The word 'presence' often appears in spiritual conversation. I remember being confused when I first encountered the idea of presence. My confusion was the result of thinking that being ‘present ’ was the same as being ‘presence.’ Being present commonly refers to one maintaining personal attention to, or being present with, an object or experience. In other words, to be fully aware of the content of your immediate experience, to 'be here now.' We might also call this focused awareness or mindfulness, or being fully attentive.
Presence, however, might be considered as a state of being, or perhaps a field of awareness, that we can experience and know – know as inseparable from ourselves. We can sense presence, it has a certain tangible quality.
Leonard Jacobson explains this approach by writing:
The only way to bring yourself fully present is to become present with whatever is actually here now with you. If you can see it, hear it, feel it, taste it or smell it, then it is here now with you. It is present. You honor that which is present by being present with it.
and then he adds:
The more you honor that which is present and the more grateful you are for that which is present, the more you will deepen into presence.
Jacobson also writes
As you awaken into Presence, you will experience a gradual revelation of truth, first about yourself and your life, then about your soul and its journey, and then about the true nature of God and existence.
A.H. Almaas writes about presence:
We realize that 'being here' means, 'I am actually the presence that I am. I am here at this very moment, and my experience is not a mental construction dredged up from my past. I am just what I am in my factness, and I am experiencing this moment completely, directly, without anything intervening. I am the very awareness, the very consciousness, that is present, that exists, in this very moment, and I am experiencing myself as that very existence.
When you take your attention into the present moment, a certain alertness arises. You become more conscious of what's around you, but also, strangely, a sense of presence that is both within and without.
~ Eckhart Tolle
If you give yourself one complete minute of focused presence, to simply stop; even to listen to your heart beating, it will take you out of your head and introduce you to the moment... which is complete in itself. It is not on the way to another moment. It is not a bridge to another opportunity. It is the timeless perfection... So stop...and sink into this timeless moment.
When your mind is still, you have no name, you have no past, you have no relationships, you have no country, you have no spiritual attainment, you have no lack of spiritual attainment. There is just the presence of beingness with itself.
When personal identification vanishes, all that then remains is a sense of presence without the person, which gets translated into a feeling of life as total freedom.
~ Ramesh Balsekar
Stop your investment in your thoughts. Since self (imaginary center, self thought, me illusion) is imaginary you don’t have to get rid of the belief that it’s real. If you’re sensitive you can start to notice, feel, experience it, this presence is already present, it is here, it is among you and within you and as you. Do not touch it with your mind.
In our innocence, we listen to thought's interpretation of who we are and what is happening in our life. And yet in the background, there is a presence of such intelligence and wisdom that is already carrying the life we call ours. This is our natural Self. What's looking and what's seeing? There's not that much there. There's just this simple, ordinary presence, and it is so unadorned. You can run right by it if you're looking for something fancy. It's always been here, it has no age, it doesn't really have any properties or qualities, it's just this intelligence. It's so quiet, that's why they call it silence.
~ Pamela Wilson
It does not matter what you are present with, as long as you are present with something that is actually of the moment. It is impossible to be watchful of the ego unless you are sufficiently grounded in Presence. Otherwise, it is the ego watching itself. It is like a dog chasing its own tail. You will not awaken. It is essential to know the distinction between awakened Presence and the ego. There is a simple test of Presence. If you are truly present, your mind is silent. There are no thoughts. That is the test and it is not negotiable. Everything else is ego. As you awaken into Presence, you will experience a gradual revelation of truth, first about yourself and your life, then about your soul and its journey, and then about the true nature of God and existence.
~ Leonard Jacobson
The most important thing to remember about Presence is that Presence is already here . . . that it is not something we are going to acquire in the future, that it is not something that is going to be given to us . . . that it is something that is here already and that we can notice it at any given moment.
Presence is an actual sense of hereness - beyond our emotions, beyond the mind, beyond our ideas. In presence, we can know ourselves in a way that is authentic, which means that we are knowing what is real in us. When we feel presence, we are experiencing our underlying reality. It feels more real than the physical, the emotional, or the mental realms of experience. And it can't be defined in any of those terms.
~ A.H. Almaas
Then, at some point, the ego is reabsorbed into our witnessing presence, which reveals itself as the eternal beauty, absolute truth, and supreme bliss we were seeking. Instantaneously, we are established in the certitude of our primordial immortality. This sudden revelation of our non-dual nature can't be properly described through words to someone who is still under the illusion of the duality of subject and object. Such a person will understand those words in relative terms, as an objective experience. It is the only kind of experience he can conceive.
