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Passionate Presence: Experiencing the Seven Qualities of Awakened Awareness Hardcover – February 24, 2003

4.8 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Trained in Buddhist teachings, Ingram (In the Footsteps of Gandhi) is also the founder of Living Dharma and conducts Dharma Dialogues for devotees and interested students. Transcending traditional religious practices, Ingram here offers a program of how to develop a heightened awareness of the self. This awareness may be achieved with or without a personal instructor (the author's teacher was the late H.W.L. Poonjajai of India) and involves developing the qualities of silence, tenderness, embodiment, genuineness, discernment, delight and wonder. According to Ingram, engaging in meditation (silence) may lead to heightened creativity that eludes those who pursue ego-driven ambition. She also believes that for noble causes (e.g., environmental movements) to have an effect on society, there must be a strong commitment on the part of individuals to treasure the interconnectedness of all life. Cultivating wonder means, in part, an acceptance that most of life is a mystery and what we understand best can only exist in the present moment. In this thoughtful and clearly written exploration, Ingram details ways to achieve all her stated qualities of heightened awareness at length from a humanistic/Buddhist perspective.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.


Her writing clearly flows out of her own realization....the act of reading her words can become an awakening. -- Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now

The golden thread that runs through Catherine Ingram's excellent book is the possibility of immediate awakening. -- Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham; 1st edition (February 24, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592400027
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592400027
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,211,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This lovely book shares the wisdom of a teacher of silent meditation and Dharma Dialogues on awakened awareness. It is truly food for the soul.

Catherine Ingram describes her personal experiences in seeking and finding peace in the Now. While mindfulness meditation was a major path, a spiritual teacher catalyzed major shifts in her consciousness. Ingram now teaches mindfulness, through silence, through shared lessons, and (even through the pages of this book) through her personal centeredness.

Seven topics are highlighted: Silence, Tenderness, Embodiment, Genuineness, Discernment, Delight and Wonder. Each is illustrated with lovely stories of Ingram and other seekers on the Path.

Particularly helpful for healing are suggestions for acknowledging the presence of an inner observer who is detached even in the midst of crisis and suffering; for treasuring each present moment rather than living in the past or future; and for accepting that we need not torture ourselves with guilt and remorse because each of us has a lifetime of lessons to learn - and each experience offers us opportunities to develop deeper compassion for others who have their own lessons and make mistakes that may impact negatively on us. We can fester in negative reactions to life that is past or in our anxieties about our future life - or we might just let go of the negativity and move on to the ever-present Now.

I was surprised to discover this book was immediately helpful in finding a stronger connection with my own center of quiet awareness.

There is also a pleasant current of practical advice.

I warmly recommend this book for a good read and re-read.
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By A Customer on April 13, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Many spiritual books have given me great food for thought; this one has actually brought major shifts in my perception. It has taken me a large step forward in my presence and in the way I deal with people, which was immediately noticed by my coworkers. I don't want to get too specific and spoil the effect of a fresh reading, but do get this book. It's one of my top three spiritual books, along with *The Power of Now* by Eckhart Tolle, and *Loving What Is* by Byron Katie.
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Format: Paperback
Catherine Ingram spent decades on a spiritual journey, learning from spiritual teachers, meditating, practicing Buddhist traditions, and studying dharma but eventually found herself in an existential depression that lasted for years. It wasn't until she met her Indian teacher Poonjaji, who exemplified the silent awareness of being, that Ingram's perceptions shifted allowing her to experience lasting peace.

The seven qualities to awakened awareness of which Ingram writes--silence, tenderness, embodiment, genuineness, discernment, delight and wonder--came to her in a dream and form the basis of this book. Through personal anecdotes and stories, Ingram illustrates how these qualities can help guide us in responding to life's vicissitudes.

"We search everywhere outside ourselves to try to find ourselves. We collect experiences, relationships, knowledge, and objects. We hope for recognition from others to validate our importance. But while we may have found pleasure or rewards in various ways, we have often overlooked our greatest gift, hidden in plain sight-our own passionate presence....We are each endowed with clear perception that becomes dormant or obscured through the conditioning of fear, loss, and belief. When we deeply relax in silence, our awareness effortlessly shines with a transforming brilliance. We live as sensible and practical people, but with a twinkle in our eyes." - Catherine Ingram

Passionate Presence will not teach you how to find the twinkle in your eyes or realize the inherent treasure that is you. Ingrim correctly describes the book as a "reminder." A reminder of eternal truths to those who have misplaced them, and a glimpse of beautiful possibilities for those new to the path.
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Format: Hardcover
PASSIONATE PRESENCE is about ending the tyranny of the mind. Living in the mind instead of in the moment causes one to miss the freshness and wonder of life. We may spend hours each day chewing over our past failures, or, conversely, projecting a rosy future for ourselves. The problem with this scenario is that past and future are concepts. They exist only in the mind. PASSIONATE PRESENCE is about getting out of the mind and into the moment, into the preciousness and completeness of the moment, which, after all, is all we have. The qualities that exude from these pages--gentleness, genuineness and delight--are contagious. Catherine Ingram speaks to us from direct experience, and her experience, we realize, if we are truly attentive, is our experience.
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Format: Hardcover
When I think about the teachings in Passionate Presence, the word that comes to me is RELIEF: Relief from the burdening belief that one must make a prodigious effort in order to live an awakened life; relief from the burden of ideas of what an "enlightened" person should be like; and relief from the burden of believing one's "I" stories. Once the reader understands the concept of letting go of beliefs, explained so artfully in early chapters, the qualities and experiences that are described in the rest of Passionate Presence are immediately available.
Catherine Ingram's lovely images and stories entice the reader back to the awareness of the moment. She has crafted an artful companion for one who desires to live in the mystery and beauty of an awakened life.
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