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The Power of Presence Takes Mindfulness to Next Level

International speakers and authors Michael Russer and Jacqueline Lopez are giving a series of free talks on the transformative power of living and working in a state of presence. The talks are offered Sept. 12 through Oct. 9. in Santa Barbara and Ojai.

The speakers define presence as a deep state of awareness without judgement, expectations or distractions.

“Mindfulness addresses the symptoms of emotional and psychological anxiety, fear and distress, Presence addresses their root causes,” Russer said.

“This empowers individuals incorporating a simple Presence practice to significantly reduce the impact of old emotional wounding,” he said.

The foundation for the speaker’s presence work is the result of helping cancer survivors and their partners around the country deal with the significant impact that cancer and its treatment can have on their relationship.

Russer is an ongoing survivor of two cancers, and Lopez is his life partner.

By teaching them presence (which can be achieved in 60 seconds or less once learned), they said they can see a profound positive shift within their relationship and significantly reduce existential anxiety as well.

Russer and Lopez also teach mindfulness but said they have found its limits in terms of achieving and sustaining deeply connecting relationships.

“Presence is the helicopter that can take you to the top of the relationship mountain very quickly, while mindfulness is the winding trail often requiring thousands of hours of practice to see the same results,” Lopez said.

Presence impacts all relationships, whether intimate, familial, work-related or someone you meet at the checkout line.

“Thanks to presence, I am seeing a profound shift in my relationships, personal and professional. It is helping me stay more focused and less reactive, and my productivity is beyond what I get with meditation alone,” said Boysen Hodgson, a recent presence graduate and national communications director for ManKind Project USA.

The talks will be held at the following dates and locations:
Karpeles Manuscript Museum, 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept.12.
Ojai Public Library, 6:20-7:50 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2.
Karpeles Manuscript Museum, 7-8:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 9.

Seats for each of the talks are limited and can be reserved at

— Jacqueline Lopez.


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