I’ve heard rave reviews about the Presence Process
The author is Michael Brown. Here is his website
The Presence Process Portal
The Presence Process invites us to experience present moment awareness as a way of life, a daily approach to living on this planet. The Presence Process makes it possible for anyone to experience Presence and present moment awareness without having to take the long, challenging path most of us usually take.
Why is it so difficult to simply be present?
The reason is that our deeply suppressed emotional imprints from childhood—which Eckhart Tolle calls “the pain-body”— distract us from an awareness of the present moment. Until this “emotional charge” from our past is integrated, all our attempts to quiet our thoughts and access the peace, joy, and love that are bedrock to our beingness are of only limited success. We all long to be free of our discomfort and experience inner peace. However, the attempt to get rid of our discomfort is misguided. We’re not broken and don’t need to be “healed.” Rather, our discomfort needs to be integrated.
Because Presence is universal, it has the miraculous ability to manifest in our daily experience the exact circumstances required for us to integrate the dysfunction that keeps us from experiencing the radiance of present moment awareness. The Presence Process is a journey that guides us into taking responsibility for our emotional integration. It’s a way to consciously “grow up.”
We are each responsible for determining the quality of our personal experience. The Presence Process teaches us how to exercise authentic personal responsibility in a practical manner. It reveals the mechanics that shape the way we feel about our life. It offers a simple, practical approach to accomplishing and maintaining personal peace in the midst of globally accelerating change, discomfort, conflict, and chaos.
Here is his YouTube Presence Portal
Q and A with Michael
Here is where he is interviewed by Bridging Heaven
As Michael’s quest for resolution unfolded, he began entering an state of being he calls ‘present moment awareness’ – a paradigm of heightened consciousness running parallel to our conventional and mundane world experience. He discovered that his repeated entry into this enlivened state of being, which he accomplished through ceremonial practice, plant medicines, and consciously connected breathing, resulted in a decrease of his own painful condition to the point that it subsided completely.
In the late 90s Michael charted a methodical pathway into present moment awareness by developing a practical procedure that anyone, anywhere, could follow to initiate this experience for themselves. This procedure is now internationally known as THE PRESENCE PROCESS. In 2002 Michael returned to South Africa and invited others to experience this inner journey. He discovered that as others embraced present moment awareness, they too automatically experienced the integration of physical, mental, and emotional discomfort, including psychological disorders and addictions. To make this journey accessible to everyone, Michael wrote THE PRESENCE PROCESS: A Healing Journey into Present Moment Awareness. Since then he has toured the US and Canada sharing these insights, compiled THE PRESENCE PORTAL website as a resource center for this work, and also written ALCHEMY OF THE HEART: Transforming Turmoil into Peace through Emotional Integration, which focuses on realizing the resonance of peace through emotional integration.
Michael Brown currently lives in Aberdeen, Eastern Cape, South Africa, where he watches cactus grow and continues to support this work through THE PRESENCE PORTAL.
This article is from his website:
F O R E W O R D
This being human is a guesthouse. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and attend them all: Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
I HAVE ALWAYS LOVED RUMI’S POEM. Later on, a wise friend counseled me, “Acceptance is the doorway to transformation.” Again, the same message: welcome the guests inside you without judgment, without resistance, and they will change you, “sweep you clean,” from inside. The question was, “How?” Especially when they appeared dark, unfriendly, even mean-spirited.
Reading Michael Brown’s The Presence Process some years ago provided a clear and safe way. Michael often tells us, “Don’t kill the messenger. Receive the message.” The “messengers” are the people and situations that “upset” us, seem to thwart and diminish us. The “messages” are the unintegrated, not-yet-resolved emotional memories and wounds from early childhood that are being played out through these current “adult” experiences. Like neglected children, they won’t leave us alone but continue to “out-picture” in our daily life as the individuals, events, and circumstances that cause us pain and discomfort. Often they express through one of three core emotions: anger, fear, or sadness/grief. Our usual, habitual response is either mental or physical.
We try to figure it out with the mind or distract ourselves through physical activity and avoidance. We may eat, run, over-achieve, or simply get into our head to avoid engaging. Yet, the scared, wounded kid place in us continues to suffer, desperately wanting and needing attention and acceptance. To approach these wounds, often our oldest and most tender, requires a method that’s both safe and effective.
