After nearly twenty years in various “healing spaces,” I’m convinced that a majority of “the work” is actually a major distraction at best, and at worst, the cause of illness itself.

Every illness is, of course, completely unique. Yet, there is but ONE infallible cure. Read to the end to discover what it is.

The modern doctrine subscribed to by all self-respecting new-age “healers,” espouses presence as a healing tool above all else. It holds as a matter of fact that one must attend to their body by feeling their way out of illness and into wellness. 

The fundamental strategy of all modern alternative healing is to overcome suffering through the absorption of one’s attention into ‘the moment.’ And while presence may be the panacea we’re seeking, an important question has gone relatively unasked –

“Present with what, exactly?”

With our phones, video games, porn, social media, news programming… Most of us are so far removed from anything resembling true presence, we hardly remember what true presence really means. Yet most of us assume when we’re told to “get present,” that we DO know what it means, and even that we know how to do it.

So, when a person comes to the point in their life’s journey when they’re in need of healing, and they’re prescribed “PRESENCE” as a remedy, they start up a dedicated practice of stewing, brooding, and worrying over what ails them. And this obsession with their problem… surprise! It seems to make it worse.

NOTE: Everything is unfolding within the field of our awareness. Thus, whatever we focus on, grows in strength and magnitude. Hyper-focusing on a problem doesn’t inherently lead to its improvement. More reliably, it makes the problem BIGGER within our field of awareness.

In our attempt to heal ourselves by focusing on our problems, the problems grow to appear bigger and more problematic to us. And in our commitment to our belief in the healing power of PRESENCE, we become more neurotic and self-absorbed as we double-down on our efforts. In this way, focusing more and more of our energy on our problems; we watch insistently as they snowball out of control.

But if this is presence, and presence is the solution to our problems, why isn’t it helping?

Because most of us are deeply confused about what true presence is.

Just as presence isn’t ignoring problems while they continue knocking more loudly over time, neither is presence staring blankly into a screen, refusing to change the channel for hours, days, or years.

Treated as mere “consumers,” we’ve had our attention so hijacked by the advertisers and media machines, most of us have lost control of it. We no longer remember how to use it for our own benefit. 

We’re spending more time, money, and attention on “healthcare” (which is actually sickcare) in this country. And all the abundance of resources only seems to be making our problems worse.

The matter is microcosmic AND macrocosmic.

And while most of us believe that we’re “waking up,” the fact is, as a collective, we are actually getting sicker.

This needs to be said,: “Fixation is just as toxic to our health as ignorance.”

This means our efforts to heal need to strike a balance between ignoring our ailments on the one side and ignoring everything else on the other.

Healing is a cognitive process. This is because our beliefs do determine the outcome of our lives. 

Our mind exerts influence over our body, as much as our body influences our mind.

Modern medicine insists that the mind-body connection is an illusion; that our attention has NO influence over the body (which is ridiculous given the fact that getting a drug to market requires only that it beats a double-blind placebo test).

In fact, the mind is the MOST POWERFUL tool for healing your body.

But like any tool, we must know how to use it, or we can end up destroying the very thing we’re trying to fix.

If you’re trying to remodel a house, you might use a hammer. But if you don’t know how to hold the hammer when you aim it and try to strike the head of a nail, you’re going to miss and hit the house. If you keep missing, you’re eventually going to cause some damage. 

Your mind is like a hammer, only far more powerful. Without training, your efforts to use your mind to heal your body will end up doing more harm than good.

The key to healing is learning to use the mind correctly.

This is the same thing as learning what true presence is.

True presence is cognitive flow. It’s watching the movements of the mind, body, and emotions without ignoring, rejecting, or judging them, and at the same time, without fixating, ruminating, or otherwise getting hung up on them.

It’s picking up the hammer and holding it loosely enough that you can still swing it, but not so loosely that it flies out of your hand and puts a hole in your house!

Of course, this skill can be learned in meditation. But very few people have the patience and discipline required to sit down in silence with themselves anymore.

So, it should be known that meditation is NOT the only way.

In other words, one need not meditate in order to learn the art of presence. In fact, it can be done in any waking moment.

In order to get present, I find the following question to be particularly useful: “What’s it like?”

Try it now…

You don’t need to sit with your legs crossed and close your eyes.

Just ask yourself,

“What’s it like?”

And notice how the answer is being given. That is the present.

