Experiencing the presence asks for exercise. Experiencing a good moment seems to be so much easier than experiencing a bad moment. But totally acceptance of any experience at all is the key to stay in the moment. That together with kindness to the self and compassion for whatever the experience might be. That is a matter of exercise. Exploring by observing the thoughts, accepting or non-accepting (be aware of that, it might be the case) and inviting the self to stay with whatever experience there is at this moment.
I can only speak from my own experience. So I’ll do that. When I experience it, it is no guarantee that all kind of thoughts will suddenly be gone, but it is a guarantee for being in the moment. And from there I just experience moment to moment, without knowing what this moment will bring. And whether it is a bad or good experience, it does not matter. It is the experience itself which invites me to stay in the presence. It is the ‘not knowing’ part which helps me to stay in the moment.
Thoughts will come. Thoughts as: you see, you still feel lousy OR why do I feel like this again? Or how come that it never ends Or you idiot OR you are better than..? Most of the time those are judgemental thoughts. And mostly judging about the self and judgemental about the thoughts which passed. But when I observe them and see them as thoughts and welcome them and smile at them, I’ll experience that they will go and other thoughts will come but they also will leave, like when you observe a blue sky with clouds passing by. But I don’t expect them to leave. I just experience, observe, accept with kindness and be with the thoughts.
It is just about being here when they arrive and welcome them. Welcome them by smiling to each thought and then let them go freely, without hanging into the thoughts. Is there a difference between good or bad ones? Only if I’m not experiencing the moment. When I sometimes see myself clinging to the good ones and try to get rid of the bad ones. But if I experience the now, I’ll see that the difference between the form of thoughts becomes smaller and smaller. Thoughts are just thoughts, either good or bad, but every moment has its own uniqueness.
Note: One of my teachers once said: ‘Reading about meditation or talking about it is not experiencing it.’ I totally agree on that one. Meditation helps to observe the thoughts and even if it is only for one minute. That small practise a day can make a major difference in life.