As you know if you read my blog often, I question many things because I think that is essential to keeping an open mind and to becoming a more conscious human being. Two posts ago I wrote about the evolution of thinking that comes from life’s lessons. More ideas have been rattling around in my mind and heart about this topic. I would like to share with you several ways to encourage that growth process that I have explored on my own journey seeking to be a more awake and aware person.
Here is a list of techniques and practices to deepen your awareness, consciousness and compassion:
1. Mindfulness – the simplest form for waking up to the potential and possibilities in you is by practicing mindfulness. There are teachers of mindfulness throughout the country and probably in you community. The easiest one to explain briefly is the practice of breathing mindfully. In this practice you simply pay attention to your breath as a guide to being aware moment to moment. On a run today, I practice mindfulness and appreciated the beautiful new blooms of wildflowers along the trail and at the same time was aware of being present in the moment. You can use this technique while waiting in line, driving to work, eating, and in moments non-action.
2. Meditation – there are many forms of meditation and many teachers. I have explored numerous techniques from a variety of traditions and I most often practice walking meditation and Vipassana. The simplest form is one in which you notice your breathing, observe yourself, and label what is going on inside. If you have a thought say in silence, “thinking”. If you have an emotion say to yourself, “feeling.” If you have a sensation say within, “sensing.” After the labeling you return to breathing and notice what comes up next.
3. Questioning – this involves taking an active inventory of your thoughts, ideas and beliefs. Questioning is a mental practice that constantly searches for awareness and for truth. This practice is one I use to examine my points of view, to watch out for limiting beliefs, and to make sure I have not gotten stuck down the blind alley of rigid or ego based thinking.
4. Heartfulness – This is a method of the heart and inner knowing based on intuition and gut instinct. The heart is very trustworthy as a guide to awareness. If you feel open and receptive in your heart you are on the right track. The heart is about love and compassion and there is no greater human capacity than the hearts ability to care for and give to others and to self. In each moment you are either opening and expanding or closing and contracting. Following this opening and closing of the heart will teach you much about yourself.
If you take time each day to explore one or more of these techniques/practices, you will soon find yourself filled with happiness and free in ways you have not yet experienced.
Please let me know how it goes.