EXTERNAL & INTERNAL AWARENESS
“During awareness walks, I usually try different paces and focus objectives, and with practice I noticed that not every walk is identical. Some day, I tried to slow down my pace a bit and pay more attention to my breathing and, from there, extend my awareness to my muscles and general movement. After some time walking and focusing the way I mentioned, some changes happened.
One of the first things that I noticed was the smell of things… even concrete lamp posts had a very defined smell; trees, plants, flowers, wood, everything became alive in terms of smells while I simply walked. Next thing were the colours; gradually, but very fast, everything became brighter, more colourful, more visually defined. I knew what was happening, so I tried to keep my focus on the breathing and movements, because this all came accompanied by deep calming emotions that are not possible to describe – suffice to say they were different from anything I had ever felt to that point. I felt as if everything was one, and one was everything and, at that moment, it did not really matter if I was or I was not.
This awareness level lasted for only a few seconds, but I keep that memory as a reminder of what we can reach if we try a bit harder.” Daniel, Canada
Practicing Awareness of the Present Moment
“While I practise awareness of the present moment for some years now, I find it helpful to keep refreshing my approach to it. Awareness walks in nature seem to be especially productive for developing a natural state of being psychologically awake and clear. The technique of awareness is so natural that it is hard to keep it simple. Surrounded by distractions and temptations of a mundane environment, my mind tends to bring various artificialities into my psychological responses towards the environment. And then, while trying to be in the moment, it is just hard to get there. The mind creates its own intellectual kind of awareness – reasonable, perhaps, but very empty in its essence.
A good reliable way for me to experience awareness is to persistently switch from perceiving the world with one of my senses to another, eg. being aware of listening and hearing, then being aware of looking and seeing, etc. Finally, trying to perceive the physical world with all 5 senses together. Or to simply focus on trying to feel a spiritual feel of the moment, and nothing else. Also I experienced many times how awareness of the present moment may be a natural product of other esoteric exercises such as mantras, astral projection, meditation, etc…
One day I had a long time to spend in the natural park located on a beautiful island surrounded by Prairies river on the northwest of Montreal. After doing different esoteric practices I finished it all with the exercise called a Dervish Dance. I did it for about half an hour, trying to get everything out of my mind and just focus on the movements. Right afterwards I was rewarded with a crystally clear calm state of being in the moment. It felt almost effortless to remain alert and present. As I walked back towards the parking lot, I had to go over a long wooden bridge over the marshland. There was water on the left side of me, and there was water on the right of me, and I really felt like flying over it. My movements felt effortless. My both body and psyche felt to be perfectly tuned to the charming environment of the swamp, so full of life. I was feeling in the moment a sense of my unique identity, free from selfishness…a sense of being. I kept walking and watching the sunset, feeling its warmth, knowing that my day had a meaning. Hoping to make those experience a part of something much bigger. ” Vadim, Canada
Enjoying the present moment
The following awareness experience happened during one of my awareness walk practices. I usually like to practice this exercise everyday because it can clear my mind from worries, repetitive and heavy thoughts, it can also clear my emotions from emotional centre so that I am in an objective state where peace can be found. I find that how good my awareness practice will be depends on the internal state I am in when I start the practice. That day my inner state was clear and heightened. I went for a walk to my standard route, which partly includes a forest nearby and partly an urban area.
I was striving to remain in that clear internal state and at the same time I tried to be in the present moment as much as possible. For that I had to activate my senses so to perceive my surrounding through the senses of sight, hearing, smell etc. I found it particularly plifting once I entered the forest. When in a state of awareness it is natural to spot all the little details like leaves on trees, the shapes of branches, various tree bark patterns, the dusty path covered with dry leaves, the sun reflecting through trees and much more. I enjoyed the feeling of being part of this environment, something I feel only when I get in a good state of awareness. It’s a feeling of subtle connection with everything around me, and I find that it can be intensified when walking through a natural area..
My circle route was now leaving the forest and entering the urban area. My awareness was still good and I enjoyed that part of the walk too. Towards the end of it, from a distance I saw someone I know and we greeted each other with a wave. It can be more difficult to preserve the aware state when meeting people because various emotions can come to the surface and it’s easy to identify with a conversation, similar to when watching a movie. However it is possible to preserve awareness even in this scenario, and it becomes easier with overall spiritual work.
Awareness really is very enjoyable state to live every moment of ones life. The benefits that come from it are widespread and it can help us in all spheres of life. ” Hrvoje, Europe