Presence: The Art of Being at Home in Yourself (Paperback)

Presence: The Art of Being at Home in Yourself By Tracy Cochran Cover Image
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In 20 short, gem-like chapters, meditation teacher Tracy Cochran invites us to explore living fully in the present moment as a revolutionary practice.

Tracy’s vibrant essays from her storied life give plenty of encouragement to reframe and dive deep into our own experiences.

Mindfulness offers us a way to be fully in the present moment—and as we start to embrace this practice, we learn that our lives are made of present moments. That gift of presence is the palpable experience of awareness that appears when we remember to be mindful of those moments.   

In 20 short chapters, Cochran encourages us to see presence as a living force—and to recognize and explore how that shows up in our lives. She offers riveting and relatable stories from her life—a spiritually transformative wine-making trip in France, a near-death experience while being mugged, managing her feisty child while on a retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh, among many others—and Buddhist teachings to encourage us to see the power of presence to illuminate and transform our past, present, and future. 

Cochran's observations and reminiscences are wise and pithy, and she gives us plenty of encouragement to explore and reframe our own experiences.

About the Author

​TRACY COCHRAN has been a student of meditation and spiritual practice for almost 50 years. She is also a longtime teacher, as well as a writer, the editorial director of Parabola magazine, and the founder of the Hudson River Sangha, in New York. She teaches at the Rubin Museum, the New York Insight Meditation Center, and in schools, colleges, and at multinational corporations. Her writing has appeared in Parabola, The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Psychology Today, O Magazine, New York Magazine, the Boston Review and many other publications and anthologies.

Praise For…

“I grew up in the Catholic church. On a very basic level, my faith and my love for the teachings of Jesus have always been with me in some form—at times, they’ve taken the form of a question, and even doubt. But all the same, they’re with me. And for many years, I’ve also been drawn to the idea of a common humanity, common spirituality, the places where different faiths converge. This is an area that has to be approached with great care, charting a just path toward common ground. This is what I value in Tracy Cochran’s writings, in Parabola, and now in this remarkable book.”
Martin Scorsese, filmmaker

“Through her vivid storytelling and personal sharing, Tracy shares insights from her own journey as an offering for all those on the path to awakening.”
Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Life

“This is a wonderful, wise, and tender book. Its elegant and gifted storytelling will change you—softening your heart, opening you to the gifts and beauty around you, bringing you into a presence that we so need in this fast-paced world.”
Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart

“In Presence, Tracy Cochran offers her readers beautifully written stories filled with delightful anecdotes, poignant insights, and deep wisdom lovingly encouraging us all in the art of living. She seamlessly weaves contemplations on personal and collective history with reflections on magic and spirituality, allowing her prose to highlight the ultimate beauty and mystery of life. Tracy is a trustworthy guide, leading us through the wondrous mix of the mundane and the mystical at the heart of what it means to be human.”
Sebene Selassie, author of You Belong

“Patient teacher and listener. Common soldier. Sharp and wry observer. Practical guide. Fellow seeker. Teller of Tales. Keeper of knowledge. Diviner of the Good. Pursuer and Explorer of Mysteries. Doctor of the Spirit. The author of these pages, as you will see, is all of these things at once. Alongside the books I turn to for illumination, I can now add Tracy Cochran’s Presence.”
Kent Jones, filmmaker and writer

“Tracy Cochran awakens us to life’s moment-by-moment wonder, and to the teachings that come from what is both ordinary and extraordinary. She guides us to being fully present in our experience, reconnecting us to the deeper roots that can sustain us in our broken world.”
Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Sufi teacher and author of Spiritual Ecology

“Tracy Cochran is a clear, wholehearted, and humble guide who helps us find our way home. I am moved by the warmth of Tracy’s clarity and how she uses the authenticity of her own experience to uncover the archetypal thresholds we all face—as well as the constellations of association and metaphor that her deep reflection brings to the surface.”
Mark Nepo, author of The Half-Life of Angels

“Every essay in this thoughtful and lyrical collection is a gem shining with deeply sensitive insights and reflections. From multiple angles, these essays show us how presence—close and clear attention to the realities of our lives—can open doors to wisdom and turn the humblest of events into revelations of beauty and goodness. Even danger and disappointment, Cochran demonstrates, can connect us to previously untouched dimensions of meaning.”
Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, Buddhist scholar and translator

Presence takes us on a delightful journey brimming with stories, wisdom, practices, and possibility. As Tracy Cochran draws from the well of her own life experience, she offers us a mirror into our own, inviting us to shed the myriad ways we create separateness and drop open to the authentic experience of being human. Wonderfully wise, gently compassionate, Presence shines as a beacon in our troubled world.”
Wendy Garling, author of The Woman Who Raised the Buddha

“I once got lost with Tracy in the woods. I was not afraid. We laughed a lot. We were closer to home than it seemed at the time. I had a similar sense of shared adventure reading Presence. I trusted her storytelling, her choosing carefully perfect words to take me to a new awareness—personal and startling.”
Angela Dews, author of Still, in the City

“This collection of short essays shows the depth that mindfulness can add to our own lives’ stories.”

Product Details
ISBN: 9781645471806
ISBN-10: 1645471802
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication Date: April 16th, 2024
Pages: 248
Language: English