What is presence? And, what is the power of presence?

What is presence?  To know it is to experience it!

I would like to give you a straightforward answer, but unfortunately I can’t.  And, in order to tell you what the ‘power of presence’  is I have to begin with presence itself.

Let me explain why it’s not that straightforward though.

Many are cautious in explaining what presence is and this is actually justifiable and reasonable.

Presence is something that occurs beyond the intellect, that is to say beyond the mind and so it stands that it cannot be explained with the intellect and more specifically with language.

Language in defining or explaining presence is fundamentally inadequate.

To truly ‘know’ presence is to experience it. 

Note here, that I’ve used the term ‘know’ and I want to make a distinction here between intellectual knowledge or to say it another way mental understanding and knowing.

Knowing in this context is to know beyond words and is experiential in nature and therefore is inexplicable.   Make sense or have I confused you further?

Let me try to explain further.

When we learn something, we generally use our intellect to understand a concept mentally.  So, we could for example use the intellect to try to understand what presence is and we might get an academic understanding of it, but we don’t really ‘know it’.  But equally we may not get it at all or it may not make any sense to us because it is actually not within the minds ability to know.  And beyond the mind is where we need to be to experience it and know it.

When we know something, we just know it to be true deep within or we experience its truth (we haven’t had to analyse, employ the mind to work it out or try to get our heads around it etc).

Essentially, what I’m getting at is that to try to define or use words to describe presence in some ways perhaps does not do it justice or is lacking.

Ultimately, presence is non-conceptual, that is, it arises from beyond the mind, hence why it is almost impossible to describe adequately.  Words simply cannot relay the powerful impact presence can have for us and on our lives.

Nevertheless, I am going to try to explain at the risk of doing it a disservice.


What is presence?

I’m going to begin here with quoting renowned spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle because there is no-one better in my opinion to explain it.

“Presence is a sense of aliveness that is always available” Eckhart Tolle.

Most of us do not experience this aliveness however due to incessant and compulsive thinking.

We may experience feeling alive through external pursuits (e.g. consider adrenaline junkies) or as a consequence of some external source of excitement or pleasure but it is generally fleeting and before you know it you are looking for the next thing to make you feel alive (whether this be a positive or negative pursuit).

We do not access presence or rather we have lost an awareness of presence due to the nature of our over-active minds.  Our thinking generally lies in the past or the future.  We are very rarely smack bang in the now.  For me, this over-thinking actually has a deadening affect – is it any wonder?  Where is the joy or aliveness in that?

So, to be present is to be in the moment, in the now beyond thought (without compulsively thinking) or we begin to enter presence through having an awareness of our thoughts.  This creates stillness and spaciousness within and this results in an intensification of aliveness.


What is the point of being present?

 

The point of being present is to know our true selves beyond the mind.

It is through presence (stillness and spaciousness) that we access our being, our essence and awaken to the oneness of all life of which you are a part – you are life.  We are conscious or rather we are consciousness.

With this, the power of presence unfolds.

 


What is the power of presence?

When we are truly present, we transcend thought and we access our being.

We realise our connection with all life and we recognise ourselves in all life.  I can’t think of anything more powerful than knowing/experiencing that.

And so, the power of presence is in its transformative power in our experience of life both within and without.

Our enjoyment of life improves.  We become free of fear.  We are more peaceful.

We move through life with ease and we access a higher intelligence and therefore we function outwardly with right word and right action.

We have no judgement and we have no resistance to what is.

Our relationships – our connection both with ourselves and others improves and our creativity and ability to manifest what we want is realised though we are no longer dependent on achievements, things or others for our sense of happiness or wellbeing.

Also, when we are present it has a transformative power for others and we can transform situations just with our presence.


What can you do to be present? Here’s 5

There are many ways to access presence.  I’ve listed five below.

