Once I was in conversation with a client and mentioned something about “being present to Truth”. Suddenly he exclaimed, “Ohhhhh. Present to Truth.” He explained that he had read over and over again in spiritual teachings about the importance of being mindful, or present to what he was doing, whatever it was, as a way to peace. He practiced this for years but he did not experience anything remarkable. It had never been explained to him that he needed to make the conscious effort to be open to Truth in the present. He thought that merely being present was supposed to be enough. And once he did practice being present to Truth his experience was transformed.
This is another example of how cause and effect in spiritual practice are not always adequately explained (see last week’s article (http://acimmentor.blogspot.com/2016/04/theres-no-need-to-put-cart-behavior.html). Someone has a moment of being present and they experience Truth (a transcendent experience of peace or joy, the awareness of the illusory nature of the world, a sense of the expansive nature of True Being, etc.) They don’t realize that this happened only because they were unconsciously open to Truth. They think that merely coming into the present resulted in their experience of Truth. They then teach others in writing or speaking to be mindfully present so that they, too, can experience Truth. But what brought Truth into their awareness was not merely being present. It was their openness to Truth. So when their followers practice mindfulness and do not experience anything remarkable they are left confused about the practice. They do not experience Truth. They wonder, what am I doing wrong?
Mindfulness is actually an effect of being present to Truth. It will not lead to an awareness of Truth unless you are unconsciously or consciously open to Truth in that moment. But once you are present to Truth you find that you are mindful simply because the effect is that when you are present to Truth you are present in the world, too.
Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.