This is Living!

Practicing the Presence of God: A Prayer and Meditation Guide for Daily Life

Since 1989

Book

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If you have ever wanted to feel connected to God in everything you do but don’t know how, This is Living! is the book for you!

Offering 40 meditations and prayers, this book goes beyond the theoretical and theological into the practical. It is about experiencing the Divine moment by moment in ourselves and other living beings and while we are living our day-to-day life. This is Living! is about experiencing the extraordinary in the ordinary, the Holy in the midst of life.

The combination of history, neurological research and spirituality in the first part offers a multifaceted and approachable guide to living in the present moment. The author, who was inspired by Brother Lawrence’s 17th century teachings on “practicing the presence of God,” has shaped his core message for our 21st century world.

The second part provides Breath Prayers, Body Prayers and Daily Awareness Prayers that will keep you connected during situations you encounter every day. “Turning on the Light” will remind you that you are the light of the world, “Opening a Door” will invite you to open your inner door to love, and “Waiting in Line” will breathe new life into a mundane, potentially frustrating chore. These are just three of 40 meditations and prayers to stay present with God.

This is Living! provides spiritual guidance and deep self-healing for everyone on a spiritual path. Whether you call it “mindfulness,” the “power of now” or “practicing the presence of God,” you will learn to stay in the present moment where God and Life happen! This is Living! creates a rare energy where skeptics, nonbelievers and the unaffiliated are welcomed with the same generosity of spirit as the most devout Christians.

This Is Living! Practicing the Presence of God: A Prayer and Meditation Guide for Daily Life Paperback – November 19, 2017

by Bettina Schuller

ISBN-13 978-1976460562

Amazon Customer Reviews.

  • This is Living! adds a significant dimension to the spiritual practices of prayer and meditation. Her own life experiences witness to the depth and vitality of advocacy for a renewed search for God’s presence. Readers struggling with tough issues will find much aid in this “down-to-earth” approach of “Breath Prayers” and “Daily Awareness Prayers.” Thanks to Bettina for the simplicity of this profundity.

    Rev Dr. Robert A. Coughenour
  • Ms Schuller draws on supportive Christian beliefs without a heavy hand, and she encourages surprising ourselves with so much that is otherwise unconscious in the rhythms of daily life. The book’s suggestions and her 40 lovely, fresh prayers can open a perspective on each day that is welcome and inspiring. We all need to breathe easier amongst one another, and This is Living helps a lot.

    Dr. George Meese
  • Here is a book you can share with confidence with friends who want to develop a deeper prayer life. Schuller clearly speaks from a platform of someone who is nurtured by both an active practice of the discipline of Centering prayer and guiding others as a spiritual director. She does an excellent job of explaining how to engage in the prayer of silence in clear, direct language. She also makes herself vulnerable by sharing some of her own personal journey. The second part of the book shares a variety of breath prayers that will further deepen your prayer journey. The best part of this book is that a novice can take it and be guided through how to engage in prayer but the experienced practitioner will both have his or her insights affirmed and learn some new aspects that will enrich their experience of prayer. This is a book you will not want to leave on the shelf.

    Rev Stephen McCutchan
  • I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It helped me to get away from my usual left brained way of thinking … organizing, planning, preparing for the next thing on my agenda. I couldn’t even speed read through the book because of the praying pauses. I plan to keep the book nearby and reread the various prayers of presence as they are needed.

    Tallulah Taylor
  • From the moment I began reading “This is Living” and every time since, a gentle peace has fallen upon and within me. Maybe it has to do with the gentle spirit of the author but I find myself actually savoring each page and purposely not rushing through it. I told my husband there’s something very special about this book. Its’ wisdom and guidance is speaking directly to my soul and making it smile. Thank you for this blessing.

    Tomey Trevathan

Have you read it, too?
Well, what do you think?

The story of the Book.

When I read Brother Lawrence’s Practicing the Presence of God for the first time, I was fascinated and wanted to learn how to live with an awareness of God’s presence in all I do, and do it all for the glory of God. I knew how to pray unceasingly by praying Breath Prayers, Prayers of the Heart and sitting in Centering Prayer. It wasn’t what I understood as “practicing the presence of God,” though. I wanted to learn how to “turn the cake that is frying on the pan for the love of Him,” as Brother Lawrence describes in one of his letters.

