The Philosophy and Practice of Presence with Edward Hirsch, MA
September 6 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
FREE ADMISSION – 1757 Ashland St., Ashland, OR. One mile west of I-5 Exit 14
“The Philosophy and Practice of Presence- Restoring the Sense of Sacred Mystery”
“Sacred Mystery” is the alchemical shift of reason to higher intuition as we transcend and include the mind. Mind, when taken radically (meaning, to the root or essence), opens into the paradox and Sacred Mystery of Presence on all levels, since it is the Ground of all levels.
In Truth, everything serves this—philosophy, practice, as well as psychology, really all the “five bodies” (physical, vital, emotional, mental, causal or “self-sense”). Everything empties into Presence, and Presence empties into form, so the circle is complete.
What I offer is a distillation of all the paths I have traveled, and it has its own integrity and is not a mere amalgamation. Mandalas (sacred circles) have been an integral part of this journey, and they are an expression of sacred geometry, sacred number, and sacred word in the tradition of Pythagoras. They are ways of condensing ineffable Wisdom into systematic and comprehensive teaching, integrating spirituality, philosophy, psychology, and practice in one seamless whole.
The alchemy I work with is the shift of the “lead” that is the natural human condition to the “gold” of Presence, which is recognized as the Prior Oneness Presence and one’s True Nature. This serves as a foundation for the democratization of universal spirituality.
Nothing is offered dogmatically or on the basis of authority but is simply offered for each one’s understanding and direct experience. What I teach requires no prior experience, background, or level of skill and is based on unfolding what is present here and now rather than seeking some future spiritual Goal. Rather than relying on the transmission of some special Realizer, I facilitate a practice that co-creates a field of Presence with the group opening into the Timeless Presence.
Presence is the Open Secret, hidden in the plain obviousness of (uninspected) ordinary experience. And the simple Practice of Presence that supports the alchemy is also hidden in just that way.
In this presentation, I will use the seven basic mandalas (I call panels) that represent the whole of my teaching and practice. I will communicate that largely through lecture, in a weave with embodied practices so that it gets across experientially and not just intellectually. This is an embodied spiritual path, integrating the Transcendent and Immanent.
Humanity is currently undergoing the collective initiation of a major paradigm shift in consciousness. It is the restoration of the sense of primary Sacred Mystery, the Prior Oneness beyond all positionalities of the mind. Opening to this, and embodying it, will help you enter into the shift more consciously.
What I’m offering is a condensation of a work that is now in two volumes of over 1000 pages, currently entitled, “Presence, Mystery, Mandala: A Course in the Practice of Presence.” Short passages from these writings, and other writings I do, are posted daily on my Facebook page.
Thank you and Namaste.
Edward Hirsch, MA has a B.A. in philosophy from Queens College, NY (followed by two years of graduate work in philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin), and an M.A. in Transpersonal Counseling from John F. Kennedy University, CA. He studied over six years with Hameed Ali and his senior students. Hameed was the founder of the Diamond Heart School, where he learned the embodied Practice of Presence and a deep integration of spirituality and psychology. Earlier, he was a student of Adi Da for about two years, living up on his land but not part of the inner circle. There, the emphasis was more on the role of guru and grace, as well as deep spiritual recognition of radical Truth. As Da’s radical teachings deeply resonated with his own intuitions, the teaching stayed with him long after leaving Da as his guru.
His work in the Practice of Presence is partly an integration of these two impactful teachers. He has learned much along the lines of refining the psychological tools used in working with deep psychological processes, from studying with spiritual teacher Saleem Berryman over several years, while Saleem lived in Ashland. Saleem helped encourage his dedication to the path that was opening up through him.
He has been intensively developing this unique path through intensive practicing, teaching, and writing for over thirty years. He has been offering it to small groups over all that time, as it slowly evolved and revealed itself. In fact, being open to that process has been a basic part of his practice.
He has studied and practiced in many traditions, East and West, North and South, including esoteric Christianity, kundalini yoga, and to a lesser extent, shamanism. He continues to keep abreast of developments in the contemporary spiritual landscape, including teachings of a wide variety of views, but mostly aligning with nondual, embodied, nondenominational, evolutionary, and integral approaches, finding ways of integrating seemingly opposite points of view in a broad sense of Sacred Mystery.
His deep study of philosophy, spirituality, and psychology has given him a unique vantage point of understanding, and he has used the Practice of Presence as a foundation for understanding and practicing all he has learned. Through the use of mandalas that developed through his own journey, through the use of sound and color, and always trying to articulate this “dharma” more clearly, his aim has been to make an integrated spiritual path deeply accessible, while not merely popularizing it but maintaining its deep roots in the essential teachings of Presence.
He has taught many courses in Presence and the Practice of Presence at OLLI, and recently he has begun to teach an overview course at OLLI covering the Seven Panels of Presence online.
Practice of Presence Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/edwardwilliamhirsch
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