All our efforts are toward Presence

(This post is dedicated to my friend Christel Kraft who I’ve been enjoying walking this road with recently.) All efforts are toward Presence. All our efforts in therapy or self-help, or whatever are part  of a larger effort, our reaching for Presence. But what is Presence? It’s not a description so no words would be it. It’s more like the lived experience of right now, a now that we’re not escaping or wanting to escape, […]

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Your public voice and your unique voice

Recently I’ve had numerous conversations, in workshops or intentional places, with people responding to the question, “What are you experiencing now?” It’s a naked question, a brazen question, a rude question. Certainly an unfamiliar one when it’s really asked and there’s room to respond. Yet people can powerfully moved by having five minutes to respond to it – perhaps no one has ever asked them before. (Here’s the simple presencing practice I’ve been using for […]

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Everything comes clear in Presence

Everything comes clear in Presence. Yet Presence can’t be described or forced, proven or produced on demand. Everything you can say about the Tao, which isn’t much, can be said about Presence. (Holy Spirit, we can only make little songs about you, skipping-rope songs.) We hear the melody. We see it on the faces in all the different ways. Transparent Presence makes everything visible. The ancestors wait in Presence. The pain of the long past […]

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Being effective in this bewildering moment

Martin Buber wrote an amazing book in 1923 that has endured and perhaps will endure as a classic. It was called I-Thou. In vivid poetic language that is as fresh today as it was then, he spoke a timeless truth. (Here are excerpts that give the flavor of his writing.) Humans have two modes, I-Thou or I-It. I-Thou is relational and we speak to and from the whole of ourselves. I-It is transactional (my word) and […]

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How to get from breakfast to lunch without losing your mind

The world is well on its way to waking up. If it doesn’t blow itself up first, which it’s also well on its way to doing. It’s the best of times, the worst of times. But do we have to choose, good reader? Old Aristotle suggested no: “The mark of the truly educated is being able to entertain an idea without accepting it.” But how do we do that? I’m not talking about abstract notions […]

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Telling My Story

I’ve been avoiding telling my own story. For several days I was writing a blog post about how we needed more honest personal story, more sex and gender in our  conversations. Then I noticed I wasn’t telling my own. Telling is unfamiliar because I’ve been very close-mouthed about great chunks of my own story, forever.  Though much easier, it’s still difficult to talk about my early childhood and the pervasive experience of abandonment that persists […]

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Risk in consciousness groups

I’m lucky to have places where I can speak frankly about what’s most important to me.  I can be well heard and hear other too. I learn, stretch and grow in those generative depths. But pleasure and expansion aren’t the whole story. Quite often I’m careful, walking on eggshells, wondering how to get my messy as-yet-unformed experience into a common space with others. This evening I was in conversation with a male counselor and a […]

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The way of not-knowing

Going down rapids in a canoe is a thrilling experience because you’ve no time – and no way – to figure out what to do. It feels like having the mind  vacuumed, not a thought in there. The habitual pattern of thought is thoroughly interrupted. Our current world situation, the one we’re all in, has overtones of this. The journey is much too complex for rational processes to capture usefully, too much for “knowing.” Our […]

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No rules for the journey

We came by them honestly, the rules that define our lives. We were born to them. But of course we didn’t think they were rules when we were small; we thought  they were reality and we could be good by following them. It’s good when the rules break down and nothing works because then we see the rules aren’t the same as reality. And we were so very sure they were. When we see they […]

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When consciousness groups play nice

When we’re in “consciousness groups,” do we tend to downplay our own agency, our “mission” so we can get along? Do we forget about our purpose or forget that we even have one? Do we unconsciously play it safe so we can be “liked” and not ruffle too many feathers? More generally, does the consciousness community as a whole tend to do this playing nice? I’ll raise my hand. I do it! And it’s not […]

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