Are you in the room? Can you stay in the room?
There are many forms of meditations with various intentions behind them. Each can offer something valuable and while we teach several different styles, the primary way we approach meditation here at Consciously is through presence. Over the years we have taken some ancient practices and made them as easy to grasp as possible for people ranging from beginners in meditation to advanced. In this endeavor, “The Game of Presence” was born.
The Game of Presence
What is the Game?
To stay in the room — to keep your awareness and attention in the room/in the senses and out of the mind.
What do you mean, “out of the mind”?
To keep your attention out of thinking in both the form of images and concept/auditory. This isn’t to say that there can’t be thought, but keeping your attention on senses is the goal. If thoughts are happening in the background, which they almost undoubtedly will be, that is ok.
Why no mind?
A primary function of the mind is that it seeks to know so it can orient to reality to keep you alive (survival). As a result, it is constantly making meaning of this moment–categorizing it, labeling it, and judging it. It then uses that data to overlay life with its conclusions. This creates a “reality tunnel” and the lens in which you see through. This informs everything from your relationship to yourself (identity), your relationship to others, and your relationship to Life.
Positive psychology, mindset work, CBT, and other modalities work primarily with the question, “what is the mind’s programming?” and “how do you change it to a healthier one if need be?”
What we are doing here is different. Instead of working with what the mind is saying, we are going to disengage from it completely. Again… why?
While the survival function of the mind is highly adaptive and amazing, it can inadvertently disconnect you from the experience of life as it is. Instead you experience life as you think it is.
As you come into the room and into the senses, you can relearn to orient from a different place and a different knowing. To learn to feel the life force all around you and to engage with the heart of this moment directly. To come out of the minds overlay of reality into direct contact with reality.
What are the rules?
The rules are simple, when you are playing, that is what you are doing. It is very helpful to isolate yourself from any activities that engage the mind. No reading, writing, watching something, SM, etc. Engaging the senses is ok but less is more. If it takes you out of the room, don’t do it. The game can be played sitting, walking, lying down, etc.
How do I judge my efficacy in the game?
The percentage of time you are in the room. Over time, the less you leave the room, the more efficient you become. The goal is to be in the room at a higher percentage of the time. You are not judging the quality of being in the room, just be in the room. It doesn’t matter if it is a battle to be in the room or if it is effortless.
Do you always know that you are playing the game?
Yes, you always know you are playing the game because it is conscious attention that constitutes being in the room.
Is there a goal of the game?
Mastery — the game has been won. Effortless and eternal presence has been achieved. There is no more game. You have become the game. You have come into contact with Life as it is.
Bring your attention into the room.
This can be done through any of the senses.
Keep your attention out of the mind.
Stay in the room for as long as you can.
Let’s Play Together!
Playing the game can be done alone or with others. To play with others, it takes practice and often a reorientation in learning how to be with people in presence. If you are interested in becoming proficient in the Game of Presence and want to play with us, grab a consultation and see how we can make that happen!