awareness 4 - awareness
Let us not
look back in anger
or forward in fear, but around
To have an open self is to provide a free channel
for the infinite goodness of God.
To have an open self is to keep yourself aware, alert and
to the beauty and wonder of life.
God’s love will flow through you
into the world when you are open.
You enlarge the dimensions of your life
when you keep yourself open to the highest and best. The key to God’s
infinite riches is within you; open yourself and you will receive.
Wilferd A. Peterson
When your life is filled
with the desire to see holiness in everyday life,
something magical happens: ordinary life becomes extraordinary,
the very process of life begins to nourish your soul!
of the disease in Central Africa called sleeping sickness.
. . . There also exists a sleeping sickness of the soul.
Its most dangerous aspect
is that one is unaware of
its coming. That is why you have to be careful. As soon as you notice the slightest sign of
indifference, the moment
you become aware of the loss of
a certain seriousness, of longing,
of enthusiasm and zest,
take it as a warning. You should realize your soul
suffers if you live superficially.
is a rhythm in life, a certain beauty which
operates by a
of lights and shadows,
with sorrow, content with discontent, distilling
process of contrast a sense of satisfaction,
that can be captured and pinned down only
by those who
possess the gift of awareness.
Sunshine is delicious, rain is
wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating;
there is really no such thing as bad weather,
different types of good weather.
people behind the words
Two - Year Three
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unthankful heart . . . discovers no mercies; but let the
sweep through the day and, as the magnet
finds the iron,
so it will find,
in every hour, some
Henry Ward Beecher
were to prescribe one process
training of people which is
to success in any
ongoing training in the habit
observation. It is
which every one of us
seeking evermore to perfect.
next message you need
is always right where you are.
said it first? We don't know, but very often
we find the same ideas attributed to two different
people. All we can do is give you both. . . .
The universe is full of
patiently waiting for our wits to grow
world is full of magic things, patiently
waiting for our
senses to grow sharper.
our full attention to another person is itself stimulating.
they might appear to be, the person you're with right now is a human
with a full set of human qualities that you can respond to. If you
those qualities in them at first, ask yourself: Am I looking
attending closely enough? When people feel that they have your
sometimes they blossom before your eyes. Even if the communication
only lasts three minutes, it can make a big difference to both of your
and Dominic Houlder
present moment is significant, not as the bridge between
but by reason of its contents, which can
emptiness and become ours,
if we are capable of
opportunities come to all, but many do not know
they have met them.
The only preparation to take
advantage of them is . . .
to watch what each day
If we face our unpleasant feelings with care,
affection, and nonviolence,
we can transform them into a kind of energy that is healthy and has
the capacity to nourish us. By
the work of mindful observation,
our unpleasant feelings can illuminate so much for us, offering us
insight and understanding into ourselves and society.
Thich Nhat Hanh
The best things are nearest: breath in
light in your eyes, flowers at
your hand, the path of God just before you. Then do not
grasp at the stars,
but do life's plain,
as it comes, certain that
daily duties and
are the sweetest things of life.
Robert Louis Stevenson
awareness 4 - awareness
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Thinkers - the people behind the words
know full well that
one of the greatest gifts that I've been given is that of
awareness. I see things, I hear things, I feel
things that I've recognized that other people just don't
notice for some reason. I truly appreciate this
gift, for it gives me so much in life that's already
there, just waiting to be seen. I can stand still
for an hour in a field in the mountains, just seeing
things and feeling the air and hearing the sounds. I love to sit in one place in the city, just watching
people go by, wondering what they're thinking, wondering
what that look on her face means, how their lives are
going, why he seems so agitated.
Of course, there's a prerequisite to
awareness--we have to slow down. We have to realize
that life is going to go on whether or not we rush around
in order to get everything possible done today, and that
our own mental, emotional, and physical well being is at
stake. We have a beautiful world that surrounds us,
that offers us unlimited opportunities for peace,
serenity, learning, helping, getting, feeling, hoping,
love--you name it, it's there in abundant quantities,
more than any one of us will never need. But we
have to see it, to acknowledge it's there, to let it
become a part of us by making ourselves a part of it.
Maria Rilke claimed that there
are angels and spirits all around us, but over the course
of the history of humankind we've pulled away from the
things that we used to be able to see clearly; we've lost
our connection with this planet upon which we live and
everything here. I believe he has a good point--we're
so wrapped up in our jobs and television and movies that
we almost never consider what's here that we can't see.
And as much as I dislike what the people involved
in television have done to our culture (it's not the
television's fault), I appreciate the show the X-Files,
for that's one of the few shows that actually has approached
the possibility of there being more than we can see on
this planet with intelligence and respect.
