Being Present: Cultivate a Peaceful Mind through Spiritual Practice (Paperback)
Free yourself from unhelpful thoughts and emotions and learn to live peacefully in the present
• Provides practical exercises, meditations, and reflections centered on mindfulness, breath, and immersion in nature to simplify your life and anchor you in the present
• Learn to use your body as a tool for raising consciousness, work with occurrences like tiredness, illness, and pain as spiritual teachers, as well as identify and release addictions, including harmful thought patterns
• Can be integrated with any religion or spiritual teaching with examples pertaining to everyday experiences in the Western world
Offering a synthesis of spiritual teachings viewed through the lens of modern personal experiences, Darren Cockburn provides practical insight into how to cultivate a peaceful mind, live skillfully, and nurture a spiritual connection through the power of the present moment.
The author shares practical exercises, meditations, and reflections, revealing how to free yourself from becoming lost in unhelpful thoughts and emotions, while bringing acceptance to what life presents you with. He explains how to generate true mindfulness through connection to your breath as well as immersion in nature. He details how to use your body as a tool for raising your level of consciousness as well as how to weave exercise, diet, breathing techniques, and sexuality into your spiritual practice. He explores how to work with occurrences like tiredness, illness, and pain as spiritual teachers for enriching your presence of mind and being.
The author explains how simplifying life where possible will also bring a better understanding to all types of existing addictions, including harmful thought patterns, providing precious breathing space for our overly busy minds. In addition, he shows how a stable practice of mindful presence can enhance the quality of communication with others, be it with family, with friends, or at work.
Alongside an introduction to meditation techniques and supportive wisdom teachings from Buddhist and other spiritual traditions, Cockburn provides useful guidance on successfully integrating a regular spiritual practice into your day-to-day activities. He also includes pointers on how to create your own unique and personal structure in order to support your ongoing spiritual practice, the fruits of which will ultimately be a peaceful, calmer, and more connected experience of life.
About the Author
Darren Cockburn has been practicing meditation and mindfulness for over 20 years, studying with a range of teachers from different religions. As a coach and teacher, he has supported hundreds of people in meditation, mindfulness, and finding a connection to spirituality, with a focus on applying spiritual teachings in everyday life to cultivate a peaceful mind. Darren also works as a business consultant supporting organizations with strategy formulation, interim leadership roles, and transformation programs. He lives in Bournemouth, England.
“Darren and I sat in meditation for a week, and I could clearly sense his ability to sink into stillness and be Present. . . . He has a beautiful way of writing and presenting spiritual teachings. . . . The feeling of Presence that Darren’s book evokes gradually becomes an inner experience that you can keep tapping into, an experience that can go beyond reading his book.”
— ESTHER EKHART, yoga and meditation teacher and founder of the online yoga studio EkhartYoga.com
“Being Present provides insight into the nature of addiction, how it manifests and how it can be released. This clear and concise book is a useful tool for anyone who wants to understand addiction and recovery. In my work and in my personal recovery from addiction I can affirm that every addict needs to look beyond the substance or behaviours and into himself or herself as a person for the underlying cause. This always involves knowledge of thought patterns and emotions, and for many no sustained recovery would be possible without a spiritual program. Ego is at the root of addiction, and learning new ways of letting go of unhelpful behaviours is a powerful growth in true self-awareness. The knowledge that I don’t have to be trapped in my ego but can connect to a higher power comes as a tremendous relief and release for many addicts. To then develop a relationship with this higher self, experience the pleasure of connection and guidance, and enjoy the pathways of this journey brings deep healing for those used to unskilful means for dealing with pain. This book from an experienced spiritual practitioner guides us carefully through to understanding what it means to be present and includes advice on how to seek help and support for those experiencing significant addictions. Presence is a powerful antidote to being lost in thought and craving, and I am happy to recommend this book as a welcome addition to our understanding of recovery.”
— DENNIS WAREING, substance misuse worker
“Reading Darren’s book Being Present feels like a meditation. In clear, simple language Darren describes the process of letting go of identification with our thoughts and feelings and invites us to a place of peace with what is. I have spent enough time with Darren to realize that this book is a transmission of his own deep practice of Presence. His teachings spring from his lived experience, and the authenticity of his words radiate from the page.
At this time humanity is in dire need of spiritual awakening, and this book is an invaluable guide to anyone interested in learning how to awaken in a way that is gentle and loving.”
— JENNIE HASTINGS (SRI DEVI), yoga teacher and programmer at Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, Bahamas
“I met Darren in India at a yoga center several years ago, and I was struck by his Presence and kindness toward others. We later came to know each other, and I learned there were profound wisdom and spiritual teachings behind his outlook on life. Reading Being Present helps in keeping these teachings alive in daily life. For me practicing awareness through meditation and contemplating how to simplify my life makes me more peaceful and grounded in my often stressful working days.
As a medical doctor I strongly believe in having a holistic view of well-being, with physical and mental health being equally important. This book provides concrete guidance through different aspects of how you can improve your life when it comes to, for example, dealing with work-life balance, finding stillness, and overall cultivating Presence.”
— JOHANNA ANDERSSON, medical doctor