Trying to be present implies that there is a person separate from presence that can somehow become more present.
Presence is not a doing. It is being what you already are. Presence is what is sitting in the chair, breathing, watching this screen, and looking at these words. It takes no effort to be what you already are (or even to do what you are already doing).
Pointers to presence are simply inviting the noticing that life is already happening spontaneously and involuntarily. You are that life.
In trying to be present or to arrive at a future awakening, you are entertaining a mental dream arising in the very presence that you already are. Notice that your effort to be present arises in presence.
When the word “notice” is seen here, there is a tendency to make that into an effort. The idea is, “If I just continue noticing these thoughts and emotions, I will become more present and awake.” But the effort to notice thoughts and emotions arises in presence.
There is nothing you can do to become present. “Noticing” is merely a word inviting you to see that presence is what is already noticing. Your true nature is the very presence that would set out to find itself.
When you see the futility of trying to be what you already are, effort and seeking ends. What is left is what was always and already here — presence.
by Scott Kiloby