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Intentionally taking time to “pause” is an effective method for interrupting our unconscious attachment to the constant flow of automatic thoughts and allowing greater access to the inner stillness and silence in which, to which, and from which everything appears.

Pausing and turning inward quiets our mental activity exposing an inner calmness and quietness that is ever-present although often unrecognized. This inner state of being often goes unnoticed because of our obsessive participation in mental activities. When we directly access this inner state of being we are said to be fully present or accessing “presence”.

When in presence we recognize that we are the observer or witness of the thoughts, feelings, and perceptions appearing in our perceptual field. We realize that we are not the objects in our awareness but, in reality, we are the awareness itself in which all objects arise. Slowing down, pausing, resting in awareness, and experiencing pure awareness reveals that we are always present, i.e., our sense of existence is timeless and unchanging.

Being “fully present” includes experiencing qualities such as relaxation, openness, receptivity, peacefulness, stillness, quietness, neutrality, stability, completeness, fulfillment and contentment. These characteristics of presence mimic those associated with that which is called a state of “being”. The qualities of this inner state of being are a stark contrast to our typically active “thinking and doing” state that is so familiar to most of us.

Periodically reminding ourselves to take a moment to stop, pause, and turn inward can serve as a helpful, initial step toward experiencing a state of being and the positive characteristics of presence.