What Is Presence?
Presence may be a hard-to-define quality, but I’m guessing you know it when you feel it.
Presence is essential to powerful, focused action.
It's about bringing one’s entire self into the current moment, which of course we call the present moment. Great musicians have it. Top athletes have it. Zen masters have it.
When we feel the presence of another, we may call it magnetism or charisma or being in flow.
We may feel truly seen, met, heard.
It is part of my alliance with you to bring myself fully present to our sessions, and I will ask you to do the same. Intellect and heart, body and soul, all are invited here.
What does your own presence feel like in you? What's it like when you're most fully present?
You can develop your presence with intention and practice. Coaching can be a powerful support for this. And so, of course, can meditation.
Here are some other perspectives that touch on presence.
“Presence is the Essence of the self… Presence is more like feeling than like thought… Presence gives a sense of immediacy, of fullness... Presence is completeness… When you're complete you're content with being present. There's no need for anything else.” — A. H. Almaas
"Grounded in nowhere and no-thing, and fully engaged with here." — Bob Anderson and Nicholas Janni
"Integrated history is presence." — Thomas Hübl
"Presence brings us into direct experience of a larger truth. This might mean seeing clearly and directly who we are, who another person is, how we fit into a bigger picture, what the situation really is, what is possible for us, or what choices are available to us...Presence opens the door to a radically accelerated pathway for our own development. The state of presence turns out to be a central and essential element in the capacity for learning itself. Working with presence opens the floodgates to an ever deepening experience of yourself that will touch every area of your life."
— Doug Silsbee
"Presence is not a matter of simply “being present.” Instead, it is recognizing experientially your being and the true nature of your consciousness as Presence itself. Presence is the authentic You. The You that you want truly to be. Presence is our real nature, that is truly good, truly intelligent, truly loving, truly powerful, without airs, without pretensions. Presence is the meaning of one’s life. To live in this world as we are liberated, as we are free, as we are full of wonder. Presence is what we are." — A. H. Almaas
“There is no good singing, there is only present and absent.” ― Jeff Buckley
“Act with clear intent. Don't just exist for the sake of existing. Don't float through your day. Be in active presence and awareness. Be mindful. Think about what you are doing and how. Put yourself into whatever you do. Do things with love and care. Everything can be meaningful with the right perspective. Set goals and plan things out into steps. Don't just work aimlessly hoping to get ‘there.’ Being mindful will save you a lot of heartache and trouble. It will add depth, meaning and purpose to your day.” ― Akiroq Brost
“To know the hope and the struggle and the stay still and the run away and the come here and the push back. And also what it is to say yes, to be present exactly where you are.” ― Jeanette LeBlanc
“Any experience of presence can change your perspective and your view of reality. For example, when you are pervaded with compassion and look at reality from its perspective, you notice that it affects not only your experience of yourself, but also your perception of everything else. Your attitude, what you think is important in life, and what you think is significant about reality all change. You feel kindness in how you relate to your own experience and also increased sensitivity to the difficulties that others are dealing with in their lives.” — A. H. Almaas
"All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go. Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy and lovable, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever. Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through your veins. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen." ― Brene Brown
"No one has ever done this before. No one has ever been you before. This exact interrelated web of people and events and places and memories and desire and love that is your life hasn't ever existed in the history of the Universe. Welcome to a truly unique phenomenon. Welcome to your life. I want you to be here. Welcome to here.” ― Rob Bell
“Be here now.” ― Ram Dass
"Ask yourself, Am I glowing?" ― Halim
And of course…
Must be present to win.