“[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 week two of 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?
Last week we worked with our senses. Today we’re going to work with our feelings. I will ask a series of questions over voice throughout the meditation. After we’ve meditated we will take some time to journal. If you’d like to share your thoughts in local chat for discussion during this journalling time you are welcomed to, but please no chatter during meditation.
Emotion = Energy in Motion. See if you can notice when a thought/image/emotion arises. Shift your attention then to the ‘felt sense’ of the thought/image/emotion. I will assist with a few questions, but there will be much time to feel the experience. Rather than following any thoughts, only pay attention to the feeling of it. I will ring the bell once for each question, and twice to end. The questions will be posed in both text and voice, so you can choose to follow in whatever fashion suits you best.
Let us fall slowly into awareness.
Please answer the following questions in your mind only.
Where do the thoughts/images/emotions arise?
When these feelings arise can you feel it in a certain place in your body?
Where do the thoughts/images/emotions start?
Do the thoughts/images/emotions move?
How long do they stay for?
Are the thoughts and sensations you are experiencing in your practice pleasant (attraction), unpleasant (aversion), or neutral?
Does the same feeling/image/emotion arise multiple times? Does it feel the same every time?
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 how you are feeling.
You may now take the next few minutes to write about your experience. You may do this in local chat, or keep it privately for yourself. I’d like you to explore the question:
What was your experience during this practice?
In the Dhammapada we find the following words, “All that we are is a result of what we have thought, it is founded on our thoughts and made up of our thoughts.”
What did you notice during this practice?
Can you see how thoughts manifest themselves physically?
Has your definition of awareness changed doing this exercise?