Being present

Had a very interesting conversation with a good friend of mine this morning and it was quite an eye-opener for me.  Here was a guy who in my eyes is one of the most highly trained beings on the planet telling me that he realizes how much he is not present, how he is constantly distracted by what’s going on in his head.

This was really surprising to me as this guy occurs as supremely in the moment whenever we are together, and he himself reports that he is able to fully listen to another person and re-create what’s going on for that person.

So that left me with a disconnect with an association I realize that I had made, and that association was that listening, really listening, is a natural manifestation of someone who has developed the ability to really be present.

Present all of the time.

My friend’s revelation may not necessarily be a refutation of this hypothesis, but it does open up for me that this game (as big or small as you choose to define it) has many, perhaps infinite, levels of mastery.  My friend may have developed a high level of skill in listening to others, maybe of really being able to be present in those moments, AND he is not yet able to bring that level of focus to other areas of his life.

So having mastered your serve on one surface doesn’t mean that you have on another.

0 Responses to Being present

  1. Thanks for an interesting observation. “Being” is a very interesting concept. Its meaning varies by philosophy and has a lot of different interpretations. I guess saying “being present” you mean giving your attention to everything that is happening in the moment, not just to your thoughts (however, it is important to be present with your thoughts asw well). The world goes faster (and not deeper) and in your head you can be already few days ahead and not really paying attention to the world around you. I believe this understanding comes from Life Transformation Program(s) and is one of the main concept used by Landmark (and est, means being, to be). It is a little bit simplified but presented in a package that makes it work. Simplified (and this is just my opinion) because it shows just one dimension (side, perspective) of being, and does not make you reflective about it (unless you, yourself, choose to be).
    All phenomena related to “being” come from existential philosophy and have away more complicated and interesting interpretation. Heideggerian being-in-the-world means openness to the world; projecting into the possibilities that lie before it or may be hidden, and interpreting and understanding the world in terms of possibilities. Being reflective. Fundamental mode of being-in-the-world is being-with, – being interested in the world, being interested in the people around you, things around you; asking questions and looking for answers.
    by the way, if the person who claims to have great listening skills (and being present) few days after the conversation does not remember its details (at all), “was not really there” or just has short memory?

Any thoughts? Contributions/acknowledgments welcome.