Let me tell you an old Zen story about a monk, this monk knew that awareness was key to his existence and enlightenment. So he decided to go out and find a Master called Tao who was renowned for his ability for awareness. He searched high and low and eventually after many years of practicing awareness during his search for Master Tao he comes across some villagers who were talking about Master Toa’s abilities. He approached them and asked them if they knew where he could be found. They answered, “why yes, his hut is on the hill over there by the stream, its easy to find as it’s the only hut.” The monk thanked them anticipating this journey was almost over he ran to the hut. He noticed a sign that said,” remove shoes before entering”, and quickly he removed his shoes and ran in falling to the ground in front of the master and told him of his incredible journey. The Master did not flinch or acknowledge the monk, he just simply asked,” Did you remove your shoes when you entered?” The monk was a little upset, noticing that the master never noticed he was barefoot. He answered with a little surprise, “Yes master, of course�. The master the asked,” which side of the door did you place them?” The monk replied, “I don’t remember master, let me check.”
The master replied “when you have the awareness that you notice the small details that make the big difference then you will be ready to begin your journey, till then I suggest you go home until you are ready.”
The monk left with his head bowed and came across the same villagers. They asked him if he had met the Master, to which he replied, ” Yes, and I have just released my journey has just begun.”
Just like the monk, I would like you to consider that regardless of the amount of training and personal development and education that you have had so far, this article is just the beginning of your personal Journey.
Awareness in and of itself can change your life, most people really don’t know what spiritual teachers mean by this term because it is used without any for of definition other than what our own life experiences create for us. It is more than just knowing something, because just knowing does not stop you from getting stuck in the rut and dysfunctional emotional reactions that keep you from being your real self.
Awareness involves seeing how everything fits together to create you, what happens to you, how you behave, how you react, what you feel inside, and everything that goes on around you to create your universe.
When you see this with awareness then the consequences of each step become apparent and you are at choice, let me repeat this, you are at choice.
Other wise you are just operating as if you were reacting to situations on autopilot based on old programming from when you were a child.
Creating this level of awareness is as easy as it is difficult, the first stage is to PAY ATTENTION 100%.
Pay attention to what really happened, not what you made it mean?
Pay attention to how you are behaving in the moment.
Pay attention to how you would normally react, this is just habit and programming.
Pay attention to how you feel, be honest, without judgement where it is good or bad just how do you feel? Notice just reading this, stuff comes up. It is important not to stuff down feelings as this can be dangerous, as explained in the chapter 19 feelings are just energies. It is just as dangerous to express those feelings, especially for the person you are expressing on.
Pay attention to what is going on around you.
As you develop conscious awareness you begin to notice that it comes in several stages.
The first stage, a person creates their reality entirely unconsciously, they do it by internally processing all the information that comes at them through their senses. How the see, hear, feel by touch, taste and smell; and they process this information to create how they feel, behave and react to life. It is almost as though every thing outside of them is dictating who the world they live in is created. Life just seems to happen because an initial external stimulus creates the resultant behaviour, reactions and feelings. This is autopilot and each stimulus is programmed from experiences from the past.
The second stage occurs like an awakening, they discover that what they do with what comes in through their senses creates every feeling, behaviour and reaction. Also that their beliefs become reality, and the mind is an amazing powerful goal seeking tool, that creates and attracts what you focus on. And that your have been focusing unconsciously and unintentionally on external stimuli hence your results.
They learn that, if they are waking up to terms of their awareness, they can not focus on something unless they value it. They also learn that if they value something in order to avoid what they do not want , they are actually focusing on what they do not want; and again the mind creates results upon which it is focused, which is what you don�t want and you end up getting.
The third stage, they begin to master their internal map of reality by acknowledging that the information that you receive from your senses if being filtered through deletion, distortion and generalisation before being re-presented to the mind. As they master this, they become aware of the ability to take charge of their emotions, behaviours and reactions know that the information they are receiving is not complete. They also can create their own reality by choosing what they focus on consciously. This stage of awareness allows them to manifest what they want to create in physical, emotional and spiritual essence. This shift requires conscious awareness and finally the last stage.
The forth and final stage , enlightenment, this is when they become aware of the realization of the supreme reality beyond the mind and that direct perception of reality without the filters of the mind or self realization; and that they are the source of all love and bliss.
Not bad for the first chapter, the secret to enlightenment. If you want a step by step easy guide, then this is it.
Pay attention 100% , and then love life and all of creation, including and especially yourself. Do this and you will be on the path. I am sure there are many other levels of awareness and paths but the simplicity of this is key to me.
The way in which I practice this is by keeping things very simple in life and paying attention as life occurs around you. This is the basic skills of our natural born leaders and those that standout from the crowd, you have to make this a conscious decision.
So ask yourself in each moment,
ˇ What am I paying attention to?
ˇ How am I behaving?
ˇ How am I reacting?
ˇ How am I feeling?
And when you pay attention, do not get attached to whatever is going on for you, just allow it to be.