The Presence Process - The Art of Presence by Michael Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Presence Process is an exceptional book – has the right intentions and is very practical. The problem with many self-help books is they take a random thread from ancient philosophy and blow it up into an entire book filled with fanciful jargons with little or no practical value. Some are also risky as they tend to promote delusion and false hope with unproven techniques.
The core premise of Presence is very similar or even identical to the philosophies of Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism. However, the book steers clear of terms used in religious texts. And hence the book is about experiencing your oneness with presence, with an experiential process.
Time plays an astonishing influence on our minds. When we live in time, we see life as a challenge to be overcome rather than experiencing it for what it is. The reasoning mind is in a constant evaluation mode trying to relive the past and leap to the fears of the future. Most of us know this is bad – but it is a habit we cannot break free of. The presence process does offer a workable way to be free.
The approach with a weekly plan of action is gradual and eases you into the core philosophical aspects with excellent conceptual introductions to each chapter. The process of self discovery moves on to the higher goal of eliminating the illusion of separation from everything else in the universe.
I did not follow the week wise plan and read through the book, digesting the concepts. I did initially consider sticking to the plan but since I have practised mindfulness since some time now - I decided to read through the book. I do intend to follow the week wise plan with a second read shortly. Even in the absence of following the plan, I still know that the process will work since I practice much of the experiences described in slightly varied forms, and it has worked for me.
The only suggestion I possibly could make for the book is that the author could have explored and outlined other & more advanced meditation techniques. However, it might have detracted from the simplicity of the book which anyone can read and practise in it's current form.
This is a book I would strongly recommend to everyone. It is in fact invaluable to those relatively new to mindfulness.
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