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Thich Nhat Hanh: “The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.”

I’ve asked myself what Thich meant by presence. I practice giving this gift daily. To me it means paying attention to those you are with and listening to them. Listen to them with your mind and your heart. The real gift of presence is hard to give. I realize, sadly, that it’s a rare event when we’re really, truly present with another.

To care for another enough to put aside our own views, ideals, ambitions, and opinions is the true gift of presence. These failings come with us daily often without thought and they stand in the way of seeing others for who they truly are. Our views of others can be tainted by past, prejudice and presumption of normal or perfect. Only when we give of our presence and place the other above our own views do we truly give them this most precious gift.

It’s a mindful presence that places a genuine desire to understand them without self-centered motivations. Putting aside fear and prejudice and opening your heart to theirs. It’s about unspoken desire to truly and fully understand them as others never will. It’s placing the needs, feelings and desire of another above your own.

The gift of seeing the person they truly are and not the one we perceive them to be through tainted vision. To see another; to truly see them is the greatest gift I can offer. I see you and my gift is my presence. I can ill afford; nor conceive of a gift of greater value.

Being Mindful is about patience and recognizes that changes need time, and that we cannot make things change as we wish them or in our time. Patience to see some things are beyond our ability to change at all. We can’t force the flower to bloom when we wish. Some things can’t be “fixed”. They can only be watered, loved, and given the sunshine of our mindful presence.

I am in awe as I sit listening to your words,
They play over and over again in my mind,
I feel so fragile.. pensive, careful
You put my mind at ease, with your gentle words.
You rest my heart with your smile .
You are my Hero in more ways than one…….
You’ve saved me From myself,
from the heartaches I once knew.
Please take what little I have to give…
It is yours, only..it belongs to you!
A precious gift from my heart to yours…watch over it

-Michelle Styles September 22, 2013