Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For week of October 12, 2015

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Presence Strategies


The previous inner work series, Presence Tools, offered a graduated and comprehensive set of methods for the practice of presence. Presence does take practice. We may have a strong intention to practice presence, but life gets in the way, we get distracted, we forget and lose contact with that intention. We need meta-methods, or strategies, to support our inner work, our use of the Presence Tools, to close the intention-action gap. These Presence Strategies are not the work of presence itself, but rather enable that work actually to take place.

Presence strategies come in many forms, but can be broadly classified into two types: metrics and triggers. Presence Metrics provide us with ways to measure our efforts of presence, at least in an approximate, subjective manner. These metrics give us specific feedback on how well we are doing with regard to presence. Because presence takes place in our inner world, it is easy to fool ourselves about the degree of our presence. For example, we may think that we are present all the time. But when we start to look at our situation more carefully, we see that we are not present all the time. Presence metrics help us gauge where we are and thereby help us see where we want to go.

Presence Triggers remind us to practice presence. We set our intention to practice presence in specific situations. When those situations arise, they may trigger our work of presence. Presence triggers come in many forms, limited only by our creativity in generating new ones that are particularly applicable to our own lifestyle, that will actually remind us to practice within our daily life. Presence triggers give us a way to form useful habits, habits of coming into presence in specific situations. Depending on our particular nature, some of the triggers will grow into positive, long-term habits, if we make the necessary effort. Other triggers may be useful for a limited time only, and then grow stale. The metrics can help us determine which triggers work for us.

So this inner work series on Presence Strategies will be divided into two series: Presence Metrics and Presence Triggers. We begin with the Metrics.

Presence Metrics:

    1. Frequency
    2. Duration
    3. Intensity
    4. Breadth
    5. Depth
    6. Rating the Day
    7. Effectiveness

Presence Triggers:

    1. Appointments
    2. Ad Hoc Goals
    3. Eating Presence
    4. The Doorway Exercise
    5. Walking Presence
    6. Phone Presence
    7. Waiting Presence
    8. Difficulties
    9. Money Presence
    10. Person Presence
    11. TV Presence
    12. Working Presence


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