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Basic Meditational Awareness Practices

The Basic Practice of Awareness (1) 

1.    Without closing your eyes, take time to be aware of all there is to be aware of both within and around you – impulses, sensations, emotions and thoughts within you; the air, light, objects and space around you. 

2.    Attend particularly to your wordless, bodily awareness of all these things - where and how you sense them with and within your body. For example, be aware of the inner voice you hear speaking thoughts in your head, of the inner ear with which you hear them, and different sensual textures and qualities of your bodily self-awareness.  

3.    Concentrate on sensing where you feel particular mental states, moods or emotions with and within your body and how – which is not as mental-emotional states but as purely sensual textures and qualities of your bodily self-experience. 

4.    Remind yourself that the awareness of an object, sensation, emotion or thought is not itself an object, sensation, emotion or thought - that it is innately free of all objects, sensations, emotions and thoughts. For awareness as such is both inseparable and absolutely distinct from all we are aware of.  

5.    With this mantra or reminder in mind do not identify with anything in particular that you are aware of - but rather with the simple, pure awareness of it. Feel how this pure awareness embraces and transcends everything you are aware of – in just the same way that the space around you embraces and yet transcends every thing within it.  

6.    Sense the very space, light and air around you as a pure space, light and air of awareness – one that permeates every atom and cell of your body and pervades the physical space around it. Sense yourself breathing in the pure space, light and air of awareness through every pore of your skin and into a hollow space in your diaphragm – the heart of the divine awareness within you.   

7.    Sense your whole body and self as nothing but a manifestation of the space around it – of the pure space, light and air of awareness itself.  Remind yourself that this is the divine source of your being, your body and of everything and everyone you are aware of within and around you. Thus, experiencing your body and self as an expression of the divine awareness you unite or ‘join’ with it – the meaning of ‘yoga’ and the aim of yoga meditation.


The Basic Practice of Awareness (2)


1.      Close your eyes, and simply feel the fleshly, physical warmth pervading your body.  

2.      Now take time to simply be aware of all the muscles you are using to breathe – those of your ribcage, back, diaphragm and abdomen. Through them feel how deep or shallow, rapid or slow your breathing is – and let it be that way. Do not wilfully alter your breathing in any way unless or until a spontaneous bodily impulse to do so arises. 

3.      Now take time to grant awareness to different areas of your inwardly felt body. In particular any regions of your body where you have any sense of dis-ease or discomfort, whether in the form of a muscular tension, emotional anxiety or discomfort, fatigue or over-fullness, dullness or density.  

4.      Staying aware of your breathing, and taking time to grant awareness to different regions of your body in turn, allow yourself to feel how in doing so it is as if you are inwardly airing your body with your awareness and your breathing, so that its felt inner space begins to feel purified, clear and translucent. 

5.      Be aware too of any thoughts, recollections, images or concepts that arise in your mind whilst meditating. Remind yourself that any moods, emotions or sensations you are aware of in your body are in turn an awareness of something to do with your personal life and world as a whole.  Meditating your immediate bodily self-awareness, let whatever it calls to mind in relation to your life world as a whole come to mind.

6.      Allow yourself to regularly return your awareness to any regions of your body wherever you still feel a sense of dis-ease, until the awareness itself begins to dissipate it, letting the manner of your breathing change in any way you feel helpful. 

7.      Help this dissipation and clearing process by now becoming more aware of your body as a whole, using your whole body surface to sense the air and space around you, and any scents or sounds in it. 

8.      Sustaining this awareness of your body and sensing the space and air around it, meditate on feeling your whole body – and every aspect of your self that you experience within it - as a manifestation of that surrounding air and space.  

9.      Do not identify with any thoughts, images, emotions or bodily sensations but with the pure awareness of them and feel this pure awareness as the very space around them, distinct from and yet embracing and manifesting as everything within it, including your own body. 

10.  Feel the clear light, space and air of pure awareness pervading the spaces of every atom, molecule and cell of your body as you breathe. In this way begin to feel your breathing as a breathing of the pure air or aether of awareness through every pore of your skin. 

11.  Be aware in particular of the region of your diaphragm, and feel yourself breathing the pure light, space and air of awareness into a hollow space within it. Sense this space as the very heart of the Divine Awareness within you.

12.  Experiment with feeling your body as nothing bounded by your flesh but as boundless space, as light, as air, as fiery flame - and finally again, as simple warmth felt within the safe containing womb of your flesh. 

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