Awareness

Imagine yourself walking outside on an absolutely perfect day. The sun is shining golden overhead, covering your skin with its warmth. A slight breeze ruffles your hair, bringing with it the scent of blossoms. You have no destination in mind; you merely wander wherever your feet take you. As you walk through a forest, across the plains, along a stream, stretch out with your mind. Don’t think of anything . . . just be.

Awareness. Everything comes back to that to learning to pay attention. I know that that sounds kind of goofy, but it’s the truth. Lives are made of small details and not just the grand events that most people recognize. However, it is through those small details that the Force speaks to us. There won’t be any grand fireworks or trumpets-blaring to clue us in to what it happening.

I want you to think for a moment about how you, well, think. Everyone self-talks that internal dialogue we hold with ourselves. Do you have a tendency to ramble on about nothing, have arguments with yourself, or even daydream? How we think is part of our awareness level. We don’t notice a slight nudge if we are busy complaining to ourselves about how horrible someone is! Learning how to think is like learning to play an instrument. You have to keep practicing, keep focusing on what you want to achieve, before you can claim yourself a master.

Here’s a quick exercise that I would like you to try. It helps with both focusing on details and thoughts. Find a place where you feel absolutely comfortable a place with no outside distractions. Either sit up straight, or lay flat on your back to help with breathing. You don’t want to slouch because that pushes everything together. As you read through the words, don’t be afraid to let your mind wander. Just don’t focus on one solid topic. Think about the words and reflect on them. This is a form of meditation, so relax.

I am breathing in
I am breathing out
I am breathing in a long breath
I am breathing out a long breath
I am aware of the breath as it comes into my body
I am aware of the breath as it leaves my body
I am aware of the in-breath as it enters my nose
I am aware of the in-breath as it goes into my lungs
I am aware of the finish of the in-breath
I am aware of the out-breath as it departs from my nose
I am aware of the out-breath as it departs from my lungs
I am aware of the finish of the out-breath
I am aware of the moment before the next breath comes in
I am aware of the coming of the breath
I am aware of the going of the breath