What is presence? How can we develop our presence so that it becomes a source of healing?
An excerpt from Swami Dhyan Giten's new book
Presence - Working from Within. The Psychology of Being
What is presence?
Our Inner Nature
Resting in Oneself
In The Moment
What is presence? What does it mean to be present for oneself and for another person? What awareness components contain the therapeutic process based on awareness? How can we develop our presence so that our presence and intuition becomes a source of healing in the contact with another person? How can we be in contact with the Whole?
Working with people is basically a question of energy and awareness. Part of the therapist’s ability comes from technical skills and part comes from the inner being. The first part of this book is about discovering our inner being, to develop a meditative presence and quality. It is about developing our own presence so that our presence and intuition becomes a source of love, joy, acceptance, awareness, healing, silence, wisdom and creativity in the contact with a client. The meditative presence aims at helping the therapist to increase the joy, depth and effectiveness in the healing and therapeutic work.
This book is designed to create an understanding for how healing happens in therapeutic work. The underlying theme of the book is meditation – but not meditation as a static technique – but as the capacity to BE with ourselves and with another person in a quality of watchful awareness, acceptance and relaxation.
The most important therapeutic capacity is the ability to be present with an open heart and to be grounded in our inner being, in our essence and authentic self, in the meditative quality within, through which we can meet another person. It is to meet that which is already perfect within a person.
Working with people from awareness is about shifting dimension from a personality oriented way of working to a being oriented way of working. It is about shifting focus from the personality, the psychological “I” to the inner being, the authentic self, the meditative quality within, the inner silence and emptiness, the capacity to surrender to life. The basic awareness component in working with people from awareness is to develop a presence and an inner quality to work from. Presence means to be grounded in our being, in our essence and authentic self. Presence is to work from a meditative presence, from the inner “yes”-quality, from a state of non-doing. Presence is to be in the moment, in the here and now.
Presence is about being available and to respond to the truth of the moment. It is to respond to the moment in a way that creates a fragrance of love.
Presence is not about trying to change another person our trying to make things happen, it is about being available and to respond with the truth in the moment.
Presence is about how every action can arise from the quality, which we call awareness – the presence of our soul.
Presence is not really something new. Presence is simply to rediscover the inner quality, which is already present within ourselves. Presence is the capacity to be present for another person with an open heart and to be grounded in our inner being. It is to be present for another person as a supporting light, a supporting presence – and simply to be present for another person can basically help.
Presence is a double and paradoxical phenomenon. It means both to be present and to be absent. It means to be present with our inner being and to be absent from our idea of a separate “I”.
Presence means to come in contact with a deeper quality within ourselves. Presence is like a flowing inner river, an inner source of energy, which gives vision, joy, inspiration, direction and creative impulses. Presence is our essence. We all have this place deep inside ourselves, but it is often covered with personality aspects, unconscious attitudes and experiences from the past.
Working with people from love and awareness means to develop the capacity to respond to the inner being of another person, to his essence and authentic self.
Presence means to respond to another person in a way that makes his inner being deepen and expand. It is about developing a presence so that our presence and intuition becomes a source of healing in the contact with another person.
Presence is the inner being, the inner “yes”-quality, the meditative quality within, the inner silence and emptiness. Presence is to meet another person in meditation. Presence is to invite another person in meditation. It is a meeting in meditation. It is a meeting in love, joy, acceptance, sincerity, understanding, silence and oneness. It is a friendship, cooperation and an investigation after truth. And when the truth is discovered, it is larger than the two people, who are investigating it – and both people are enriched by this investigation.
Working with people from presence and awareness means to meet a person beyond the personality. It is to meet the being of another person. It is to meet the soul of another person.
Neuroses and psychiatric problems basically has its roots in a feeling of not being love, of not being part of the Whole. People with psychiatric problems have lost their contact with their own roots. They have lost contact with the inner being, with their inner center. They have lost contact with their own inner source of love, truth and wholeness.
In reality, we are really one with the other person. We are not separated from the other person. Through giving love to the other person, we are really giving love to ourselves. When we give love to another person, we are really giving love to the Whole.
When two beings meet, a presence, a love, an acceptance, a silence, a meditation and a meeting beyond separation occurs. There arises a sense of perfection, a feeling of coming home.
I think that I have always had the ability to turn my attention within myself and to go into the inner presence, to go into the inner silence and emptiness, when I have needed it. In this inner silence, I can let go of all frustration, fear, anger and sorrow.
The spiritual dimension in therapeutic work basically works, because we are all one.
Working with people from awareness is basically about working out of that which is already perfect within a person.
Working with people from awareness is basically about seeing what develops and expands the inner being of a person. It is about bringing forth into the light of awareness the unconscious psychological patterns that prevents a person from being in contact with his own authentic being. It is about seeing what prevents a person from being nourished from his inner source of love, joy, acceptance, truth, silence, wisdom and wholeness. It is about seeing what expands the total being of a person both in relation to himself, in relation to other people, in relation to creativity and in relation to the Whole to be able to take further steps in his spiritual growth.
Working with people from awareness means to develop and expand that which is already perfect within a person. It is about seeing what expand the inner being of a person and to see where the development potential is in the life of the person for example in meditation and inner growth, in relationships or in creativity. It is about seeing what creates difficulties in a person’s inner growth, in his relationships with other people or in his work and creativity.
