Some of us experience health issues. And from time to time finances hold our concerns. But for most of us the primary predictor of our life satisfaction is the quality of our relationships. When we are fully and deeply present to each other we have a profound sense of well-being.
We have all had times when a once strong relationship hits a rough spot. But when we cared enough about the other and about the relationship, we sat down with them, heard their story and told them ours, and came to an agreement about how we would move forward; not only did we heal the rift but we strengthened the relationship.
But this doesn’t mean that every time a conflict arises we will address and resolve it. Indeed, many times we flinch. We don’t trust that this time we will be able to move to resolution.
When we know just what it takes to resolve any conflict and that it doesn’t require that we get the other to change but that all we have to do is it change ourselves in such a way that we create more of what we need; then we can confidently address any conflict and do so in a manner that helps everyone win.
We will observe that whenever we have a conflict in a significant relationship, especially one that happens over and over, the conflict we have with them resonates with an internal conflict. And when we can be so present to ourselves that we witness and heal that internal conflict, a new way of being arises for us such that we can heal the conflict with the other. When we are sufficiently present to ourselves, we become much more present to others.
In this one day workshop you will be immersed in the theory of how to resolve any conflict, but more importantly you will have a chance to select a conflict you are personally experiencing right now. If you choose, by 5:00 you will have in mind something you can do, something you are confident you are able to do that will move you toward what you need, that is in no way dependent upon what the other does or fails to do. You will experience a deep sense of presence.
Presence signifies the quality of consciously being here. It is the activation of a higher level of awareness that allows all our other human functions—such as thought, feeling, and action—to be known, developed, and harmonized. Presence is the way in which we occupy space, as well as how we flow and move. Presence shapes our self-image and emotional tone. Presence determines the degree of our alertness, openness, and warmth. Presence decides whether we leak and scatter our energy or embody and direct it.
From the Introduction of Living Presence: A Sufi Way to Mindfulness & the Essential Self,
by Kabir Edmund Helminski, page viii-ix.
Presence makes encounter possible. It also makes life meaningful. The search for meaning is really a search for presence, because grand systems of truth or meaning can never satisfy the basic human longing for life to be meaningful. Without presence, nothing is meaningful. But in the luminous glow of presence, all of life becomes saturated with significance.
Only in presence can we encounter anyone or anything. Others may be present to us, but we will not notice their presence until we are present to ourselves. Once we are truly present, everything that has being is potentially present to us.
From the Preface of Presence and Encounter: The Sacramental Possibilities of Everyday Life,
by David G. Benner, page xiii-xiv.