We forget how precious this life is and how we so frequently take it totally for granted and become detached from the ability to be inspired by our own experience. As awareness is cultivated, a connection with life emerges that can include everyday simple awe-inspiring experiences such as seeing the sun rising in the morning or the smell of the wet mud on a rainy day, or feeling the connection between the slight breeze blowing over unfolding grasses or as mentioned in these lines I recently read…
A Gentle Breeze:
Just a gentle breeze blowing through the trees,
Listen how every leaf is playing in this symphony!
Would indeed, if I could listen to it all day long!
When did you last stop and stand still
Opening your heart to this lovely sound?
Did it not fill your heart with peace and joy?
Tree of Life:
When listening to rustling leaves do you wonder
if you too are just a leaf in the tree of life?
What can it be that connects us all?
Even if you cannot sense it, might it not be so?
All the wisdom of the ages tell us though
an invisible tree of love connects us all
These help open our hearts and minds into the awe and wonder of an incredible life that is unfolding in front of us — no matter how small the event. If we notice. If we are aware.
Practices that Cultivate Awareness
Seeing is the Beginning of Shifting:
Become a witness to how you behave without judgement. Our conditioning is to judge emotions and label them as good or bad. Considering any difficult emotions as bad, we land up judging ourselves or others. We think things won’t improve till we judge, punish, improve ourselves- Self-judgement doesn’t heal but we are all hooked on it. Start first by noticing your own behaviour especially when you are judging yourself or others.
Waking up to your Senses:
Start to hear what you hearing
See what you seeing
Taste what you tasting
Smell what you smelling
Feel what you feeling
Moving into effortless silence, notice how your mind is settling down and
coming into the present moment
Here are some practices that are given to us by Eckhart Tolle
Waking up to your Body:
Inner Body Meditation -The energy of the body is “not yet form as such,” teaches Eckhart Tolle. For this reason, it offers a bridge between the physical form of the body and its formless source. The inner-body meditation is a way of exploring “the unmanifest” and anchoring our attention in the Now. Tuning in to the energy of the body in this way is very helpful in challenging situations. It can also bring stillness to an overactive mind. With regular practice, we’re better able to maintain an ongoing sense of the inner body even as we engage in the activities of our daily lives.
Try this Inner Body Meditation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5icIPF7pks
Giving Attention to Nature:
When we give our attention fully to any of the multitudes of forms expressed in nature, it helps us to transcend the conceptual mind and return to Presence. Whether you’re walking through a quiet forest, playing with your dog or cat, or simply looking deeply at a flower, give yourself opportunities to connect with the natural world that is continuously unfolding all around us. See if you can use nature as a practice both in serene environments and in more hectic surroundings, which will require a higher degree of alertness and inner stillness. Pay attention to the tendency to name things. If mental labels for the objects you see and hear pop up in your mind, see them for the pointers that they are, and remember that the essence of nature can never be contained by human categorization.
Sitting Quietly Doing Nothing:
When everything you do is reduced to a means to an end, you have fallen into “a huge trap of unconsciousness.” Not necessarily the same thing as a formal meditation session, to “sit quietly doing nothing” can have profound benefits because it helps us train in holding inner stillness and a quiet mind even as we engage in the next thing we’ll actually be doing.
Set aside time throughout your day to practice being absolutely present in “doing nothing.” We suggest a period of 15–30 minutes. Ultimately, this quality of stillness or Presence can flow into the activities you perform—if you bring your full attention to the activity, honouring the present moment as primary.
Leaving the “Empty Spaces” Alone:
In addition to the practice of sitting quietly, we are advised to be vigilant about the many naturally occurring “cessations in activity” that we experience throughout the day. This might be while sitting at a red light, in line at the grocery, rebooting your computer, and so on. Notice the mind’s tendency to attempt to fill these seemingly “empty spaces” with thinking or planning. Often overlooked, you’ll be surprised at how many opportunities the day presents to you to “simply be.” On a related note, watch the mind’s tendency to pull you out of the state of simply being—for example, when that email appears in your inbox or a new text message arrives. Can you keep some awareness in the vertical dimension even as you reach for the phone?