Presence and Encounter : The Sacramental Possibilities of Everyday Life ~ David G. Benner, PhD



The most vital and significant moments in life are moments of encounter. Whether we encounter ourselves, others, or God, these moments let us know that life is meaningful. And presence is what makes encounter possible. When we are truly present, everything that has being becomes potentially present to us.

In this unique resource, David Benner invites us to live with more presence so we can know the presence of God more deeply in our lives. Drawing on over thirty-five years of experience integrating psychology and spirituality, Benner examines the transformational possibilities of spiritual presence and encounter in fresh, exciting, and practical ways. He helps readers understand the personal and interpersonal dimensions of presence and encounter, revealing how they mediate Divine Presence and serve as sacraments of everyday life. His rich meditations are presented in a voice that is intelligent, compassionate, and engaging.

This book presents a series of reflections on presence and the way in which it makes encounter possible and life meaningful. When we are truly present, life reveals its meaning to us through encounter with ourselves, others, the natural world and God.

Presence is the link between the divine and human realms. Ordinary consciousness distorts the closeness of these two realms and results in our feeling that there is a great chasm between them. But, in truth, the human and divine spheres of life interpenetrate and are inseparable. Presence makes us aware of the thin places in which we live. It is the threshold through which we pass to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary, the secular into the sacred.


David G. Benner (PhD, York University; postdoctoral studies, Chicago Institute of Psychoanalysis) is an internationally known depth psychologist, author, spiritual guide, and personal transformation coach who lives in Toronto, Ontario. He is a faculty member of The Rohr Institute’s Living School for Action and Contemplation, where he serves as a master teacher. Benner has authored or edited more than twenty books, including Soulful Spirituality and Spirituality and the Awakening Self. He lectures widely around the world and has held numerous clinical and academic appointments. Visit his website at http://www.drdavidgbenner.ca.

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