The Presence Process

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By Michael Brown, published in 2005, second edition, 2010.

The Presence Process follows the same principles of Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now but this is a simple, direct, how-to manual to finish your emotional past so that you can stop reacting to it and live in the present moment. Involves meditation.

If you would like to start a conversation about this book, please feel free to make a post in our forum. Alternatively, you can also post in our main Presence Process thread, and other people interested in the Presence Process will be notified of your post.

Reviews of The Presence Process

On the Power Without Pills Radio Show, Dr. Sarno acknowledged that he considers the Presence Process to be a great (maybe even the best) description that he's seen of the unconscious processes that drive TMS. While his own treatment plan is, of course, distinct, he sometimes does the breathing exercises from the Presence Process and even used it in his lectures. A transcript of the conversation follows:

Murphy: Dr. Sarno, I have said many times, and this is second hand from Dr. Sklar, that you have said that the Presence Process is the best book you've ever read and has applications to 100% of your patients and that you were doing, while you weren't doing the Presence Process experimentally, you were doing the breathing exercises 15 minutes twice a day. How far off base am I by saying that?

Sarno: I have to say that I'm not faithful about that, sometimes yes and sometimes no. So that I'm not very good at doing these repetitive things and so on. And obviously I don't integrate that into my work with patients. The way I deal with this whole area is to take people with physical symptoms and get them to understand the nature of the symptom and what the real reason for the symptom is. As I said before, in other words I'm saying I've got to get you out of the physical world and get you into the psychological world. That's the only way you will be able to deal with these symptoms appropriately.

Murphy: Right. Right. And Dr. Sklar has said that you were using aspects of the Presence Process in you lectures to your patients. Is that right?

Sarno: Actually I was. I'm no longer -- I've stopped doing the lecture thing. Everything I do with patients know is on a one to one basis. And its been quite a while since I discontinued doing the lectures. I've felt that they were essentially hand-holding. That one had to work with them individually to really get them where they need to be.

Sklar: And hey Frank I just wanted clarify. I believe that when Dr. Sarno looked at the presence process he said he thought it was a great, maybe the best description he's seen of the unconscious things that drive the condition he calls TMS. Isn't that correct John, you thought it was just an eloquent ...

Sarno: Yes

Sklar: [continuing…] description of all those processes that go on in the mind.

Sarno: Yes. Right.

[From the 5/12/10 episode of "Power Without Pills." Starts at around 31:50.]

John Sklar, MD, a TMS physician who spoke at the TMS Conference in Ann Arbor, wrote the following about this book:

Hey all,

John Sklar M.D. here. been treating TMS for 20 years. Was going to attend the conference but i was ill. If I had come I was supposed to speak briefly. What I wanted to make everyone aware of is a book called "The Presence Process" by Michael Brown. In it is a very good description of the cause/source of our unconscious conflicts (the one's that result in TMS). Then a 10 week process is described which will begin to allow the unconscious material to be integrated/digested. I believe that it describes the single best TMS treatment protocol on the planet (and I am not one to throw about such words lightly). At any rate you should be aware of this material. I have showed it to DR. Sarno who was initially quite skeptical (after I described it to him) but later was quite impressed. He believes it is great description of the source of repressed emotions (one of "the best" that he has seen). Glad to discuss further and answer any questions you may have. [ed. note: feel free to post your question here]

John Sklar

One Amazon review wrote,

68 of 70 people found the following review helpful: Best how to book ever, November 26, 2005 By Luis SanchezYears ago, I read Eckart Tolle's "The Power of Now". It's a fantastic book but I found it difficult to achieve the state of present moment awareness it describes. "The Presence Process" is the "how to" manual to achieve this priceless state. Michael Brown's brilliant book has substantially deepened my understanding of this subject. It's a catharsis to know for example, that the pursuit of happines is basically our effort to "fix" our adult life but not realizing that the cause of what's wrong with our life has its origin in our childhood. Therefore, getting that new car, more money, a beautiful spouse, etc., won't make us happy. There's alway an empty feeling. Fix the cause and one can start experiencing true happiness. This book tells you in a very precise manner how to do that. Outstanding!

Dr Mark Atkinson (a TMS doctor from the UK) has also added his review to Amazon,

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:

A medical doctors experience of The Presence Process, June 21, 2008

By Dr Mark Atkinson

I work as a integrated medical doctor specialising in drug-free approaches to mental health and emotional wellbeing. Whilst initially sceptical about The Presence Process, I have now personally been through the process experientially three times and have had 20 patients of mine complete it. Whilst it it doesn't appeal to everyone, I have found The Presence Process to be one of the most profound catalysts for emotional healing and spiritual growth that I have encountered. It does however take a considerable commitment and a willingness to do the inner work of healing! At a personal level it has helped me experience greater peace of mind, a real sense of connection to my authentic self and a deeper gratitude and reverance for life. At a professional level it has helped about 50% of my patients resolve fully their health challenges (it is particularly effective as an adjunctive approach to depression, anxiety, psychosomatic illness and addictions). More than that though it can help individuals live a more conscious life in which they are more loving and accepting towards themselves and others. The Presence Process is a real gift to the world of medicine, healing and spiritual development

(How the TMS Wiki handles reviews)

Michael Brown's Website

You can also listen to Micheal speak by listening to free audio from his website. Although he has many free talks on this website probably the best ones (and most applicable to the Presence Process) are:

Overview of the Presence Process

Pathway of Awareness and the Seven Year Cycle

My Pathway Into Self-Healing

Community Discussion of the Presence Process

This website is a nonprofit community-run website and several of our members are very interested in the Presence Process and Michael Brown's ideas. You can find extensive discussions of the Presence Process in the following threads:

Other Michael Brown and Presence Process TMS resources

DISCLAIMER: The TMS Wiki is for informational and support purposes only and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. See Full Disclaimer.