Because everything is flowing in your field of awareness, what it’s like now will NOT be what it’s like tomorrow or even an hour from now. And if it is, it’s safe to say you’re not actually present.

In that case I invite you to..

Bring your attention to that which seems to be unchanging. Notice how your body has tensioned around this compelling experience in order to freeze frame it, like your life is on pause. 

Where are you holding on? Just like letting go of an object held in your hand, in order to loosen your grip, simply release the tension around it. This will allow it to move through and make way for a different, newer, fresher experience!

In this new age, while we have addressed a great many of our prevailing problems, we seem to be overcorrecting like the erratic jerks on a steering wheel just before the crash. This is a result of a lack of nuance and the understanding that any extreme is a road to pathology.

An unbalanced, incongruent, distracted mind leads to an unhealthy body, just as a hyper-focused, neurotic mind also leads to illness.

Knowing these two poles helps us to navigate the place in-between. 

A well balanced, loosely held, focused place is where health is always found. 

Enjoy a FREE 10 min. meditation to increase your presence HERE.

And for more opportunities to cultivate the essential healing skill of true presence, weather through stillness or movement, check out our FREE online membership HERE.


  1. IThis is so spot on. I love it. Can I share?

    Let me lead with we have a global epidemic of people, men, falling on things up their colon that they can’t get out, and the objects range so much in variety there is various surgical procedures now for glass, Barbie’s, metal,. I’m not joking. Not just the USA ER nurses and Docs deal with this – it’s global.

    I’m a nurse (which means I’m also a patient lol) and Yoga/Ayurveda/environmental health, holistic whatever has always been what I loved. . Im also practical as well. People are obsessional about how sick people are getting and why is it getting worse and worse ? Blame shame and healing and health obsession has become some sort of dogmatic lifestyle where you are basically a renunciate not a householder. Everything is about living healthy and eating so many different fashions of the day. The fat free phase sucked ! Vaccine ? Well yes I’m glad I don’t have rubella but I don’t think wearing a shirt of all the disgusting viruses we have colonized the world with and their fake version for protection is some badge of health. We have fleas is so many forms and self domesticated in sealed chambers slowly fermenting to death. Florence Nightingale said that’s when people started to get really insane and out of touch during Industrial Revolution.

    Ironically the sick becoming sicker are also needing to obsessed with all of the care and monitoring they need in which to stay alive. However, it may kill you because it’s so complicated and I can’t be in 6 places at once. .

    Then again it saved my life at 4 yo from septic shock appe burst on table. It still saves lives or kills you by accident. It’s nectar and fire now that infant and maternal mortality are now not a normal part of life. People try to do the herbs for a Heart attack or hep C and stuff. People do these total transformation obsessions and end up needing sick care from stress. Decided to become a body builder etc and had a nstemi.

    We are in the Sundya age though. People getting more disease is a good sign.

    “Disease is a reparative process – not necessarily accompanied by suffering.. at some point more or less an effort of nature to remedy a process of poisoning or decay which has taken place years to centuries before hand, unnoticed, the termination of the disease being then, while the antecedent process was going on, determined?

    The Buddha was better than most Christians but he was lazy and never did anything for anyone.

    Hospitals are but a temporary stage in humanity.

    Nuns should drink more and soldiers should drink less.”
    (Balance !)
    — all quotes from the author of “what will be the world in 1999 and 18 volumes more of recently published works

    Florence Nightingale

  2. Yes, so often we hear, “The cure for the pain is the pain.” I always remind people that while this message is telling us not to avoid or repress our feelings, it is a widely misinterpreted message. We don’t just feel better by sitting in pain for longer. Anyone who has struggled in trauma therapy has probably come to realize that.

    In skilled, holistic trauma healing, we’re only meant to touch into the pain briefly, and strategically. We don’t just go into the deep waters without resource, expecting things to magically shift. More darkness doesn’t make the lights come on.

    We touch into pain briefly with the intention of finding out what it needs. Not relive, re-experience it. We offer it the pain a form of love that is missing from our lives. The cure for pain to ask the pain what it needs RIGHT NOW – in the present moment, and without delay, to serve ourselves with exactly that.

    My favorite question when I find myself getting into those distracted, manic kinds of mode is to place a sign on my desk that say, “What do I need next…”

    When I let that question guide my week, my soul is full, my body is loved, and I am more creative and productive than when I push too hard or steep in pain itself.


    • Thanks for reading Amanda. We’re grateful to have your powerful and nuanced approach to trauma healing as a resource in the community.

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