I love this simple and deep practice for two. It can also be done in dyads in a group and is truly a great way to meet and see what collaborations and possibilities can happen between people.
Presencing invites us to share our inner experience, whatever it is, right now in the moment, with another.
It can be a little scary at first, like a cold shower. Its counterintuitivity and unexpectedness are bounce us out of our normal modes. What’s possible now?
It helps to have an introduction from someone who’s done it but, at its most basic, here’s how.
Two people do three timed periods (5 minutes for example). 1. Person A asks person B, “what are you experiencing now?”and is then simply silently present 2. Reverse roles. 3. The two mutually discuss what has arisen in the shared space so far.
They can then go on to explore a subject that came up or simply divide the remaining time into two equal parts. Say 7.5 minutes each so the whole thing takes 30 minutes. During the 7.5s each person speaks to something that’s alive for them and receives, if wanted and asked for, some generative reflection.
There’s a lot possible in this simple practice. Often there’s a mutual sense of being part of something that’s greater than us alone. This brings comfort and relaxation – and play. (See my “playful Presencing guidelines“.) Sometimes it’s scary because there’s a vulnerability in the moment.
Presencing is a shared mindfulness and a very different experience from doing mindfulness on one’s own. It can show a new way of showing up in the world – beyond the isolating personal performance our conditioning invites us into. It has wide application and I do it often or daily with many different people. It has dramatically widened my world.
I learned it from my friend Aryae Katchen who learned it from Patricia Albere who learned it from A.H. Almaas, a contemporary Sufi teacher. I give thanks to all. I don’t know where it originated.
Here’s a celebration of Presencing that shows how it sometimes is. It’s grand and this is true and often we struggle like Job. Both are welcome.
Find a way to practice presencing for yourself. You can join in our I, Thou, and Tao group Tuesdays if you like.