Article

Take a Closer Look at Awareness

by Derek Ayre

 

You can put your awareness wherever you want to. In your left foot, at the top of your head and so on. But you cannot define exactly what awareness is. It can't be your thoughts because you can become aware of your thoughts and re-direct them. It can't be your feelings because you can become aware and change them, if you know how.

Now, can you see what I'm saying? You can change thoughts, emotions, attitudes, only when you are aware you have them. If you do not have awareness of them, they are automatic and act independently of your will. If they do not depend on your awareness to exist, you are impelled to react unconsciously. A made-up word I use is 'un-awaredly' - acting without awareness.

So having awareness of something is realizing (making real) any given situation. Trying to ignore this situation, or push it away, will only make it stronger, especially if it is of an unpleasant nature, because then it has even more of a reason to bring itself to your awareness. It is a form of 'warning' that all is not well and it demands to be acknowledged. If you resist this message, you will be trying to see something that is not there. In the story 'The King's New Clothes', his subjects are afraid to acknowledge what is so, because the King may punish them. The pure awareness of innocence fears nothing and points it out. Most of us are afraid to acknowledge what is so because it makes us uncomfortable in one way or another. Can you see how this lack of awareness can put you at a disadvantage in life?

You have to acknowledge, fully experience what is so, before you can do anything about it. If you're resisting or denying any part of your experience, you're going to get to keep it around for much longer than you need to.

If you are feeling confused by all this right now, this is a kind of resistance. This can become clear by reading the last few paragraphs again and again and suddenly, the 'penny will drop' - you will gain awareness of the way you have it all put together.

Expanding Your Awareness.

There are many ways to expand your awareness. Meditation is one of the most effective ways. I'm using the word meditation for convenience. I am sure there are many 'experts' on the subject who would be telling me that what I'm calling meditation isn't meditation at all. I am aware that some schools of thought promote the idea of visualizing a tranquil scene such as a tropical paradise or garden whilst others use mantra - the repetition of a word or phrase quite often 'tailored' to the individual. What I mean by meditation is focusing the mind on our self, nothing more, nothing less. In this way we gain a higher state of awareness.

So what is the Self?

This is question that has been pondered on for thousands of years. So let's start with something we do have awareness of as 'self'. The 'physical-ness' of our existence - the body.

Below are some instructions that you are invited to practice each and every day. You will need to put aside roughly twenty minutes. If you don't have twenty minutes, find it. Get up earlier, or stay up later. Stop the excuses now! If you are really serious about growth and development, this will be no problem. If you are not serious about this and are just reading for amusement, you will find and become slave to, all the excuses in the world. And here's the cosmic joke. Once you've started and are committed to meditate, you will still find all the excuses in the world to quit. The 'antidote' is to let the excuses 'talk' to you and do it anyway..

 The Meditation Exercise

First familiarize yourself with all the points in the body listed below. Then sit in an upright chair. (e.g. dining chair), or if you are used to sitting in the lotus position, you can use that. Ensure, if you are meditating in a chair, that the arms and legs are un-crossed, close you eyes, and the do as follows..

Focus you mind on each of the following points for about 10 seconds. (If you cannot 'feel' the points, simply visualize them, With practice, you will eventually get to 'feel',

Left foot. Right foot. Left Ankle. Right Ankle. Left calf muscle. Right calf muscle. Left shinbone, Right shinbone. Left knee joint. Right knee joint. Left upper leg. Right upper leg. In the joint where left leg meets the torso. In the joint where right leg meets the torso.

Left hand. Right hand. Left wrist. Right wrist. Left forearm. Right forearm. Left elbow. Right elbow. Left upper arm. Right upper arm. In the joint where the left arm meets the torso. In the joint where the right arm meets the torso.

Base of the spine. Left buttock. Right buttock. Base of the torso. (between anus and genitals). Lower abdomen (below the navel). Spine at that same level. Centre of the diaphragm. Spine at that same level. Left breast. Right breast. Breast bone. Spine at that same level. Top left shoulder muscle. Right top shoulder muscle. Back of neck. Throat. Back of skull. Centre of forehead. Centre top of head.

Before opening your eyes, just sit and be aware of what you are feeling, describing it mentally to yourself. You may be aware of, frustration, boredom, irritation or other negative feelings.. Accept them. Remember what you are doing.. You are training yourself to sit and accept. To just sit and 'be' with yourself. You cannot grow without doing this.

During the meditation, your concentration is likely to drift. Once you've become aware that you've drifted, bring your mind back and concentrate with renewed vigour.

Commit yourself to the mediation each and every day at the same time. Start keeping a journal or diary and record in it what the meditation brings into your consciousness. Be honest with yourself. Be aware, particularly of your resistances and record them.

Do not be surprised if you find yourself making excuses as to why it would be better to skip this process altogether - Too tired, too busy, too drunk or hung-over, too uncomfortable, to pointless too boring - the list is endless. Just be aware and acknowledge these thoughts and feelings and DO IT ANYWAY!

© Copyright 2000. Derek Ayre. All Rights Reserved.

 

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