~ Frances Lucille
There is a way between voice and presence where information flows. In disciplined silence it opens. With wandering talk it closes.
A stillness underneath the chaos - the ground in which events appear. Some call it presence, or pure awareness. I call it home now. And I live from here.
When you are in the world of the thinking mind, you are somewhere in the remembered past or the imagined future. You are in a world of thought, memory, concept, idea, opinion and belief. You are not here now. What you are experiencing is not of the present moment. It is not real. You are in a world of illusion (Maya) and yet you have come to believe that it real. Almost the entire human population is lost in this illusion. It is the sole source of our suffering.
~ Leonard Jacobson
Everyone is this naturalness. When we start calling it enlightenment and awakening, thought can use that to compare, right? But if we say this naturalness or this simple presence, thought can't run a comparison study. The whole invitation is to look prior to language, prior to concepts, prior to thought's projection.
~ Pamela Wilson
If you cannot feel God's presence Then feel your own presence And know it as God If you cannot find love It is because you are seeking it In time and in space If you do not know your path It is because you are already walking it (Fearlessly, and without a map) If you cannot reach the answers now It is because you are embracing the questions (Answers come in their own sweet time) When you feel far away from God When Home seems like a distant memory You are closer than you could possibly imagine So breathe, and love the next step
~ Jeff Foster
In God there is no duality. In that Presence “I” and “we” and “you” do not exist. “I” and “you” and “we” and “He” become one…. Since in the Unity there is no distinction, the Quest and the Way and the Seeker become one.
~ Mahmud Shabistari
You exist without the center, there is no crystallized I.
The presence is there, the consciousness is there,
but there is no one who can say `I am'.
Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry — all forms of fear —
are caused by too much future, and not enough presence.
Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness,
and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past,
and not enough presence.
– Eckhart Tolle
Your true identity is not the separate you, the man or woman who you think you are, your needs, preferences, history, hopes, relationships.
Who you are is the space in which all of this arises. You are aware presence, conscious and alive.
Anything can appear – beliefs, expectations, strong feelings, illness, pain. You, the space, are at peace with all of it. You are infinitely non-resistant to everything, welcoming completely yet remaining untouched.
~ Gail Brenner
The point of contact between
The phenomenal world and
The sacred is
The sense of presence,
The sense of being; I am.
Not I am this nor
I am that,
~ Wu Hsin
There is something so simple about presence that thoughts cannot grasp it. They only come and go in it. That which is looking has never been damaged, altered or diminished even one bit by the thoughts that come and go. The sense that you are damaged, altered or diminished comes from an emotion or sensation that seems stuck to a thought(s). And that too comes and goes when simply allowed, felt and not even thought about.
~ Scott Kiloby
The moment you genuinely say, 'Yes, I am here for Truth,' something magnificent begins to introduce itself from inside your heart.
A pure Presence begins to reveal itself.
Like a gentle tingling, a soft voice within. And, it begins to grow.
As you become more aware of it you will want to give it your full attention, your love, your very life.
It will keep growing stronger and stronger. Gradually, it will wash away all your noise, distractions and false beliefs.
It will become so big that eventually it will swallow 'you', the person, and change you into Itself.
Don't be afraid. This is the presence and spirit of the living God who is Truth itself.
When reactive, use sensations in the body to come to the present moment. This is the gateway to return to Presence.
When we can finally be ourselves fully, we recognize ourselves as Presence, and apprehend that this Presence is nothing but the ontological reality of consciousness. We feel our Presence as a medium, like a material medium, such as water or clear fluid. This medium is homogeneous, unified, whole and undivided, exactly like a body of water. This homogeneous medium is consciousness. The medium is conscious and aware of itself. It is not aware of itself by reflecting on itself, but by being itself. In other words, its very existence is the same as awareness of its existence.
~ A.H. Almaas
What are we when there is no one doing anything, no one attaining anything, no place to go? There is no place to go. The whole foundation is already here in each one of us. It is the same in all of us. There is only one foundation, which is presence, wholeness, boundless love.
~ Toni Packer
If you can experience presence, you cannot be presence. If you can experience being-ness, you cannot be being-ness. Whatever can be identified you cannot be.
~ Jac O’Keeffe