The Presence Process

During one of my Ayahuasca sessions in Peru I was instructed to start “The Presence Process” right away. I had bought the book before I took the trip as I had read about it on the website for the organization I visited in Peru. I had the book with me on this trip but had yet to read it and of course, Ayahuasca knew this along with all kinds of intimate details of my life. Most people who do Ayahuasca can tell you that this plant spirit reveals things that make it very clear that it has in-depth knowledge of who you are and it can be surprising at times how completely it understands you – often more than you understand yourself which is why it can be an extremely insightful experience to connect with this spirit. I had the intention of changing my life completely according to the revelations of these spiritual experiences so that I may live a more meaningful, authentic and powerful life. After reading the substantial intro to the book “The Presence Process” (almost half the book) I embarked upon a remarkable healing journey and realizing the powerful tools it had to offer, I knew why it had been recommended to me.

It’s a very difficult process and many times during it I had been desperate to find some kind of support beyond the book. I looked for some feedback about it online and it was only after I finished the process (or the main part anyway) that I found some questions and answers on the portal that was somewhat along the lines of what I had been seeking. However, I realized in retrospect that if I didn’t find it when I was looking, I wasn’t meant to. I’m beginning to have a lot more faith in these kinds of things in my life as I am now being guided in so many ways that I can’t fail to see that most if not everything in life has a rhythm and is a result of some part of who I am and where I’m at. In fact, Ayahuasca responded to my curiosity about the nature of reality by stating that my reality was a result of my ‘state’. And ever since, this spiritual presence that has remained with me has been guiding me in ways to help me change my state for the better. Some of these changes are painful and this process is a powerful vehicle that facilitates these crucial changes.

During the process I experienced a great deal of emotional upheaval. I began to realize that this was (and still is) a sort of emotional detox. It’s helpful to remember this while experiencing it because it can be confusing and discouraging. We all associate healing with good feelings but when we feel bad, we immediately think that something must be wrong. We often have this reaction when we’re feeling physically sick but again, there can be symptoms of detox that facilitate healing that are quite uncomfortable. I remember a couple of years ago having pneumonia at Christmas time. I had a fever of 104 and needless to say, I was quite seriously ill. I purged a great amount of mucous (my apologies for the graphic description) and afterwards, my chest and lungs felt better than they had felt in years. I could breathe much more easily and felt so much stronger for it. I realized then that my body was actually healing me. I think this happens far more often than any of us realize.

On an emotional level, it becomes very difficult to keep a steady view of this necessary part of healing and I still marvel at how often I am taken off guard by it when these bouts of emotional detox occur. Although I have completed the process, I am still undergoing the healing process in a more relaxed manner so to speak. When the need arises, I am able to put the tools I learned in this process to work and of course the need does arise often enough for me to know that in order to fulfill my intention, I must do a lot more healing and in so doing, continue to change my ‘state’. I often still balk at these feelings when they overcome me and once I catch myself in this familiar reaction, I realize that I must accept these feelings or I won’t be able to integrate them and therefore overcome the way they affect my life (and my reality). I can’t pretend that I always react well. It has been a huge learning curve to respond to these emotions differently than I have done for so many years but I am determined to do better each time – or to try anyway. One way or another, with a great deal of help from my guiding spirits or this ‘presence’ I’ve felt since I returned from Peru, I have managed to make progress.

It has been and continues to be a tremendous challenge and an empowering experience. I’m not sure what other people’s experience of this process is but I know that I’m just so grateful for the guidance I received during it and continue to receive. I would be interested in hearing about other people’s experiences and whether or not they felt a presence working with them. I want to make it clear that I’m not in a position to guide or advise anyone else because I know how unique everyone’s situation is, and from what I can gather, this process is about working one on one with presence itself to sort out these very personal issues. Having said this, I also know that sometimes it can be helpful just to share experiences and give and receive support when going through such a challenging process. My process was and continues to be fully guided and I was given some very specific instructions while going through this experience. I continue to be guided and although I may still get confused at times and feel doubt, I know that my life is immeasurably richer in every way due to the guidance I receive. I can only hope that others find their own way of seeking internal guidance, as I believe that this is the way that our world will truly change for the better.

Post Script: The source for Q&A provided by the author of The Presence Process that I found after the fact can be accessed now through this link: http://presenceprocessquestions.blogspot.ca/2009/07/i-have-done-presence-process-twice-but.html

4 thoughts on “The Presence Process

  1. Thank you Rebecca for your inspiration and encouragement. I appreciate your courage and sincerity in sharing your story. It was hearing this that inspired me to also start the Presence Process and I have found the results challenging but life-changing. Setting the intention to feel unconditionally has been such a powerful tool to cut through the duality of desire and aversion and allow attention to rest in the present, even when intense emotions arise. I hope others will also benefit from your sharing.

  2. I started the Presence Process with no expectations and honestly, there have been moments, many of them where I have thought to myself, what have I done?

    My many times I’ve been lovingly held through my darkest fears by a presence I’ve not known before. Each time I surrendered and trusted and came through it. But this is by no means an easy process. It’s the Everest of shadow work. I can understand why there is a cloak of containment about the process while we are in it.

    It is best to go into it blind, but towards the end it’s also of benefit to know that yes, it is actually that difficult for most people. I think a lot of us have fairly idealistic views of shamanism without realising that it’s also very hard work too. I have a newfound respect for the power of such things now.

    1. Hi Clara, thanks for sharing your experience. I have told people about this process and felt obliged to warn them that it’s very difficult knowing that my words will never be able to do it justice because it’s such a personal and unique experience for everyone. I would like to hear about the changes you might have realized after the process was over and whether or not you felt that it was beneficial. I hope so.. it’s one of the reasons that we’re willing to experience all of these challenges. I’m glad you felt supported through it. Have you considered trying to access that presence for guidance in your life?

  3. A year on and I’m about to do the process for the 2nd time now and strangely found my own comment on this blog. Did I find it beneficial? I’m not sure. I don’t think I was in a space to benefit from it much first time around. I was very much mired in some very dark times and as a result it was all I could do to get through it. I can’t even remember if I finished it, I know I got as far as week 8 as I found that particularly difficult but I do not remember much after that. I certainly did not emerge feeling transformed as many do. More like, resolute in not wanting to touch the book again. And so it sat on my bookshelf for a full year until I picked it up again the other day.

    I started reading it again and it just spoke to me differently this time. I haven’t yet started the protocol again but have started just doing some consciously connected breathing as a way of dipping the toe in again and yes it brings forth all the familiar undesired feelings again. I’m entering into it again not because I feel a great desire to do so but because I just feel as if I should.

    I’m under no illusions that I’ll emerge feeling transformed, having been there once before I doubt that will be my experience. But for whatever reason, I feel the need to do this.

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