Mindful Contemplation

Explore the Diversity of Contemplative Practice

Presence to Everything

“Presence to anything grows out of the souls posture of presence to everything.

Presence is a soul posture of openness and attentiveness – not something we can turn into a command performance. As we practice presence, we cultivate a soul hospitality. We learn to set aside our preoccupations and clear inner space to receive. The hospitality offered by the best hosts is never simply a way of behaving when guests are present. It is a way of being. Presence is a way of being that will characterize our relationships to everything.

The people I have known who have been able to offer me the highest levels of undiluted presence have  been, without exception, people who were also unusually aware of and attentive to both their internal and external environments. Their attentiveness did not arise as a result of effort or resolved but as an expression of openness. Their openness was not simply focused on me. While I might be aware of them being profoundly present to me, as I got to know them I could see that this presence was expansive enough that it made room for attentiveness to their emotions, their bodies, their reactions, even their thoughts. It also included awareness of what was going on around them.”


    – From Presence and Encounter, by David Benner