  1. Meditation
  2. Mindfulness (watching/observing the mind whilst you undertake day to day activities e.g. washing the dishes)
  3. Focus on the breath (try just breathing in through your nose and out through you mouth for 10 breaths)
  4. Become aware of your inner body – feel the sensations within your inner body
  5. Perceive without thought e.g. look around you, at a flower, a lamp (without labelling)

Explore More

To tap into the Power of Presence even more and transform your life, take a look at:

I hope you have enjoyed this article or have found it of some help.

Please leave any comments or questions below, I am happy to receive them.

I wish you well on your journey.

Go forth with ease and just be!

Martine

15 Comments

  • Chuck

    The present is hard to describe, experiencing the present can only be done through the spirit. As a man thinks so is he. Being forgiving and thankful helps to bring me to the present. Thanks for sharing you thoughts

  • Andrea Gatti

    Thank you so much for this article. I never thought of trying to have more “presence”, and this article definitely helped me to get un understanding of it. Maybe I could define it by saying that “presence” is being able to BE FULLY YOURSELF, and being able to express the fullness of your being. Thanks for this meditation. I would love to be able to discuss this topic.
    Wish you the best.
    Andy

  • Patrick Foster

    I always enjoy reading words that reflect the same desire of knowing and being within myself. Knowing silences the chatter of the mind, and crushes any ANTS (automatic negative thoughts). When I Am become still in silence, awareness as the observer reveals who I Am. This consciousness then echos the truth of Neville, and becomes my only reality. As Melville reminds us that “Gods one and only voice is silence” along with Blaise Pascal who said, ‘All man’s miseries derive from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone’. Thank you for reminding me to remain connected with my source by being still and knowing the presence of this silent moment.

    • Martine

      Thank you very much for your thoughtful words. You are exactly right. The truth of who we really are can only come from being still, silent and observant. It is here that we realise our being. Blaise Pascal quote is so true. I’m glad I could give you a little reminder. Thank you for reading and commenting.

  • karli parker

    First off, let me just say how awesome your site is! This is right up my alley! I love Echart Tolle and his teachings, they have helped me through some tough times. I try to stay in the present moment and I am getting better at it everyday. I make sure to meditate every night, and stay positive and grateful. I had a saying once someone gave me..pretty simple, do not think too much/worry you will create a problem that wasn’t there in the first place. It is as if I awakened one day and the universe sent me many signs along the way, I know I have something that is looking out for me, I have learned how to manage some tough situations and also that we ultimately create our reality. I am going to bookmark this site, I can already see it is going to help a lot of people, I will share it as well!

    • Martine

      Thank you so much Karli. Love that saying. We do create our reality, so we need to be mindful. I love Eckhart Tolle too, and he’s helped me through difficult times too. Just looking at him brings a sense of calm. I hope my site does help people. Thankyou for sharing my site, I appreciate it very much.

  • AJ

    This is a great topic to discuss. Being present is something that’s important to do in pretty much anything you do and it’s massively important to understand that power. Plain and simple, if you’re more aware then you will give yourself a better chance of being able to appreciate whatever situation that you’re a part of. Again, this is a great topic.

  • Anne

    What you describe as “presence” is what I often term “spiritual discernment”. It’s strong for some and not so much for others. I’ve had instances where I’ve encountered a very strong negative presence while awake, suddenly around me. One time when walking into a new age shop and another time when a person behind the counter approached me. Here’s how to test your spiritual awareness. Stand in a group of eight or more, in a wide circle. One person steps into the middle of the circle and covers their eyes with a blindfold. The people around him/her need to be at least five feet away, enough distance to allow another person on the outside of the circle to quietly approach the person in the middle. How close does the second person have to get before the blindfolded person can sense a presence and point the direction from which the second person is approaching? Take turns doing this. It’s fun.

    • Martine

      Hi Anne, I think we are coming from quite different perspectives but I appreciate your comment. Presence in the sense I’m coming from is related to getting in touch with your beingness, essence and your true self.

  • Kevin

    Most of us live mostly in the mind. We may be either walking, driving or even brushing our teeth but our minds are always elsewhere and thus never present. Having presence when doing our daily routine is imperative for having a fulfilling life. Excellent article by the way 🙂

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