The Way of Awakened Presence

About twenty years ago, during a previous cycle of teaching activity that was called School of Agni Yoga, I wrote a series of lessons that formed an ongoing course for those who were interested in a systematic overview and foundation of spiritual practice. I have also converted them to chapters in a book which, turning out to be longer than I expected, I have decided to divide into two books, Book I and Book II. I continue to feel fully in harmony with the teachings in these lessons, though I have re-edited and updated them, including adding over 15% additional material to their original length, since it has been some time since I originally wrote them. I have also decided to change the name to The Way of Awakened Presence, to reflect the spirit of my current teachings.

During the nearly forty years of my own spiritual practice I have been exposed to and worked with a broad spectrum of teachings and practices from many traditions and sources. From this I have developed a way of understanding the nature of different practices, what the strengths and limitations of each are, and how they can compliment each other. I have also gained some experience with understanding how different people respond in different ways to a given practice or teaching, and so how familiarity with a wider range of practices can allow one to better match various practices to our own nature and interests.

A central purpose of the presentation of the various teachings and practices in The Way of Awakened Presence is not to suggest that each person should practice all of these methods, but rather to provide a foundational overview of a variety of methods. This overview is also aimed at laying a foundation for understanding the nature of the differences and purposes of various practices, and is intended to provide support in developing a personal path that is better suited to our individual nature.

Naturally, given the limits and nature of a presentation of this sort, it is also not possible to present all of the various practices I have been exposed to, nor to go into greater depth about some of these practices. In the future, I do plan to write at greater length about some of the practices presented in The Way of Awakened Presence, particularly the practice of nada yoga (meditation on inner subtle sounds), and especially a form of practice based on the Buddhist approach to ‘mindfulness’ or vipassana, though our approach is, in reality, a synthesis of several forms of this practice as well as specific contributions of my own. But a solid foundation in these practices is covered in Book I and II as part of the broader overview.

A central purpose of this book is to also provide some understanding of the spiritual path, individual differences and the nature of various practices to support the reader in better understanding their own needs and more skillfully choosing practices.

These lessons were originally written and sent out one at a time every few weeks. Since they are mostly completed now, I will be making them available in book form instead. The first half of the lessons, now called chapters, is available together as Book I, with a total of twelve chapters. Book I is now available. See below for a table of contents, sample chapters and information on how to purchase.

Soon the second set of chapters, which will complete the course, will be available as Book II. So far the twelve chapters comprising Book I are completed, as well as another seven that will be part of Book II. After completing another several chapters to add to these, Book II will be complete and become available. So Book II will not be available for another few of months while I update the existing chapters and write the final set of chapters. The table of contents for each book are available below, as well as some sample lessons.

Some people have already received the first nineteen lessons in the past, and made a contribution for them at that time. If you are one of these people and would like to receive the updated versions, please let me know via email and I will be happy to provide Book II at no cost (since you have made a contribution in the past) when it becomes available. Just email me and let me know you would like a copy of Book II when it becomes available.

Purchase Information

Soon I will establish a method of ordering the books and glossary below using a link from Paypal. Until I have time to set that up, to order The Way of Awakened Presence, Book I, please contact me at for payment information. Cost of pdf version is $12.

Sample Chapter 3 – Why Meditate?

Sample Chapter 13 – Feeling and Love, Part I

To Purchase Book I   $12  Now Available – see purchase information above

To Purchase Book II  (Available in the next couple of months)

The Way of Awakened Presence Glossary (Available soon)


Table of Contents of Books I and II
Book I

One – Introduction
Styles of Approach
Developing and Unfolding a Spiritual Practice
An Integral Path
Areas of Practice

Two – Concentration
Two Forms of Concentration
The Challenge of Concentration

Three – Why Meditate?
Inner vs. Outer Practices
The Mechanism of Awakening
The Power of Meditation
Further Thoughts About Meditation
Some Suggestions for Practice

Four – The Three Bodies; Harmony and Vitality Exercise
Levels of Self and an Integral Path
Working with Form and Energy
Harmony and Vitality

Five – The Various Yogas and Karma Yoga, Part I:
Spirituality in Daily Life
The Yogas
Karma Yoga
The Precepts
Presence: The Quality of Life

Six – Karma Yoga, Part II: The Quality of Presence
Two Styles of Karma Yoga
The Qualities of Presence
The Heart of Awakening
Levels of Presence
Practice and Karma Yoga: Awareness and Equanimity

Seven – Awareness Meditation and the Integral Path, Part I
The Integral Vision
Awareness Meditation
Awareness and Concentration

Eight – Awareness Meditation, Part II
Grasping the Essence of Awareness Practice
Dimensions of Awareness
Beginning with the Body
Some Suggested Readings

Nine – Contentment and Equanimity
The Four Immeasurables

Ten – Awakening Love, Part I: An Overview and Metta or
Lovingkindness Practice
Some Thoughts on the Nature and Cultivation of Love (an outline of key perspectives
    on love, and a broad sampling of methods for developing the various aspects of love)
Metta – The Practice of Lovingkindness

Eleven – Awakening Love, Part II: Elementals and Cultivating Love
Elementals and the Subconscious
Elementals and the Three Fires
Elementals and the Senses
Enhanced Lovingkindness Meditation: Using Three Senses

Twelve – Awakening Love, Part III:
Bodhicitta and the Bodhisattva
The Paths of Personal Liberation and Bodhisattvahood
Absolute and Relative Bodhicitta
Bodhicitta and Love
Cultivating Bodhicitta


Book II

Thirteen – Feeling and Love, Part I
The Tantric Approach
Transforming Feeling
Dimensions of Experience and Chakras
The Solar Plexus
Presence and Integration
Transforming the Solar Plexus

Fourteen – Feeling and Love, Part II
Presence and Feeling
More on Chakras
Practice: Attunement to Emotion

Fifteen – Gazing Meditation
The Path of Vision
Significance of Vision in Spiritual Development
Levels of Vision
Opening the ‘Flesh Eye’
Forms of Vision Meditation
Inner Vision Meditation
Outer Vision Meditation

Sixteen – Thoughts on Meditation Practice, Part I
Perspectives on Discipline
The Question of Time
A Nondual Perspective of Spiritual Effort
A Tantric Perspective of Spiritual Effort
Daily Meditation

Seventeen – Thoughts on Meditation Practice, Part II
How Much to Meditate
The Number of Daily Meditation Sessions
Extending Our Sittings
Meditation Retreats

Eighteen – Sound, Breath and Concentration
Meditation with Sound
Music and Chanting
Mantra and Nada
Mantra Meditation – The Inner Sound of Breath

Nineteen – The Way of Devotion, Part I
Desire as Devotion
The Way of Devotion
Visions of Deity
Approaches to Devotion
Invoking Transmission

Planned Future Chapters Completing Book II

20 – The Way of Devotion, Part II
21 – Nada Yoga: Meditation on Inner Sound
22 – Dharma Yoga: The Path of Inspired Action

23 – Awakened Presence Meditation

24 – Cultivating a Personal Path to Awakening