Life Coaching Group

Living in the Present is a healthy approach to life

11 May 2011

Members of the Life Coaching group were privileged to host a presentation by Italian spiritual teacher Marina Borruso. The former architect turned teacher, author and practitioner came to speak to a small group at the invitation of one its leaders, Antonietta Christen. Marina is also the sister-in-law of ZIWA member Cristina Coffaro Borruso, but her family members had never heard her give a life coaching session before this event.

Marina spoke on the topic of Living in the Present: her point of view was that we can do nothing about the past or the future, but many people are burdened by past memories or teachings which prevent them from fulfilling their potential. Instead of resisting painful memories from the past, we should surrender to them and release the pent-up energy. She talked persuasively and calmly and invited comments and questions from the audience. For some people this proved to be a revealing and emotional experience. For everyone, it was calming, intriguing and enlightening.

Before the seminar, I was able to conduct an interview with Marina which helped to establish her background and her approach in a clear way. Here's the transcript from that interview:

Interview with Marina Borruso by Julia Newton, April 2011
Marina, I understand that you have been invited by Antonietta Christen, one of our Life Coaching chairladies, to speak to a group of ZIWA members and others on 11 May. Could you tell us a bit about your background?
I have been teaching for 30 years so as you imagine my background is long. Briefly: I am an architect and I started 35 years ago to search for myself.

What would you say is your area of specialisation? What made you choose it?
When I started I wanted to stop suffering, then other needs came.

I see from your website that you have had several books published, in Italian and English. What can we learn from them?
From my 3 books people can learn to live life from their real experience and not from the idea they have of life:
- they can learn from practical examples that there is nothing to fear,
- they can learn to trust themselves and to trust life,
- they can learn how to step out of past conditioning......

Your website features a citation from the German spiritual teacher and TV personality, Eckhart Tolle? What does his inspiration mean to you?
Eckhart Tolle is an international spiritual teacher and a personal friend; his teaching showed me that life can have a completely different meaning.

I am intrigued by your proposed topic, Living in the Present. In what sense do you mean it?
The present moment? Look inside yourself: if you are identified with the mind, this means that your attention follows the flow of thoughts, and you are not in the present moment. You are running back and forward from the past to the future, because the mind cannot stay in the present, so we miss the only time we have..... We can experience life just for the moment ....

Is it possible to shake off the childhood influences and experiences that hold us back?
Yes it is possible; I myself did it and I saw hundreds of people stepping out of the past and enter fully into the present.

As a sceptic, I am not convinced that there is any kind of spiritual life outside the everyday world that we all inhabit. We are our own masters and have to make the most of every day. How do you see your situation?
I do agree with you: we are our own master and we are the master in every moment, and this is the spiritual sense of Life. All the spiritual paths teach that we are the masters. And life is the teacher. Spiritual ideas are not spirituality...Life is spiritual as well as material ...actually it is the same. Because often when we really enter the material state, then we find the spiritual. In other words, it is the material that opens up the spiritual.

Thanks very much for your answers. I am looking forward to meeting you on 11 May.
Sorry to be so short ...I do hope it gave you an idea about my teaching..... Marina Borruso.

An audio interview went into more depth
Subsequently Jenna Griffiths from the Life Coaching team interviewed Marina at length via an audio link. You can hear Jenna's question and answer session via this link:

Reactions to the presentation
Reactions to Marina Borruso's presentation on 11 May revealed that her audience found her to be a charismatic and compelling speaker.

One person mentioned: "I did not feel much at all, but nonetheless it was a very interesting lesson. She is a very charming lady and I can understand why she is such a good teacher. Also, I was very moved by something told by other people attending the conference."

Another audience member commented, "For me, it was absolutely amazing. I think Marina is not only a very charismatic person, but she also has the gift to teach, with very simple words, concepts that could be quite complex. I think that this approach is a very good help for our everyday life."

Yet another added, "I liked the presentation a lot. It touched a topic totally unknown to me. I was pleasantly surprised by how impressed I was at the end. Marina led us on a path, step by step, through easy concepts and more difficult themes: it was like a walk in a forest where there are some open spaces interrupted by some obscure patches. I have her first book and I intend to read it, it might help me understand more about this topic."

Jenna, who understands this subject better than most, revealed this story: "I was really impressed with how Marina helped a woman in the audience deal with a childhood trauma. She was able to demonstrate how each time we bring up an old wound, this gives us another chance to heal it because we give ourselves an opportunity to release pain by experiencing it fully. This was new for me. I have always tried to let go of the past without fully feeling it. Interestingly, Marina says the reason we avoid being present is because we don't wish to deal with all the feelings that will rise to the surface."

Francesca Wels, co-organiser of the event, concluded, "Antonietta and I would like to thank all the people who showed interest in the presentation, came and supported our efforts."

You can read more about Marina Borruso and her teachings at this link:

And those of her mentor Eckhart Tolle:

Julia Newton, 17 May 2011.

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