Part 04: Presence

Practical Philosophy - Presence

The love, happiness, and intelligence, which are within everyone, are naturally available when the mind is truly present.

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10 Weeks




16th Sep - 30th Nov

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If we wish to attain what we are seeking, let us not be moved or distracted by many things but let us remain in unity as much as we are able (Ficino)

When we are present, it may be possible to see more fully and clearly what is true or untrue, eternal or transient, real, or imaginary. There may be a greater understanding of the underlying causes which have brought about a situation and consequently a better possibility of acting in a way that will be positive and liberating.

Presence of mind can help us to see more clearly. It can help us to discover a more subtle sense of sight ‐ incorporating what is sometimes referred to as insight and foresight. Greater presence of mind can lead to greater self‐awareness.


Week 1

The benefits of presence of mind

Being present is being fully awake and aware of that which is in front of you at any given moment, and that is your teacher. Love, happiness and intelligence are available when the mind is truly present, when it is truly still.

Week 2

Advaita philosophy.

The school’s material is based on the Advaita teaching which believes that, under the different and changing forms, is that which is the same in all things and never changes. A still mind can discriminate between the temporary and the eternal unchanging. The distractions of this still mind are thoughts, dreams and procrastination.

Week 3

Absolute existence

Absolute existence is not perceptible to the senses nor is it understandable from the mind. In moments when all desires cease we can experience a limitless state of freedom filled with love and contentment.

Week 4

Plato's Cave

The allegory of the cave is deals with the distinction between all that is passing and imaginary and that which is eternal and true.

Week 5

Plato's Cave no. 2

The principle, ‘that which is in front of you is your teacher, is a very practical way of opening up to the riches of the present moment.

Week 6

Powers available to us in the present

A human being in the present moment has many powers available to him or her. The power to move, for example, is a power available in the present moment. The power to speak is another. These in themselves are remarkable powers. We can take them for granted, but not all creatures have power of movement, and only the human being has the power of speech.

Week 7

The power of decision

One way or another, this power to decide, whether it is used well or not, will greatly influence our lives and the lives of those around us. There are many relevant examples that we can consider, matters that everyone, at some time or another in their lives, has to reflect upon.

Week 8

The power of love

The greater power of love arises when the heart is still, at rest and open. It is an extraordinary power because it can inspire people to all kinds of efforts or sacrifices of which they would otherwise never feel capable. With love nothing is too great a burden or difficulty. It transcends limitation and overcomes division, and in so doing everything becomes possible.

Week 9

The power of will

Factors influencing our will. One of the difficulties that people often face in modern living is the idea of having too much to do, too many things to do, and not enough time to do them. This stops us living in the present.There is a Sanskrit maxim that can help with this situation. It is ‘Padam, padam'. (step by step)

Week 10

Universal beings with universal powers

The idea, according to Advaita philosophy, is that we are not just individual beings, but universal beings endowed with universal powers

Dublin 4

School of Philosophy & Economic Science, 47-49 Northumberland Road, Ballsbridge


The Malone Hotel, 60 Eglantine Avenue, Malone Road, Belfast


St. Columb's Park House, Limavady Road, Derry


Marshal House, Dooradoyle Road, Limerick

Townley Hall

Townley Hall Main House, Slane Road, Drogheda

Ongoing Learning

Part 05, Practical Philosophy:


Freedom is the open window through which pours the sunlight of the human spirit and human dignity.

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