Miguel Panao | Professor and Author

Finding ways to improve scientific writing and academic productivity.

Presence

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One of my daughter’s teachers was walking toward class during a break. While reaching her students on the school’s corridor she said “hi!”, but nobody paid any attention. They were all interacting with their phones. When the bell rang, and they entered the class, she spent almost 15 minutes to get their attention before starting to teach. Why? Because they were speaking with each other. What are breaks for? Being present. But this experience shows how easily we’re not there and misplace our attention.

Photo by rawpixel at Unsplash

Photo by rawpixel at Unsplash

Presence is a gift. Being present means being fully there, wholeheartedly, empty of the excessive noisy surrounding our attention to deplete it.

We may complain about others absence, but are those present fully there? Not always. It’s heartbreaking how people easily concede to the need to check their phone, open their laptop or tablet.

Their body is there, but they’re not present. We miss so much when we’re not fully present where our body is. We lose control of ourselves and don’t even realize.

In my experience, awareness leads to presence, and presence nurtures awareness. It’s a reciprocal effect which opens our minds and hearts. The outcome is the unforgettable joy experienced when we’re there, fully present.

About Miguel Panao

I am a Professor at the University of Coimbra in Mechanical Engineering. I am also author of books in the fields of environmental ethics and Science and Religion. From the several research projects, this site is personal and dedicated to the search for the best approaches, tools, techniques to improve scientific productivity.

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