresses.
The first characteristic is a still and quiet mind with no discursive thought. Discursive thought is the kind of thought that rambles around our minds in an uncontrolled way, without us being aware of it. When we are Present, we may be aware of odd thoughts coming to mind, which soon pass. The same is true of feelings such as excitement, anxiety, envy, happiness, sadness and so on. Occasionally a feeling will present itself and then pass. For example, we may experience a feeling of happiness. We can be directly aware of the components that make up the feeling of happiness, which may be certain bodily sensations and a smile, but there will be no discursive thought to accompany it. If we were lost in thought rather than being Present, we may be asking questions such a, "Why am I happy?", "How do I remain happy?" or "What will those people over there think about me being happy?" With Presence, we are simply aware and accepting of our direct experience with no discursive thought or questioning.
Freedom from discursive thought creates freedom from suffering. Suffering is different to physical pain. Physical pain is associated with the body and suffering is associated with our thoughts. The two are often connected. Physical pain can trigger suffering and suffering can trigger physical pain. Presence creates freedom from suffering and the opposite of suffering is peace. Suffering is created through craving. This is one of the central teachings of Buddhism. Whenever we get lost in discursive thought, there will always be craving towards pleasure or away from pain. These cravings operate using the realm of time and not the present moment, which is time-less. When we crave, our minds resist how things are in the present. Things are a certain way, which we cannot change now because they are, but we want them to be different. They cannot be different at this point in time. Thinking we can make the different now through thought and creating some fantasy in our minds is delusional and unhelpful. Presence on the other hand, which means being aligned with the present moment, accepts everything as it is at this point in time. This aligns us to how things really are and allows us to be peaceful and content. Once we understand these truths, the goal is to train the mind so that we can stay Present where thinking only occurs when we consciously enable it for practical purposes.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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