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10 Steps - from Being Aware to Being Awareness


1. Be aware whenever you find yourself thinking or saying to yourself or others ‘I am…’. For example, ‘I am… lonely/depressed/anxious/afraid/ angry/bitter/worthless/trapped/frustrated/resentful/ashamed/unworthy

/ugly/unloved/guilty/bad/mad, a failure etc.


2. Fill in the blank from the words ‘I am …’ with your own choice of negative words.


3. Now replace the word ‘am’ with the words ‘feel’ and ‘think’ and say to yourself ‘I feel ... and think I am …’ [fill in your own words]. Do not follow the words ‘I feel…’ with an emotional label but with a description of your direct bodily sensation of the feeling. Example: “I feel a fluttering in my chest which makes me think I am ‘anxious’.”


4. In order not to identify with your feelings and thoughts now remove the word ‘I’. Rather than saying to yourself ‘I feel …’, ‘I think …’ or ‘I am…’ say ‘There is an awareness of feeling… which makes me think I am…’ [fill in your own words]. Again, do not label the feeling as an emotion but describe how you feel it as a bodily sensation.


5. Be aware of your body as a whole and of your overall mood and sense of yourself – for it is out of this overall bodily sense of yourself that your thoughts and feelings arise.


6. Feelings and thoughts about reality are not reality. Feelings and thoughts about yourself are not your whole self or true self. So whenever you are aware of saying ‘I am …’ remind yourself that ‘I am not this feeling of…’ or ‘I am not this thought that …’.


7. Instead say: ‘I am the awareness of feeling … or thinking …’ or ‘There is an awareness of feeling … or thinking … ’. Make it a rule to use the following mantras: ‘There is an awareness of thinking or feeling ...’ or ‘I am the awareness of feeling or thinking ...’


8. Identifying with a thing or thought, feeling or belief – unawares - is one thing. Being aware of that thing or thought, feeling or belief – and of the self that is identified with it is another. The point is to be that very awareness and not anything you are aware of.


9. Whenever you feel preoccupied with disturbing thoughts or feelings, identify with empty space. For empty space, like pure awareness, is distinct from everything we are aware of within it - whether things or thoughts, sensations or feelings, impulses or actions. 


10. Regularly take time to be fully aware of and affirm all the sensations, feelings, thoughts or life-concerns you are aware of. But do not identify with them. Instead, attend to and sense the spaces within and around you and say the following mantras to yourself ‘I am nothing that I am aware of in space. I am space itself.’ I am nothing I am aware of. I am the pure awareness of it.’ Only by regularly taking time to be aware can we open up a larger space of awareness – one in which new thoughts and feelings, a new sense of yourself and a new relation to the world and other people can and will arise spontaneously. This is the basic life discipline, practice or yoga of awareness.


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