Presence provides the stability for a deep transformation in how you relate to all experience. It strips away your ability to avoid and escape, and opens the door to facing everything, rather than running from it.
Presence in the moment holds a profoundly transformative power for us. It eases cravings, anxiety, trauma, depression, and obsession. But most of all, presence has the capacity to dissolve the seeker identity within us, so that we begin to live fully aware of the present moment, allowing everything to be as it is. The present moment becomes our stable and reliable home. Since addiction is all about escaping or avoiding what is, presence becomes an antidote to the constant desire to escape or avoid.
Presence is our natural way of being in the here and now without emphasizing our stories as completely true and real. Stories may still arise, but they begin to feel lighter and more transparent once the present moment becomes more predominant for us. This way of being is always and already available in each moment. Once we recognize this, the cycle of addiction can finally begin to relax!
If the key to freedom from addiction is found through presence, then how can presence be reached via a way? Doesn’t the word “way” itself imply a time-bound method that is, the movement from now to some point in the future?
To answer that, we have to take a closer look at who we are as humans. We’re used to thinking of ourselves as stories involving a past, present, and future. All our lives, we’ve been conditioned to think of the future as the key to unlocking whatever it is we’re seeking. So at first, it’s only natural that we approach this way of recovery within that same, familiar way of thinking.
Yet, through the Natural Rest way, we eventually wake up and out of this conditioning—out of the false belief that we must somehow seek the future to find our sense of fulfillment or well-being. As we rest in presence, we come to see that we’re already whole and complete in the here and now. We find less need to identify with thoughts of the past and future. As this happens, our stories become less important to us. And, as our stories become less important, our sense of living in time gradually dissolves, leaving only the peace and freedom of timeless presence.
Some may begin to practice this way and discover instantaneous presence. They’re ready to live there! Because it happened so quickly, they might not experience resting in presence as a way or method at all.
For most of us, however, a complete recognition of presence doesn’t happen in one fleeting instant or even overnight. For that reason, this book was created as a way to ease you into restful presence, gradually. Although this approach may give the impression that you’re moving toward the realization of presence in the future, in actuality the story of needing the future is falling away.
How long does it take for you to recognize presence in all areas of your life? It will take exactly how long it takes. So relax and enjoy the ride! And always, always, always trust your own experience.