Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the week of November 12, 2007

Stages of Presence

The quality of our presence defines our humanity and shows our level of being. The stronger and deeper our presence, the more human we are and the more our unique, individual qualities enter us. The most effective spiritual paths teach engagement in the practice of presence in daily life. The practice of presence creates the essential foundation for developing our soul, for a fulfilling life, and for a loving heart.

With our yes-no minds, we think of presence as something we either have or do not have. The reality is much more interesting. Presence encompasses great stages and levels, which range from receiving the gift of momentary awakening, to making the effort to be, to effortless, robust, stable presence, to the ecstasy of opening to the Sacred.

The reasons for practicing presence likewise range from the personal ones of living a more peaceful, joyous life and fulfilling our potential, to the communal ones of being better, more effective neighbors, to the truly spiritual one of being a conduit through which the Sacred can participate in this world. The more present we are, the more real we are and the more vivid our life.

Presence is not an accident. We can practice it using a wide variety of methods. And that practice evolves with us. As we move along the spiritual path and our soul develops, our approach to presence deepens. We find our possibilities within the great stages of presence and work accordingly. While the early stages are mainly sequential, the latter stages need not be. The stages of presence are:

      1. Impulse of Awakening
      2. Receptivity to Awakening
      3. Energies of Presence
      4. Creating Partial Presence
      5. Opening to Wholeness
      6. I Am
      7. Peace of Presence
      8. Stable Presence
      9. Divine Presence

In the coming weeks we will delve deeper into these stages of presence. For this week, renew your efforts to be present, to be awake, alert, relaxed, and engaged in this, our only moment.


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