Silent Fitness Part 3: The Power of Presence

Before I begin, allow me to summarize Part 1 and Part 2 of this series.

In Silent Fitness Part 1, https://tim-coats.com/silent-fitness/, I explained the technique I use. 

In Silent Fitness Part 2, https://tim-coats.com/silent-fitness-part-2/, I described the nature of our two-fold awareness and how silent fitness relieves dis-ease, which arises from thought. 

In Part 3, I want to cover the power of presence. 

The bliss that accompanies the simple feeling of “being” cannot be overstated. We live in a time of anxiety and stress. Technology promotes an ever-on lifestyle that is not conducive to inner peace.

I love listening to music. Yet, as enjoyable as that is, I find I must leave my Iphone in another room to prevent the temptation of constantly checking my screen.  

When we bring ourselves to the present moment, time disappears, along with stress. 

But there’s more.

When awareness is occupied by thought, our context is “Self,” effectively isolating  broader connectivity. 

In part 2, I defined the three conditions necessary for awareness; a subject, an object, and a connection. Thought-centered awareness receives connecting energy through a “self” imposed filter. 

When awareness shifts to the moment, connection is unfiltered. Presence, absent of thought, broadens connectivity in life. 

This concept may be hard to grasp. Allow me to share a couple examples. 

Hiking the Oregon coastal forest in complete presence reveals utter connectivity. Tiny salamanders crawl through the ferns, raindrops fall 150 feet from the canopy, mountain streams rush towards the ocean. Peace is found in “Being” uninterrupted by thought.

The more we unburden awareness from thought, the more connections we witness. Everything is connected. It just doesn’t appear that way when time-stamped self-filtered thoughts cloud our view. 

The evolution of awareness proceeds from I (thought centered) to “We” (witnessing) to “One” ( as “Being” and “presence” merge). This miracle transforms us. 

Perhaps another example will help.

I tend to be self-centered, task-focused and easily frustrated when unexpected events get in the way. A story our adult children love to tell is the time I unknowingly pulled up behind a parked car and began honking at the driverless vehicle to get a move on it.  

Silent fitness helps to moderate this inborn tendency.

One morning, after practice, I entered the on-ramp to the highway to find traffic completely stalled. I had a meeting with our CEO in 15 minutes. There was no way I would arrive on time. My normal reaction would have been to “freak-out.” Instead, my first thought was, “I hope there isn’t an accident with injuries!”

When awareness shifts from “Self-centered” thought to “We-centered” presence, “Being” is transformed. Silent fitness opens this connectivity, even for those of us wired to live in our heads. 

Evelyn Underhill wrote a book titled “Practical Mysticism,” published a hundred years ago. Don’t let the title scare you; this is an amazing little book. Underhill defines mysticism as “Union with Reality.” That is a beautiful sentiment. It is impossible to be in union with reality when awareness is consumed in thought.

Silent practice, mindfulness, meditation, or whatever one chooses to call it, is much more than a relaxation technique. It moves us forward on the journey from “I” to “We” to “One!”