Presence is about finding our own unique way of being and working with people. It is about working from the authentic inner being, from the meditative quality within ourselves, from the inner source of love and truth. It is about discovering what we really want to share with other people. It is about discovering that which makes our heart dance with joy to share with people. It is about discovering that which really touches us and awakes a deep feeling of joy and meaning to share with other people.
When we are authentic, when we act from presence and awareness, it also gives nourishment to the inner being of the people around us.
Life does not come with a manual. The challenge of life is to learn to trust life. In courses, I create a situation where course participants can discover their own inner being and to learn to listen to their own heart, to trust their own intuition, joy, intelligence, inner light and understanding. The courses are a situation to learn to live their own truth.
Working with people from awareness is based on the understanding that our advice is only authentic when it comes from our own insight, understanding and experience.
Sometimes my course participants have complained that I do not give them specific advice about what to do or not to, but giving advice is easy. And it takes away the person’s own responsibility to listen to his own inner source of love, truth and wisdom, which already know the right answer. This may also be an answer that I do not see.
The atmosphere and climate of a group of people can either be a “yes”- or “no”-climate. The atmosphere in a group of people can either be uninspiring, dull and boring when the people of the group says “no” to listening to their own truth and do not chose activities that are nourishing for their souls. The atmosphere of a group of people is loving, creative, exciting and inspiring when the people of the group says “yes”, listens to their own truth and chooses activities that are nourishing for their souls and have a high level of joy and satisfaction.
In my own life, I took a conscious decision many years ago that I wanted quality in my life. It was a conscious decision that I wanted people around me that are prepared to say “yes” and to take responsibility for themselves - and who do not just take energy by saying “no”, not taking responsibility for themselves and resist being present in different ways
Truth is a quality in the moment. It arises when we have trust to what happens and when we are in contact with what Existence wants us to do. This quality makes the moment shine with an inner joy and satisfaction. It gives a deep inner satisfaction, which radiates on the outside as love like pebbles creates waves on water.
When we say “yes” to the truth of the moment, our whole being expands.
Presence is about daring to stay in a quality of “not knowing”. Presence is about resting in the silence and emptiness within without knowing what the next step will be. Presence is about daring to rest in the emptiness within, which has no past or future, and where authentic impulses arise in the moment.
In the therapeutic process based on love and awareness, there exists no “I” – just a presence, a love and a truth in the moment. It is to live in trust and appreciation for what life chooses to offer. It is to float with the river of life; it is to rest on the river.
The depth in healing- and therapeutic work comes basically from the capacity to allow things to be as they are, without any wish that they should be different than they are and without any will to change them. This means for the therapist to develop an accepting attitude, a trust and a compassion, for how life develops moment to moment.
To work from our inner being is to meet another person in love, joy, meditation and silence without any barrier in-between.
When the therapist can rest in himself, without intention, without ambition, without trying and without fighting, then every new opportunity to meet a client becomes a source of joy.
It becomes a joy to work with people on a spiritual plane, to act for that which is larger than ourselves.
SWAMI DHYAN GITEN, spiritual teacher and author, has more than 30 years of experience in individual counseling and in teaching awareness and meditation. He is trained in both modern psychology and in classic Eastern methods for awareness and meditation in USA, Italy, Sweden and India. He received further education in advanced spiritual psychotherapy at Institute for Spiritual counseling and Training in USA and Academy of Meditation in Italy.
Since he began to meditate when he was 15 years old, he has dedicated his life to the study and exploration of the inner journey in order to move out of his own way, to be in a flow, and to discover the authentic inner being, the meditative quality within, the inner silence and emptiness, the capacity to surrender to life.
Giten's first professional passion when he was 15 years old was to become an actor. After training as an actor, he worked as an actor until he was 23 years old. Working as actor taught him a lot about life and to emphatically understand the situation and life of other people, since acting is really a spiritual occupation. It taught him about spirituality, since working as an actor means to play a role totally, while at the same time as you know deep down that you are not the role you are playing. After working as an actor for a number of years, Giten began to understand that his early passion for theater was really an unconscious search for a spiritual discipline. When he realized this, he began to feel a thirst to work with people in a more direct way in awareness and meditation.
In 1982, when Giten was 23 years old, he was directed by the Divine presence in a trance session with the American trance chancellor Lin David Martin: "You have listened to your intuition, to your true inner voice, more than most. You have been searching for the contact with the Spirit for a long time and now it is beginning to manifest on the outer plane. You have been gifted many times in previous embodiments and now everything will come rather easy for you. I want you to put your energy into the lives of others, because you can".
His three creative areas to express the mysteries of meditation in outer form are teaching, writing and painting. His meditative art is internationally recognized and have been nominated for the international art exhibition The Florence Biennale in Italy, which is arranged in cooperation with The United Nations.
He is author of the best-selling book in Swedish "Meditationens Sång - Om meditation, relationer och kreativitet" (Solrosens forlag, 2001, available from Internet book store Adlibris: www.adlibris.com)) and "The Silent Whisperings of the Heart - An Introduction to Giten's Approach to Life" (2008, available at Internet book store Lulu: http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/the-silent-whisperings-of-the-heart--... and "Presence - Working from Within. The Psychology of Being" (2011, available at Internet book store Lulu: http://www.lulu.com/shop/giten-swami-dhyan/presence-working-from-within-the-psyc...).
Visit Giten's World - A School for the Heart. 350 Pages of Medicine for the Soul: www.giten.net