Fortunately, The Presence Process provides us with both. Michael wisely begins by offering us two approaches to the book: to read/study, or else experience directly. I personally found it helpful to first get familiar with the method by reading Parts I and II, which provide a kind of overview and acclimatization to what is to come. All the developmental psychological history, the various techniques and methods to be used, the possible reactions and what to do are clearly spelled out and addressed in this instructional section, which helps get us ready for the actual journey. When we enter the experiential portion, the approach is again gentle, slow, and step by step. We have ten weeks to complete the process and each week is a gradual deepening and amplification. We have ample time to feel, question, and integrate. As with the “bath immersion exercise” of chapter 7, we are invited to slowly and gradually lower ourselves ever more deeply into the “warm healing waters” of this powerful process.
I was delighted to hear that Michael had written a revised version of his original manuscript and was pleased when invited to write a preface to it. The question, of course, was how this version is different and what has been strengthened. I would say first off that the original has the look and feel of an instructional manual, with italicized
Presence Activating Statements to practice and Next Week Assignments at the end of each chapter. The current version feels less formal, less “teachy.” The Presence Activating Statements have been changed to Conscious Responses without italics, and there are no formal “assignments” for the following week. I don’t feel I am being “instructed by a watchful prof,” but rather “kept company by a wise friend.” The voice has more warmth and heart to it. I feel more seen and personally addressed by Michael.
Also, this text seems to flow more readily and communicate more clearly and effectively. Michael has added a section title to each of the weekly experientials not present in the original. These titles zero in on the core focus for each chapter. Also, at the start of each chapter, we are given the “conscious response for the next seven days,” the phrase we are to repeat like a mantra throughout the week to help us internalize the week’s focus. This focus is then broken down into several key ideas and expanded in the text to enhance our understanding, and we are given specific exercises or practices to bring these ideas alive in our body. Each chapter ends by identifying challenges that may emerge and how to work with them. In this way, each chapter elegantly and organically unfolds, skillfully integrating what has come before and gracefully leading to the next stage in the process, always clearly, always gently.
The key to “working” The Presence Process is to stop running from, or projecting onto others, the unresolved emotional charges from childhood that keep resurfacing in our current life situations. Instead, we learn to gently be with them, giving them our unconditional attention and support. As with angry, hurt, or frightened children, we don’t scold nor abandon our wounded child parts, and neither do we try to control or manipulate them. To do so would be to upset them further. Rather, we quietly keep them company with our benign presence and unconditional, loving support, until they in due course calm down. We don’t need to say or do anything, but simply let them feel our resonating empathy.
Learning to identify and rest in Presence is the essence of this process. In this new version of The Presence Process, Michael puts particular emphasis on this. In the first six weeks of the experiential section, he shows us how to recognize our “shadows,” our unresolved emotional charges, and how to identify them with wounded child parts – as well as how to welcome, hold, and reintegrate them through loving Presence.
In the last four chapters, seven through ten, he shares more multilevel Presence skills. He starts by showing us more generally how to move out of our head and away from our mental stories, away from physical diversions and sublimations, and instead develop our “felt-perception” – our “inner body feeling,” as Eckhart Tolle would say. It isn’t through our mind or our emotional drama that we can sense into and be with our unresolved emotional resonances. We need to learn to develop felt-perception, “vibratory heart knowing,” so that we can sense into and resonate with the energetic charges that keep our scared inner kids so off balance. We must also learn to identify the stories and beliefs that hold these uncomfortable vibratory frequencies in place. We begin to recognize the generic nature of these stories. We learn to forgive ourselves and others by recognizing that we all suffer from the double bind of desperately seeking unconditional love from hopelessly conditional and unstable sources outside ourselves.
Rather than judging ourselves for having these unmet needs, we learn to accept them as inevitable and offer them the one abiding source of unconditional love, the ever-available embrace of our own condition-less and abiding Inner Presence. Once we can begin to give this to ourselves, we can also start offering it to the scared, wounded child parts of others as well. Perhaps the most difficult stories to recognize and release are the unconscious definitions of love we create to explain our early frustrations with love. Michael tells us that we all have “one primary dramatic theme,” one particular Achilles heel in love, which we keep recreating and reliving. This begins as a particular felt-resonance, an energetic imprint received during childhood, an energetic holding pattern of continual resistance. Because of this imprinting, or “charge,” we continuously recreate the same circumstances as our initial childhood love wounds, hoping that this time we will be able to work them through.
