Archives for posts with tag: presence
White egrets on the Potomac River (Photograph by Jonathan Foust)

White egrets on the Potomac River (Photograph by Jonathan Foust)

“The magic of paying attention is we get to see not only what’s there but how we’re holding it.” Jonathan Foust

Inspiring interview by Jared Gottlieb with meditation teacher and photographer Jonathan Foust including five suggestions to bring greater awareness and appreciation to life’s wonder through mindful use of our cameras. Thanks Jared!

  • Limit yourself to three photos a day for 30 days to help heighten your awareness to the present moment and “welcome whatever states of mind arise.”
  • When reviewing photos focus on what worked rather than what didn’t (good idea for life in general too!)
  • Reflect on why you take photos and what stories you’re trying to tell/share.
  • When you take a great photo, say aloud how good it feels to experience it all.
  • Challenge yourself to see in a different way whether or not you have a camera in hand.

Source: The Art of Mindful Photography posted by Jared Gottlieb of National Geographic in Travel Shots

Do It! Today is your lucky day!

“Forget mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you’re going to do now and do it. Today is your lucky day.” ~ Will Durant

Presence: "Turn off, tune up, drop in" while exercising -  photo by Mary Marcdante

Finding and feeling the incredible power of presence in the middle of a run, walk, or hike, especially in nature, seems like it should be a no-brainer. You’re gliding along in the moment, even in the midst of aches and pains, appreciating the beauty, soaking in the joy of moving your body. Or are you?

If you’re attached to listening to your iPod or portable music listening device while you’re exercising, think again according to Sage Rountree, yoga teacher and sports endurance coach. Sage’s suggestion to do the opposite of counterculture icon Timothy Leary’s mantra “Turn on, tune in, drop out” and instead “Turn off, tune up, drop in” is a much healthier and safer alternative.

Moms pushing buggies up Torrey Pines hill
Easier said than done for me. Maybe for you too? My drug of choice is walking the trails and beach at Torrey Pines State Reserve. If I’m by myself I’m usually listening to a spiritual or inspirational self-help audio book or music to get myself up the 45 degree angle hill while watching others stroll or run up the road. On my next walk I’m following Sage’s advice. Stay tuned for what I discover and let me know what your experience has been in the comment box below.

Here’s Sage’s suggestion for “Dropping In” — a great way to maximize the power of Presence.

“Dropping in is the ultimate association. It’s bringing your awareness and attention to what you are experiencing in the immediate moment. Do you feel intensity? Where? Go right to that place — drop your focus into it. Is there pain in your body? Can you investigate that and watch it as it shifts, growing stronger or lessening? When you are tempted to quit — to drop out — try instead embracing the experience in all its messy intensity. Drop in.”

Read more at Mental Tips: Turn Off, Tune Up, Drop In – Competitor Running by yoga teacher and sports endurance coach Sage Rountree.

"You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop." Rumi -

“You are not a drop in the ocean.
You are the entire ocean, in a drop.”
~ Rumi ~

Torrey Pines Sunrise by Mary Marcdante

Sunrise from Torrey Pines Beach today. The light behind the clouds reminds me that no matter how hidden or unformed a dream may be, it will rise. We just have to be present to notice when it happens and let it in. What dream is waiting for you?


“If there is one lesson I have to say I’ve learned during my time on this planet it is this: the number one thing all people crave is to be seen and to be heard. It’s just that simple. The gift of paying attention is a fundamental key to transforming our relationships. You will be suprised at how miraculous your relationships become when you just start paying attention.” ~Oprah Winfrey, Day 13, Miraculous Relationships 21-Day Meditation Challenge

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presence_mm_20130629“I find the older I get, the more aware I become that the only person I have influence over is myself. How it’s my job to live up to any spiritual or moral values that I may want the world to live up to. And on top of that, what really matters is one’s presence—not one’s words or even one’s deeds. Rather, who we are in each moment is what has the traction to make a difference.”   ~Elizabeth Lesser

Excerpted from “Finding Your Authentic Self” by Elizabeth Lesser

Elizabeth is presenting a workshop “Reviving Your Authentic Self” at Omega Institute August 9-11, 2013 with David Wilcox.