“[It is] the paradox of the human condition, namely that we are mortally limited and human in form, and yet empty and cosmic in essense, and all at the same time.” -Michael Gellert
Let us take a few minutes to breath, to centre ourselves, and find ourselves truly in the Now.
Make yourselves comfortable, whether by sitting, standing, or lying down. Close your eyes. If you are in a place where you are comfortable making noise, do the following with me. If not, just let out a big sigh. Take a slow, deep breath in. When you exhale, give a big roar like a lion. Great! One more time…
Just relax, let go of your day. Realize that all the stresses you’ve experienced are over, they can not harm you. Release them into the earth around you. The Earth is good at recycling.
I will leave you in a few minutes of silence.
Welcome to Awareness Intensive. During these next few weeks we will work on tuning our awareness and seeing what potentials we have. Our brains are magnificent things, and the fact that we can be aware is a mystery. Lets explore what it means to be aware and have awareness. There is no right answer to any of the topics or questions posed here. We are each conscious individuals and therefore may experience the world differently from each other. We will also explore the idea that perhaps our awareness isn’t a purely individual thing and that perhaps it is something we have the ability to “tap into” like signing on to an external server (much like SL!). We will explore the following questions in detail: what does being aware mean? How is it that we recognize awareness? How aware can we be? Where does our awareness stem from? Is it physical or immaterial? Can we be more aware?
What does “awareness” mean to you?
I’m going to ask a question in voice and text. After each question we will have a few minutes of silent meditation followed by a stream of consciousness exercise. I will ring the Tibetan bowl once at the beginning of each meditation and twice at the end.
If you are unfamiliar with stream of consciousness it means to write or speak or type without thinking about it too much. Don’t worry about typos or even if it makes sense. It could be complete gobbledegook and that’s perfect! The idea is to let the thoughts come out raw without intention.
There are no right or wrong answers. The practice is just to see what you notice. If you would feel more comfortable doing the stream of consciousness into a notecard or outside of your viewer rather than local chat please feel free. You can share it with myself or someone else after if you’d like or just keep it to yourself.
Can you follow the path of your breath?
Can you notice if it has a temperature?
When does the air stop being air and start being part of you?
Can you feel your whole body? Is there any tension or is it relaxed?
What is your posture like?
Can you feel the floor beneath you?
Can you feel the clothing and air against your skin?
Where does your body end and the objects touching it begin?
Can you feel the vibration of sound in your ears?
How many sounds can you hear? How far away are they?
Can you recognize when hearing stops and it’s just sound?
What can you taste? Is the taste external or internal?
What can you smell? Does it remind you of anything?
Take your time slowly coming out of the mind-practice. Bring your attention back to your body. Deepen your breath. Slowly wiggle your toes and fingers, and when you feel ready, slowly open your eyes. As you are opening your eyes, try to notice what you see first.
Can you be aware of all your senses at the same time?
Has your definition of awareness changed doing this exercise?
What did you notice?