Awareness is seeing all around you
with different eyes-- appreciative eyes, wondering eyes.
It's knowing what you want out of life (and yes,
you have to ask yourself in order to find out) so that
you can go after it. It's knowing that things
change, and that what you want today may not be what you
want tomorrow. It's looking into the eyes of a
friend or another person and realizing that that's
another human being put on this planet with hopes and
fears and dreams and desires and needs.
As Rilke says, "Perhaps all the
dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting
to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps
everything terrible is in its deepest being something
helpless that wants help from us." Awareness
is the ability to see that the way we see things isn't
necessarily the way things are--for every setback or
terrible incident, there may be hundreds of ways to see
it. We have to choose to be able to see many
possibilities, many explanations. If we get caught
up in being right all the time, we'll never have the
blessing of being aware.
different from what we are,
we must have some awareness of what we
Isn't it splendid
to think of all the things there are to find out about?
makes me feel glad to be alive--it's such an interesting world.
Lucy Maud Montgomery
sitting still on a lawn can open up to you a whole
new world, if you look long enough and closely enough.
There is a great deal of life available to you in such a place,
but we usually miss it as we walk quickly over it. Once I taught
in a building that had a tree growing right next to it, so from
our third-floor window we had a great view of the top of the
tree and all the bugs and birds that lived there or were stopping
by for visits. That close view taught me a lot about the tops
of trees, and I can't look at trees in exactly the same way any more.
today and look. Learn. Appreciate. See. Touch.
Feel. Looking closely is nothing more than using our
powers of observation, a gift that we were given that
we let lie unused far too often. If we do this, the
world becomes an awesome, incredible place.
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Recently a neighbor
of ours took his two small children to the mountains for
a vacation. The very first morning the children woke him at
clamoring to go exploring. Stifling an impulse to send them back
to bed, he
struggled into his clothes and took them for a walk. At the edge
of a pond
they stopped to rest, and while they were sitting there quietly, a doe
her fawn came down to drink.
"I watched my youngsters' faces," he said,
"and suddenly it was as if I
were seeing and feeling everything for the first time: the hush of
the mist over the water, the grace and gentleness of those lovely
the kinship of all living things. It only lasted a few seconds,
but the thought
came to me that happiness isn't something you have to strive and
It's simply an awareness of the beauty and harmony of existence.
And I said
to myself: remember this moment, put it away carefully in your
you may need to draw strength and comfort from it someday."
children a new experience, that man also opened a door for himself.
Touch of Wonder
awareness 4 - awareness
your eyes and you will know what I mean by thought
entombed in darkness.
Light comes through the
senses, and not only through the sense of sight.
you see without feeling, you are still partly blind; you
lack the inner light
that brings awareness. Awareness
requires the interplay of every faculty,
the use of your
entire being as an eye.
Charles A. Lindbergh
To understand music, you must listen to it. But so long as you are
thinking, “I am listening to this music,” you are not listening. To
understand joy or fear, you must be wholly and undividedly aware
of it. So long as you are calling it names and saying, “I am happy,”
or “I am afraid,” you are not being aware of it. Fear, pain, sorrow,
and boredom must remain problems if we do not understand them,
but understanding requires a single and undivided mind. This, surely,
is the meaning of that strange saying, “If thine eye be single, thy
whole body shall be full of light.”
The Wisdom of Insecurity
everywhere with your eyes;
but with your soul
at many things, but at one.
knows what each day
is going to bring.
is to be open and ready for it.
exercise the power of awareness and strengthen our spiritual
muscle by bringing ourselves, over and over again, into the
immediate present. To do so, we must become present with
what we are feeling and thinking. We can turn our attention
directly toward what we are experiencing instead of staying
enmeshed in a feeling or blindly accepting our beliefs about
makes all the difference in the world whether we are caught
in a negative emotion and say, “I am sad, angry,
lonely,” and so on, or are able to recognize, at that
moment, “Here am I, all wound up in sensations of
resentment. Here am I, fuming with anger.”
Awareness of our sensations is not the same as identifying
with our thoughts or feelings. Every movement back to
present-moment awareness grounds us in the body and opens
the connection to our larger awareness.
the smallest movement toward exercising the power of
awareness, instead of collapsing our larger awareness into
our thoughts and feelings and thereby becoming identified
with them, restores us to a more complete
consciousness. It gives us the power to start from a
fresh, open, less conditioned relationship to our
experience. This doesn’t necessarily mean that our
problems disappear. But as we exercise the power of
awareness, our reflexive reactivity diminishes. We
respond from a state of greater presence. When we
collapse into our feelings, we lose this capacity. We
default into me,
and this limited self seems like the whole of who we are.
Then we have no choice but to react because we feel as if we
must defend ourselves.
Mandala of Being