The art of becoming aware of the inner body can develop into a sense of calm that adds depth to our experience of living. Being present in the body is something experienced, not something we arrive at through intellectual understanding. It occurs through being physically conscious and being aware of the body from the inside out, because it is our instrument for living.
What matters is not what we are doing but how we are doing it. This amounts to paying attention and pausing at full alertness but without tension, as opposed to projecting oneself away and waiting restlessly for some future point relative to which the present is perceived as an undesirable obstacle.
This experience of mental, physical, and emotional calm corresponds to a freedom from verbal thought. An intensely alive state, it can also be encountered when the mind is rendered senseless by beauty, physical exertion, or danger. By releasing us from mental preoccupations, it makes us capable of extraordinary deeds in life or death situations. It also underlies the creative process common to the arts and sciences.
As we become more conscious of our present reality, we may suddenly get insights into why our reactions follow certain patterns resulting from our past experiences and conditioning. This can be helpful, but it is not necessary, because what dissolves the past is being present in the moment. We can drop unconscious habits once we become aware of them and decide that we neither want nor need them, but we do not need to understand this process in order for any of this to happen, as it is entirely experiential.