What is presence?
What are the qualities of presence?
What is the importance of presence?

What is Presence?
Presence is what awakeness feels like in the body. It is the living tangible embodied experience of essential awareness through the medium of the body.

When descrbing preence we often use language like, I was really there, I was really present.

If you see somebody sleeping and somebody asks, "did you see her?" You might say no, they were asleep. In other words the being was not present. So presence is not referring to the body being there but to something much more. We are speaking about the essential Self as being there, as being present.

Presence is one of those intangibles that at the same time is very tangible. It is spoken of in language such as "I can feel his presence" or "they have a great deal of presence". It is as though the more of that being that is available the more present they are.

Qualities of Presence
What are the essential qualities of presence. Here what is most important is to actually see for oneself. Not an intellectual conceptual exercise but a living here, in the moment, noticing what is true.

So if one takes the time to investigate Presence as a living experience, then there are qualities of Presence that begin to be realized.

These essential qualities include that Presence is:
  • Neutral
  • Silent
  • Empty
  • Transparent
  • Full
  • Ever present
  • Omnipresent
  • Impartial
  • Awake
  • Essential
  • Unchanging

What is the Importance of Presence?
One practical aspect of Presence is that Presence has the ability to digest emotions in the same way that enzymes digest food.

It is not necessary to know how it does this but that it is important to know that it does. In fact Presence can and does digest every experience if we allow it. Our job is to be willing and courageous enough to remain present to our experience without attempting to manipulate our experience in any way. Not trying to suppress the experience, justify it, ignore it or push it away. To allow our total experience including all the thoughts, feelings, sensations and images. To receive the "isness" of the moment.

Presence is like a camera recording the night sky. You open the lens and allow all the impressions to enter with total neutrality. Everything is included, the stars, the planets, the the comets even the clouds as they wisp by. Presence simply receives what is, as it is without adding anything to it.

The mind, on the other hand, tends to partiality. Whatever it perceives is rapidly analyzed, judged, meanings are assigned and so on. This largely happens out of our awareness and for this reason is largely out of our control. 

So where Presence is the unchanging background awareness that receives all impartially, The mind is that which reacts and responds to what is perceived. The Presence is the context within which the content of experience arises.

Our Essential Nature
Most importantly is that our essential nature is related to this Presence and not to the content of the mind, body or emotions. In fact one of the primary aspects of awakening to our essential nature is to see, to directly experience this fact that all existence arises and falls within this Presence. This includes all thoughts, feelings, sensations, images or any other objects of perception.

But Pesence goes further than this. It is not just limited to our ordinary perceptions, but also includes all objects of experience, the experience and the experiencer as well. We will talk more about this later.