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The quotes below will help you get a feel for some of the principles and practices of intentional presence.

Most of them are from my teachers or people whose work has taught and inspired me.  - Rhonda Mattern



My first impulse now is always to find something to love, something to be inspired by, something heroic, something recognizable as the gift and burden of the human condition, the pain and grace that's there to find in every soul you meet.  ~Ron Kurtz


No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him.  By his love he is enabled to see the essential traits and features in the beloved person; and even more, he sees that which is potential in him, which is not yet actualized but yet ought to be actualized. Furthermore, by his love, the loving person enables the beloved person to actualize these potentialities.  ~Viktor Frankl




Everything living strives towards its own wholeness.  ~Carl Jung


As long as you divide yourself into a higher self that's "good" and a lower self that's "bad"--a self that you need to rise above, get rid of, or whip into shape--you will never be able to truly love yourself. ~Rhonda Mattern


The whole of creation exists in you, and it is your destiny to become increasingly aware of its infinite wonders and to experience even greater and greater portions of it.  ~Paul Twitchell


Psychic reality still exists in its original oneness, and awaits man’s advance to a level of consciousness where he no longer believes in one part and denies the other, but recognizes both as constituent elements of one psyche.

~Carl Jung



You will not find yourself by running from teacher to teacher, or from book to book. You will not meet yourself through following any particular specialized method of meditation. Only by looking quietly within the self that you know can your own reality be experienced.  ~Seth


If you would ask me what to study, I would say yourselves; and when you well had studied and then would ask me what to study next, I would reply yourselves. 

 ~Levi H. Dowling


No man can get truth out of a book. It must come out of himself.

 ~ Paul Twitchell


You can't change what you're doing until you know what you're doing.

 ~Moshe Feldenkreis




A great many interpersonal skills are now being taught in various settings. Those will soon be taught to everyone in public school. ~Gene Gendlin


Change will come gradually through increased awareness, and awareness will only come with education.

~The Dalai Lama


The faculty of bringing back a wandering attention, over and over again, is the very root of judgment, character, and will...An education which should improve this faculty would be the education par excellence. ~William James


Education must be seen as at least partially an effort to produce the good human being, to foster the good life, and the good society. ~Abraham Maslow


If you really want to help this world,

what you will have to teach is how to live in it. ~Joseph Campbell



Gradually the unconscious opens up to you and becomes your friend. 

 ~ Marion Woodman


Questioner: Isn't it true that at the present we are more or less at the mercy of the subconscious? 


Seth: That is true, but that is saying that the whole is at the mercy of the parts. Man just hasn't learned to use his parts effectively. The sum of all should be excellent consciousness…The consciousness will expand on your planet…the scope of consciousness will be so broadened in the future that all personality fragments...will be held in clear focus without strain. It is toward this that evolution on the earthly plane is headed, though of course with its usual donkey-slow rate. ~Seth


There was a time when I thought I had to kill all those parts of me that gave me trouble. Now I see they may be my greatest helpers if I decide to make them my friends. ~Virginia Satir




To get a true sense of who we are, become more complete and integrated human beings, we must go to the unconscious and set up communication with it. Much of ourselves and many determinants of our character are contained in the unconscious. It is only by approaching it that we have a chance to become conscious, complete, whole human beings. Jung has shown that by approaching the unconscious and learning its subconscious language, we live richer and fuller lives. We begin to live in partnership with the unconscious rather than at its mercy or in constant warfare with it. ~Robert A. Johnson


Those people who are least aware of their unconscious side are the most influenced by it. ~Carl Jung 


It’s only what you’re not willing to see that has you, that controls you, that runs you from the subconscious. Because you’re ignoring it, you give it power. Shadows only dance when the light is absent.  ~Eli Jaxon-Bear 


The unconscious…is simply that about himself which man does not know…Until he looks within himself, seeks out his hidden pantheon and overcomes it by love (or what psychologists call “acceptance”), he remains its unwitting tool.  

~Alan Watts


The true depth and grandeur of an individual human being is never totally manifested until the main elements of the personality are moved from the level of potential in the unconscious and actualized at the level of conscious functioning. Each of us is building a life, building an edifice. Within each person, the plan and the basic structure are established in a deep place in the unconscious. But we need to consult the unconscious and cooperate with it in order to realize the full potential that is built into us.  ~Robert A. Johnson

Every advance in culture is, psychologically, an extension of consciousness, a coming to consciousness that can take place only through discrimination. Therefore an advance always begins with individuation, that is to say with the individual, conscious of his isolation, cutting a new path through hitherto untrodden territory. To do this he must first return to the fundamental facts of his own being, irrespective of all authority and tradition, and allow himself to become conscious of his distinctiveness. If he succeeds in giving collective validity to his widened consciousness, he creates a tension of opposites that provides the stimulation which culture needs for its further progress. ~Carl Jung


(We NEVER share it with others.)



Let us not underestimate how hard it is to be compassionate. Compassion is hard because it requires the inner disposition to go with others to the place where they are weak, vulnerable, lonely, and broken. But this is not our spontaneous response to suffering. What we desire most is to do away with suffering by fleeing from it or finding a quick cure for it.

~Henri J.M. Nouwen


Kindness is my religion. 

~The Dalai Lama


You know quite well, deep within you, that there is only a single magic, a single power, a single salvation...and that is called loving. Well, then, love your suffering. Do not resist it, do not flee from it. It is your aversion that hurts, nothing else.   ~Hermann Hesse


With love, even the rocks will open. 

 ~Hazrat Inayat Khan











The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing... not healing, not curing... that is a friend who cares.  ~Henri J.M. Nouwen


In my early...years I was asking the question: How can I...change this person? Now I would phrase the question in this way: How can I provide a relationship which this person may use for his own personal growth? ~Carl Rogers


There is a twilight zone in our hearts that we ourselves cannot see. Even when we know quite a lot about ourselves-our gifts and weaknesses, our ambitions and aspirations, our motives and our drives-large parts of ourselves remain in the shadow of consciousness. This is a very good thing. We will always remain partially hidden to ourselves. Other people, especially those who love us, can often see our twilight zones better than we ourselves can. The way we are seen and understood by others is different from the way we see and understand ourselves. We will never fully know the significance of our presence in the lives of our friends. That's a grace, a grace that calls us not only to humility, but to a deep trust in those who love us. It is the twilight zones of our hearts where true friendships are born. ~Henri J.M. Nouwen




You are at the mercy of your emotions only when you fear them. They are the motion of your being. They go hand in hand with your intellect. But when you are unaware of the contents of your conscious mind, and not fair with your emotions, you run into difficulty. It is very important…that you understand the true innocence of all feelings, for each of them, if left alone and followed, will lead you back to the reality of love.  ~Seth 


In your present system of beliefs, and with the dubious light in which the unconscious is considered, a fear of the emotions is often generated. Their expression becomes very difficult; great blockages of energy occur, which in your terms can result in neurotic or even stronger, psychotic, behavior. The inhibition of such emotions also interferes with the nervous system and its therapeutic devices. Many disavow the experience of feelings they consider negative. They try to “affirm” what they think of as positive emotions.  They do not permit themselves the dimensions of their creaturehood, and by pretending not to feel what they feel, they deny the integrity of their own experience. ~Seth 


Like warning lights and gauges, your emotions and the felt-sense in your body are there to help you understand which of your needs are being met, or are not being met.  ~Neil Gibson, Shari Klein, Gary Baran and Sylvia Haskavitz, Center for Nonviolent Communication


These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them. ~Rumi

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