I yearned to know God’s presence while I folded the laundry and how to wake up in the morning with God’s love in my heart. But I did not find any instructions in Brother Lawrence’s beautiful 17th-century writings. I was looking for prayers that were easily integrated into the day, prayers that would help me put the concept of practicing the presence of God into action. I discovered that if I wanted to pray this way and help others do the same, I had to pray and write these prayers into life. And that is what I did!

I shared theses prayers with the seekers that came to my retreats and I will not forget the day riding back from a retreat, when my friend Ann Douglas planted the seed for this book. “Where do we find the prayers you shared with us,” she asked. “I am praying them into life,” was my answer. “You should write a book,” Ann said from the back seat.

Years later, my friend Gina White watered the “book seed” by asking whether I had ever thought of publishing my prayers as a book. Gina had been ill for a long time and needed meditative prayers to keep her connected with God. When she asked me to share the prayers with her, another cornerstone for the book was laid with love for a dear friend. If it could help people, I wanted to overcome my hesitation and write a book that could help people to live in the presence of God!

I chose the subtitle Practicing the Presence of God because praying the Prayers of Presence is an ongoing process. Practicing the presence of God requires an understanding of God that goes beyond the “practice” of God. Richard Rohr, a contemporary Franciscan priest, describes it beautifully in his book The Naked Now: “At this point, God becomes more a verb than a noun, more a process than a conclusion, more an experience than a dogma, more a personal relationship than an idea.”

This book was a labor of love and took quite a few years to be written since I first received the message that I would bring meditation into the Christian Church.

Have you ever written your own eulogy?

I did in 1994, when our minister suggested to write our own eulogy in a sermon on Good Friday. I went home and wrote my eulogy immediately. Here are the two things that came out of this incredible experience of unconscious writing:

~Bettina was a wonderful mother and her kids love her deeply.

~Bettina brought meditation into the Christian Church.

I was dumbfounded! Bringing meditation into the Christian Church? Meditation was a Buddhist practice in my mind….but I trusted the intuitive message that I had gotten in my writing. Years later, 1999, I learned about Centering prayer and the Contemplative Christian tradition!

I started writing the book around 2011 since I needed God in my life more than ever. I was going through a painful divorce and was living alone for the first time in 24 years. Sitting down and praying and immersing myself in the Presence of God, practicing the prayers daily no matter what I did, I could feel the wonderful effect the Prayers of Presence had on my life. With God’s help and the help of amazing friends, I not only finished the book but also started a new job at a retirement center in 2015.  If it had not been for my friend Liz Stiles, I would not have finished the book at that time but she gently nudged me again and again…

The book was published in November of 2017 and I knew that God was now in charge of taking care of my “baby.” When March 2020 and Covid 19 devastated many lives, I wanted to share my gift with the world and started posting “Praying Pauses” on my Facebook page.

This is Living! has found it’s way into the world and heart of many readers and continues to do so. I am happy you found the book as well and I pray that the Prayers of Presence will help you discover God’s ever-present love and peace in your life. At the deepest level of your being, you are always praying!

Praise

  • “I have never felt so simultaneously inspired and peaceful as I did while reading This is Living! Rooted in Christianity but accessible to those of every faith, this book provides spiritual guidance for both everyday tasks and deep self-healing. I would recommend this to anyone on a quest for a more fulfilled life.”

    Joan Johnston New York Times bestselling author
  • ”Bettina Schuller's book is both direct and thoughtful in connecting us with God's divine presence hidden in the ordinary circumstances of everyday life. This is Living! pulls back the curtain and affords us a glimpse into the mystery of love that holds and accompanies us in each and every moment. It is a book for everyone and every circle."

    The Rev. Liam Collins Christ Church, Savannah, GA
  • “In This is Living! Bettina Schuller guides us through a house of worship where the skeptics, non-believers, and unaffiliated are welcomed with the same generosity of spirit as the most devout congregants and clergy. I came away from This is Living! with a fresh appreciation that everyday prayer in its elemental form is as vital to human life as breathing.”

    David Henry David Henry, Los Angeles Times bestselling author of Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and the World That Made Him.
  • “The cacophony of our fast paced world often drowns out the symphony of God's voice. In This is Living! Practicing the Presence of God, Bettina Schuller combines science, history, spirituality, personal anecdote and practical prayer instruction to help us slow down and hear God's voice and experience God's presence. This book deserves a place

    The Right Reverend Dabney T. Smith Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida