Presence: Definitions for my workshop “Bringing More Presence to the Art of Palpation”

The dictionary definitions are from here:
World English Dictionary
presence  (ˈprɛzəns) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]
— n
1. the state or fact of being present
2. the immediate proximity of a person or thing
3. personal appearance or bearing, esp of a dignified nature
4. an imposing or dignified personality
5. an invisible spirit felt to be nearby
6. electronics  a recording control that boosts mid-rangefrequencies
7. (of a recording) a quality that gives the impression that thelistener is in the presence of the original source of the sound
8. obsolete  assembly or company
9. obsolete  short for presence chamber
[C14: via Old French from Latin praesentia  a being before, frompraeesse  to be before, from prae  before + esse  to be]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Word Origin & History


early 14c., “fact of being present,” from O.Fr. presence (12c.),from L. præsentia “a being present,” from præsentem (seepresent (n.)). Meaning “carriage, demeanor, aspect” (especiallyif impressive) is from 1570s; that of “divine, spiritual orincorporeal being felt as present” is from
 1660s. Presence of mind (1660s) is a loan-transl. of Fr.présence d’esprit, L. præsentia animi.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
These two definitions  come from my spiritual teacher, A.H. Almaas, also known as Hameed Ali

Presence is completeness. When you finally understand what Presence is, when you’re completely present, you are complete. There is the valuing of Presence: there is the perception of completeness. When you’re complete you’re content with being present. There’s no need for anything else.                                           A. H. Almaas (Diamond Heart Book 3, pg 99)

Presence is more like feeling than like thought, which makes it possible to mistake it for the felt aliveness of the body. The unconscious components of the self-representation (like those involved in the primitive body sense), coupled with the assumption that the physical body is the most fundamental level of the self, tend to prevent one from discriminating Presence in experience.                                                                           A. H. Almaas (The Point of Existence, pg 77)

The “Presence” being spoken of on this page also requires the stillness of mind referred to in this quote:

Stillness means ‘being free from thoughts’ and yet aware.             Sri Ramana Maharshi

About Howard Dieno

I am very interested in dialectic inquiry, and in any and all avenues to enhance communication and co-operation amongst people and groups. I am in private practice as an osteopathic practitioner in Victoria, BC, Canada
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