Practicing Awareness

Practicing Awareness

Ceramic Products Manufacturer in Malaysia

Ceramic Products

Sit comfortably on a chair or on the floor.

Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath. Breathe normally without any conscious effort to change its pace. If your breath is short and shallow, observe that. If it is long and deep, observe that. Follow the entire length of your in and out-breaths. Feel the air flow into your nostrils, lungs and abdomen and out in the opposite direction. This is called conscious breathing. This tool is all we need to centre ourselves. Stay with this for as long as you wish.

Now, as you continue to breathe consciously, bring your attention to your body. Feel the sensations in your head, shoulders, arms, legs and the other parts of your body. Feel the weight of your body against the seat or floor. If there is any tension in any part of your body, focus your attention and send your breath there. Healing energy fill flow to wherever you place your attention on.

Feel the sensations on your body. You may feel the wind blowing against your face and body. Enjoy it; stay with it.

Feel your entire body as you continue to breathe consciously. This will have a calming effect on you.

Listen to the surrounding sounds; the birds chirping, the wind blowing and so on. You may also hear the sound that comes from within. It is a constant high pitch sound. Paying attention to this sound also has a calming effect. Breathe consciously. Stay with this for as long as you wish.

Next, bring your attention to your chest area and place your attention on whatever emotion there. You may be feeling joyful or bored. Whatever, the feeling is, give it your fullest attention as you continue to breathe consciously. You will notice that feelings are transient. As soon as you place your attention on them, they begin to fade.

This teaches us one thing; that everything is impermanent. With this understanding, there is freedom. Whenever, we are overwhelmed by negative emotions, we can choose not to react and just allow the feeling to fade. We begin to take control of our actions. We begin to have choices.

Placing awareness on our emotions can strengthen our intuition or the voice of the divinity within us. This is covered in a later chapter.

Continue to breathe consciously. Enjoy the practice; there is nothing to achieve but the mere enjoyment of it.

Next, place your attention on your forehead area and observe the thoughts and mental movies/mental formations that arise. We develop an intention to understand ourselves, our ego and the best way to do this is to observe our thoughts and mental formations. Listen to your thoughts and watch your mental movies while being unattached to them. Pay attention to them for as long as they last. When they fade, let them fade. There is no need to hold on to them. Rest in the gap between your thoughts. Enjoy the silence of this gap where the mind temporarily ceases to exist.

If you get carried away by your thoughts and mental movies, that is fine. As soon as you become aware, breathe consciously again and wait for the next thought.

As we do this, we will see that we have no control over our thoughts and mental formations. They arise and fade on their own accord. An external stimulus may trigger a string of thoughts and if we are not aware, we will be thrown around by them.

We experience what the spiritual masters are telling us; that we are not our ego. We are not our thoughts and mental formations. We don’t even own them. How can we own something when we don’t control it? If we are not our thoughts, then, we are not our minds. We are beyond our mind and body. We can see this by merely watching our thoughts and mental formations.

Finally, just relax and allow your awareness to flow freely. Pay attention to whatever that is trying to catch your attention. It may be an itch, emotion or thought. Just relax and allow your awareness to be effortless.

As we strengthen our awareness through this practice, we must remember to bring the practice into our daily life. We breathe consciously whenever we remember to do so and eventually, living consciously will become natural to us and then we can let go of the effort.

A friend asked me what the experience of awareness is like. No one can describe the experience of awareness or consciousness because it is beyond the mind. The mind is made up of thoughts and memories. Consciousness is not our thoughts and memories and therefore, the mind does not know it. Awareness exists only in the gap between our thoughts; in the space of no-mind.

We can only experience awareness in a relative sense, that is, when there is an object to be aware of. The object may be external (for example, the television, a flower etc) or internal (our thoughts, feelings, emotions, mental pictures, breath etc).

The awareness of an average person will be focused on external things. The internal objects are completely ignored. For example, if we are asked to describe an exciting movie we just watched, we can describe the movie in minute detail. But if asked, which parts of your body were tense during this or that scene and what were your emotions and how long did the emotions last etc? We will not be able to answer such questions because we were not aware of them.

That is why most people seek happiness outside themselves and not inside. How can one find happiness within oneself when one doesn’t look inside? Meditation helps to turn our awareness inwards. I read that eventually, our awareness becomes so subtle that even the internal objects falls away and when there is no object to be conscious of, even consciousness slips away. The meditator then enjoys Samadhi.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Tim
    Apr 08, 2012 @ 20:35:42

    You made various nice points there. I did a search on the subject matter and found nearly all persons will go along with with your blog.


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