Choosing Presence Author Jim Heaney
I’ve been teaching the practice of presence from a Christian perspective for over twenty years, encouraging people of all ages to incorporate the practice into all areas of their lives—professional, relationships, sports, arts, health, and more—for greater spiritual and physical well-being. This leader’s guide draws in part from that experience.
But it also comes from personal experience of practicing presence. It was only through the practice of presence that I realized who it was who was guiding me through my struggles and how close and accessible he was. Through the practice of presence I experienced God’s love for me and came to know that he loves me and forgives me even with all my flaws. Through this realization I also came to know that respecting every person who works for me or who I do business with is not only a moral obligation but a life necessity, because we are all connected. If God loves me and forgives me with all my flaws, I am obligated to forgive all my brothers and sisters with all their flaws. Realizing this was a very powerful spiritual experience, and each of us has access to that reality through the practice of presence.
Along with hosting home classes, I’ve presented at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico; St. Benedict’s Abbey in Still River, Massachusetts; the Center for Action and Contemplation’s “Men as Learners and as Elders” annual gathering; Men’s Rite of Passage events, where I am a teaching elder; the Illuman SoCal gathering of Orange County, a chapter of the international men’s organization founded by Richard Rohr; and through the Catholic Detention Ministry as a presider, performing communion services to the inmates and teaching the practice of presence.
Through my years of teaching in a variety of settings and to a diverse body of students—as well as my many years of practicing presence—I’m confident that the practice of presence will benefit your students by helping them connect with God’s spiritual energy and their vibrant inner lives. And it is sure to enhance every spiritual practice they do, whether it’s daily prayers, reading scripture, or attending church services.