Presence and Absence – John O’Donohue

Some inspiration from John O’Donohue, to resource the U Lab Edinburgh College Learning Hub, October 24th, 2017, which also integrated ‘a pause practice’

Two of his ‘blessings’ from his book, To Bless the Space Between Us, Doubleday, 2008: For Presence and For Absence

[Awakening to the mystery of being here…] 

For Presence ~ John O’Donohue

Awaken to the mystery of being here

and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.

Have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.

Receive encouragement when new frontiers beckon.

Respond to the call of your gift and the courage to follow its path.

Let the flame of anger free you of all falsity.

May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame.

May anxiety never linger about you.

May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul.

Take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.

Be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.

May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.


Attending to Our Intending: The Potential in Pause

Guided Reflection ~ The Pause that Refreshes

A Pause Practice – Reflect, Refresh, Reset


[Presencing the absencing….]

For Absence ~ John O’Donohue

May you know that absence is alive with hidden presence,

that nothing is ever lost or forgotten.

May the absences in your life grow full of eternal echo.

May you sense around you the secret Elsewhere

Where the presences that have left you dwell.

May you be generous in your embrace of loss.

May the sore well of grief turn into a seamless flow of presence.

May your compassion reach out to the ones we never hear from.

May you have the courage to speak for the excluded ones.

May you become the gracious and passionate subject of your own life.

May you not disrespect your mystery through brittle words or false belonging.

May you be embraced by That in which dawn and twilight are one.

May your longing inhabit its dreams within the Great Belonging.

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Ian Wight

A Canadian Scot. Ex-professor, now senior scholar. In re-firement. Passionate about (planning as) placemaking, as well-being (by design). Advocate of transformative professional learning, as professional-self design. Attentive to the making/s of professionals via praxis, ethos and poiesis.

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