Presence is a particularly heightened state of awareness that provides an especially clear view of what you are focused upon. Have you ever just lost track of time as you engage in an activity? Are you the kind of person who is wholly engaged in a conversation with another to the exclusion of all else?
The following excerpt from a post by contemplative priest, Richard Rohr (https://cac.org/) who shares the view of presence by one of his colleagues, Enneagram teacher Russ Hudson:
“For me, presence is a grace offered in each moment. It allows whatever I am feeling to be transmuted into something useful, for myself, for the situation I may be in, and perhaps for some greater good. . . .
Most of my spiritual journey has been about learning how to be present and, from that grounding in presence, learning how to allow love to be what moves me. . . .
Presence seems to be something received, that comes to us through a kind of willingness more than through some forceful effort.
We come to understand that our will does not operate quite as we might imagine. There is an element of grace, of something miraculous arising in us which gives us the capacity to be awake to our experience.
This is hard enough when conditions are favorable—when we are relaxed and not particularly stressed about anything. However, when powerful emotions arise, it is generally much more difficult to find a ground in us that can be compassionately awake with what we are feeling. . . .
In this sense, we naturally come to understand the importance of practices—contemplation, meditation, and prayer—as methods to cultivate in ourselves a capacity to be with larger emotions and bigger triggers in our lives.
As I often tell my students, “Practice when it is easy and it will be there for you when it is hard.”
Presence opens the door to a deeply needed focus of love and intention – a quality that offers healing for ourselves and our world.
Be in presence and in the breath!