The Basics – 9 excellent techniques for developing Awareness

The word enlightenment conjures up the idea of some superhuman accomplishment, and the ego likes to keep it that way, but it is simply your natural state of felt oneness with Being. It is a state of connectedness with something immeasurable and indestructible, something that, almost paradoxically, is essentially you and yet is much greater than you. It is finding your true nature beyond name and form. –Eckhart Tolle

Awareness feels like spaciousness.

Awareness is our basic state.

Awareness is innate, which means it is of its own, and does not need thoughts or beliefs or concepts to be. We may call it intuition or wisdom or clear-seeing or joy-peace-love or flow or consciousness or presence or Being.

White Dwarf Star Yields Key to Planet

Hubble telescope: NASA and H. Richer

To be effortless awareness, we have to see through our deep identification with thought and ego.
Source: Hubblesite.org

Observe thought – Be a passive witness of your mind. Observe, without judging or analyzing. Observe thoughts, emotions, and perceptions. Gaps will appear between thoughts, and thoughts will lose their compulsive momentum, and gaps of awareness will expand. These short gaps, repeated many times, is Awareness.

Be a gentle witness to the voice in your head—Watch the voice in the head. Watch it passively without judging it or analyzing it.

Observe emotions in the body—Emotions are the reflection of the mind in the body. When you feel an emotion, bring attention to its sensations in the body.

Direct attention in the Inner body—Feel the body from within. Feel life. Start with your fingers—when you keep attention in your fingers, you will soon feel a tingling. This is the subtle energy which gives vibrant life to every part of the body. Feel it, don’t think about it. Bring attention to the body when interacting with others. When you listen to someone, listen with your entire body.

Meditate—If you’ve never meditated, just sit comfortably and quietly, shut our eyes, and watch for five minutes. Some excellent resources for meditation are ARO (free email course), Vipassana (donation retreat), Adyashanti’s book, True Meditation, and the ebook, Effortless Meditation.

Use your inner stop—STOP. Watch what is going on in the mind and the body. Quickly, passively, with a smile, scan your mind and body. Relax and fall back into Awareness, even if it is just for a second or two. Use your inner stop particularly when you are lost in thought, agitated or in an emotional interaction with someone.

Breathe—Here’s a technique from my friend Wendy which is as excellent as it is simple:  “ …I…lay down and breathe into every feeling, thought or memory that I am present to in that moment and as I do so, my breath becomes cyclic and full, (the in breath connected to the out breath, out breath connected to the in breath, breathing in the mouth and out of the mouth,  (NO BLOWING OF THE BREATH), I continue to embrace all of what comes up (no matter on what level of my being it is coming from) with every breath (regardless of the ego’s objections), whether it be numbness, sadness, anger, frustration, confusion, softness, peace or anything else (You may experience the same feeling coming and going).  There are no distinctions, just embrace what is with every breath till a natural release occurs and a return to a blissful state is yours.  Sometimes this can take 30 minutes or so, but other times up to 2 hours.  The body may shake, quiver, become restless, very hot or cold, you may become very emotional and cry,  feel like you have hit a brick wall or it has hit you, you may feel like you want to bellow.  (Make sure all the windows and doors are closed not to scare anyone that may be around.)  If you decide to do this process, remember to keep going to you feel the release.  You may feel very exhausted after this process, so just sleep when it’s complete.”

Be present—“Be present as the watcher of your mind — of your thoughts and emotions as well as your reactions in various situations.  Be at least as interested in your reactions as in the situation or person that causes you to react.  Notice also how often your attention is in the past or future.  Don’t judge or analyze what you observe.  Watch the thought, feel the emotion, observe the reaction.  Don’t make a personal problem out of them.  You will then feel something more powerful than any of those things that you observe: the still, observing presence itself behind the content of your mind, the silent watcher.” –Eckhart Tolle

Light up your chakras—Visualize bright light emanating from the base of the spine, and moving up rapidly along the spine all the way up and out the crown of the head. Visualize the light getting brighter and brighter till it lights up the whole body and through the body to emanate out and light up the universe. Straighten up and smile. Try it right now.

19 thoughts on “The Basics – 9 excellent techniques for developing Awareness

  1. Brenda (betaphi)

    Hi k. I still tend to get awakening and awareness confused. Your welcome box says awakening has two parts–awareness and release–but awareness precedes awakening, right? Through awareness we awaken to our natural state. These two ‘aw’ words always give me pause, which is appropriate I guess when pausing to observe is part of the process. Awareness must be a lot like awesomeness. We sometimes make that aww sound when we’re touched by something sweet or kind. OK, enough about awe. It’s awful how I get so easily distracted. ;)
    .-= Brenda (betaphi)´s last blog ..Tom =-.

    Reply
    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Brenda,

      Ah, words. They are confusing, and I should do a better job of defining them. I use the terms as follows:

      Awakening–it’s waking up to our nature. Some people call it enlightenment. I like Awakening because it indicates an on-going process.
      Awareness–Awareness is just that, it is attention, presence. Most of the time, most of us are not present–our attention is wrapped up in thoughts or afflictive emotions. We could say that thoughts, emotions, beliefs, perception, sensations–I collectively call these the mind and these are not Awareness, but points of view in Awareness. When the mind is quiet, when attention is on awareness, when we can allow thoughts and emotions to come and go without identifying with them, that is awareness.
      Release–these are techniques of letting go. Letting go of hard emotions, resistance, stuck patterns…In my experience, I have found that many of opening concepts, such as surrender and forgiveness and gratitude and compassion and acceptance, are really all about letting go.

      I talk here mostly about techniques of Awareness and techniques of Releasing because they are effective in leading to waking up, and they are easy to integrate into daily living. There are many other viewpoints, and I have some of them in the Externals Resources page, and I encourage everyone to explore.

      I started this series of the Basics realizing that after writing for a year, I haven’t really covered the basic message in a simple way. I hope this series of articles will simplify and clarify.

      I hope you are well my friend!

      love and peace,
      k

      http://greatfreedom.org/faq.html has a good explanation about awareness.

      Reply
  2. Patty - Why Not Start Now?

    This is beautiful, Kaushik. I like the idea that awareness is our natural state. Sometimes it does seem like a struggle though. What especially resonates with me is the compassion here – “be a gentle witness to the voice in your head.” Some books talk about overcoming the voice by overpowering it and getting angry at it; your way is much more appealing to me. So thank you.
    .-= Patty – Why Not Start Now?´s last blog ..Meaning Mondays: The Big Rabbit Edition =-.

    Reply
    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Patty,
      Yes, it takes a gentleness. Anything else is the movement of the ego.

      Thanks for the kind words and it’s good to see you here.

      love and peace,
      k

      Reply
    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Liara,
      Yes, it’s all about feeling love which already is, and letting go of fear which is an illusion anyway.

      love and peace,
      k

      Reply
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