Unfortunately, because we amass the same types of characters and life situations, we simply repeat the same dramas and losses. It’s Freud’s “repetition compulsion” all over again. In my case, my story or “unconscious definition of love” was “here today, gone tomorrow.” Because of early childhood losses in love, I unconsciously chose people who would love me for a time, but who would inevitably leave me behind. I had to first recognize the pattern, the story, and then let myself feel, accept, and release the charged energy of this debilitating life script. I had to learn to unconditionally give myself the love that I was so desperately trying to “get” from parental prototypes who were utterly incapable, due to no fault of their own, of giving me what I needed. Once I was able to release this story, this compulsively repeating energy pattern, and reintegrate the formerly bound or charged energy into my Being, I was able to find abiding love.
Week Ten, the experiential culmination of this unfolding method, is entitled in this version, “Consciously Entering the Unified Field.” Michael boldly identifies the final goal of his transformative process, entering into non-dual lived experience, abiding in felt-oneness with total and abiding Presence. He offers a number of extraordinary insights into this reality. First, he affirms the law of cause and effect, “ask and you will receive, seek and you will find.” Backed by the laws of quantum intentionality, ‘”as you believe, so it is,” he says that the felt-quality of our beliefs about love inevitably determines our actual experience of love. Indeed, there is a perfect match-up between our inner resonance concerning love and the external circumstances of our love life. He places complete creative responsibility on our shoulders: “For this reason, whenever we don’t feel in harmony with the quality of our life experience [in my case, my love circumstances] it’s our responsibility to integrate the imprinted condition that’s the cause of this situation.”
Later, Michael explains how and why, though we live in a continuously “unified field of human experience,” we know separation and non-love, isolation and aloneness. He says that as long as we feel we have “separate” physical bodies, brains, emotional and vibratory bodies, we feel a “gap” between ourselves and all others. The “world” comes into existence inside this gap, this space between these apparently diverse forms. We also begin to give importance and significance to the items, or “stuff,” we place inside this gap. In this way, our mental, emotional and physical focus becomes the individual objects and persons that seem to make up our world and the gap between us that holds it all. As long as we perceive in this way, we will continue to feel separate, individual, isolated. And, as within, so without. However, once we have learned to be with, accept, and quiet the mental and emotional charges keeping us separate and unintegrated within ourselves, and become the unified field of Presence that we essentially are, then we can begin to sense it as also present outside ourselves, underlying the apparently diverse and separate shapes and forms that seem distant and apart from us. We begin to feel the “shared Presence” we have in common, the “unified field” and “oneness in diversity” that connects and sustains us through our awareness and appreciation of essential and abiding being-aliveness.
Eventually, we invite this awareness of Presence to be continuously with us, by consciously recognizing and celebrating it in the here and now. We activate this through cause and effect by consciously looking for experiential evidence that we are one unified body, one unified mental matrix, one unified heart, and one unified vibrational field. By looking for evidence of it, we perceive it, because cause and effect states that we perceive what we are looking for. As we continuously seek to “see and appreciate Presence,” we are given continuous opportunities to feel and celebrate it both in its ongoing totality, as well as in its unique and individual expression in this moment, right here, right now. Although these ideas and transmissions appear in the original Presence Process, they resonate so much more clearly and coherently in the revised version, with its additions, edits, and restructuring.
At the end of this version, Michael has added a “parting gift,” a concluding meditation that he recommends we do daily to help us stay connected with felt-Presence. By having us consciously feel and hear the breath, sense into and live the extended gap between inhalation and exhalation, tune into and resonate with the various sensations arising in the field around us, one-pointedly focus our awareness on the third eye and the sounds vibrating first outside and then within us, he invites us to intimately know and abide “with,” “in,” and “as” lived Presence. By simultaneously having us repeat the mantric intention, “I am here now in this,” he has us simultaneously create/live the experience we are asking for, “say it, do it, say it, be it.” He shows us we can instantaneously enter the realm of Presence by remembering and honoring it whenever we wish. Though we may need to return occasionally to work with our shadows, he wants us to keep our focus on our true and abiding identity, the vibrating light and joy of the one great Self, the divine’s ongoing Presence within and all around us as the unified quantum field.
(Bill) Gorakh Hayashi
Professor Humanities & Psychology
Columbia University, Chicago