To be fully awake and enlightened simply means to
be fully present in the moment of now. To be present is the simplest
thing. It is your natural state.
Every moment, you have a choice. Will you be present in the truth and reality of this moment or will you allow yourself to be seduced into the world of the mind? All thoughts take you out of the present moment. And then if you believe in those thoughts, which most of us do, you get lost in the world of the mind.
For most of us, we have become so habituated to thinking, that now thoughts never end. They have a life of their own. We are not even choosing to think. Thinking is happening all by itself and we are simply pulled from one thought to another, never really experiencing the sacredness of this moment, which is revealed in presence.
The present moment is free of memories of the past and imaginings into the future. And so the pain and limitations of the past magically disappear when you are present. Anxiety about the future also disappears. You are just here now, fully present in this moment. When you are fully present, your inner experience is one of peace, love, acceptance, power, truth and compassion. Separation and fear dissolve. You exist within Oneness.
When you bring yourself fully present, thoughts stop and your mind falls silent. But there is an even deeper level of silence waiting to emerge. As your mind becomes silent, an inner door is opened, allowing an infinite and eternal silence to emerge. This infinite and eternal silence is the very essence of your Being. It is your true nature. It is the essence of all existence. It is the eternal silent presence of pure consciousness. It is the "I AM" of you. It is that dimension of you that exists in Oneness with all that is. It is your Buddha nature. It is the Christ of you, which exists in Oneness with God. It is awakened man. It is awakened woman.
What is it like to be fully present?
To be present is to awaken into that dimension of your self and that dimension of life which is transcendent of the thinking mind. You are silent and you are fully present with what is actually here now. If you are fully present, there is no moment other than this moment. That is what it means to be awake in the truth of life. You are so fully present that you exist in this moment, and only in this moment. You are awake in the eternal now. At the very deepest level of awakened Presence, the past and future have disappeared and only the present moment is available to you. You cannot function within the world of time, for the simple reason that there is no time. There is no sense of your self outside of this moment.
This does not mean that one who has awakened is
always functioning at the deepest level of Presence. It is possible to
function at a more superficial level of Presence so that the world of
time becomes available. Even when you participate in the world of time,
you are still deeply grounded in Presence and the present moment is
always recognized as the truth of life.
If you are fundamentally awake in Presence you live without judgment, fear and desire. You live in a state of acceptance. You live as Love in the world. The illusion of separation has dissolved. You live with a strong sense of the Oneness of all things and a continuing awareness of the impersonal or eternal dimension of existence. You see others as equal and enlightened, even if they are unaware of it. This extends to animals and the world of nature. It is impossible for you to intentionally harm another. You are compassionate and you always act with integrity. You cannot be dishonest. There is something inside you which simply will not allow it. When you are fundamentally awake in the truth of life, you are substantially free of ego motivations and reactions.
This is not to imply that one who is awake is somehow perfect. At times, you can react like any one else, and experience fear and uncertainty, or feelings like hurt and anger. The difference is that now, you know that you are caught temporarily in the illusion of separation. You do not believe in the story that is presenting itself to you. You know that the past is somehow projecting itself into the present. You do not identify with the experience or any emotional reactions arising out of the experience. And yet, you take full responsibility for whatever you are experiencing. The experience is owned and accepted, but not acted upon as if it is the truth. In the midst of constant change, you know yourself as the One who never changes.
When you become fully present, thoughts stop and your mind is silent. You are not trying to stop the thoughts. It simply happens as you become present. Thoughts stop as you become present, because thoughts are always about the past or future. You cannot think about the present moment. You would have to take yourself out of the present moment in order to think about it. So if you bring yourself fully present with something that is actually here now, you must emerge out of the mind, and the world of thought. It cannot be otherwise. A noticeable shift will occur within you as you transition from the past and future world of the mind, to the world of now.
You cannot stop thoughts. It is impossible. The
very effort to stop thoughts is a reinforcement of the thinking
process. All you can do is relax, notice that you are in the mind, and
then bring yourself present with that which is already present.
It is not something you are remembering or imagining with your mind. And so you can be present with it. You are not thinking it into existence. It is actually here now and so you Thoughts will stop, and you will experience a deep feeling of peace as your mind falls silent.
But there is an even deeper level of peace and silence waiting to emerge, as you become more and more present. As your mind becomes more silent, an inner door is opened, allowing an infinite and eternal silence to emerge. This infinite and eternal silence is the very essence of your Being. It is your true nature. It is the essence of all existence. It is the eternal silent presence of pure consciousness. It is the "I AM" of you. It is that dimension of you that exists in this moment and only this moment. It is that dimension of you that exists in Oneness.
It is your Buddha nature. It is the Christ of you, which exists in Oneness with God. It is awakened man. It is awakened woman.
You can also enjoy Leonard Jacobson's video "True Awakening"