Being Present
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A messenger between this world and higher centers, looking eagerly towards presence
A messenger between this world and higher centers, looking eagerly towards presence.
Being Present © 2009
February 2009

The Many Faces of Presence

We shall walk in the light, and shall sit down in the shadow of God; and his grace shall be an intermediary between ourselves and God.

Jan Van Ruysbroeck

Being present is an enormous idea, since it suggests a simple psychological effort that both illuminates one and brings meaning to one’s existence. As a practical effort, nothing else is more invisible or flexible, an effort that can be applied anywhere, at any occasion, in any moment. Yet the question arises, ‘How is it that we can experience presence, but not know how to experience it at will?’ Although the question is secondary to presence itself, it can lead to a further understanding of humanity’s place and potential.

Whatever one’s culture, one will find that it contains the story of a special intermediary between this world and a higher world, usually a mythic hero whose story everyone knows, or perhaps a virtue or quality that came from a conscious demonstration of an enlightened being. The image of the Buddha commands devotion, as it radiates the compassion and serenity of consciousness. The Old Testament prophets illustrate the first immediate although turbulent relationship to God. Jesus shows the purity of a higher world, teaching more by example than by words. The Sufis describe the intimacy of the connection to God, using human love as a symbol of the union between the lover and the Beloved. This personification, a recognizably human form in the connection with the divine, has been expressed in one form or another for millennia. And whether these personifications are historical, mythic or both, they each uniquely express the same message, the many aspects and the many facets of higher centers.

Yet this message contains even more. When there is an intermediary between the human and the divine, consciousness is the life-force; without presence, no connection is possible. While this intermediary, this ‘deputy of God in the human realm’ has been represented in many ways, the Pharaoh, Moses, Jesus, the Buddha, Mohammed, consciousness has equally varied names: Union with God, the Beloved, Mindfulness, Nirvana, Detachment among many, with ‘self-remembering’ a modern western name. The idea of presence is so commanding, so relevant to the meaning of our existence that it is worth describing time and again, and in as many ways as possible. Presence is a message from a higher world, while the practice of it belongs to this one. In this way, the intermediary between the human and the divine is born.

Hold yourself still and quiet. Watch events around you. Watch your thoughts, remain aside from them.
Whenever a thought occurs, be aware of it. As soon as you are aware of it, the attachment to it will lessen.
Zen Master
“Throughout the history of humanity, in all the traditions and what they left behind, amidst all the different forms and decorations, the message and the answer is You.”