Dipping a Toe into Consciousness

What is consciousness or, more importantly, what isn’t it? Is it about the question or encompassed in the answer? Have you explored consciousness? Do you know who you are? Do you feel more connected to the narrator, the speaker, or the observer? What steps do you take to increase the mindfulness in your life? There are so many deep questions we could ask about consciousness. 

Mindful meditation is taught by the buddhists, but in recent years, the practice of meditation and mindfulness has become much more mainstream. I recently read a book by Dan Harris called 10% Happier. In his book, Dan describes his own reluctant journey into a meditation practice. Gurus, such as, Eckhart Tolle and Deepak Chopra offer a place for seekers to begin to learn about consciousness. One of the first books I read about consciousness was The Untethered Soul. I have since read it twice and still feel that I could benefit from a third reading.

Our minds our very busy things and if you take the time to notice, there are several versions of “us” that the mind portrays to us. There is the speaker. This is the guy who is always thinking what to say ‘next’ in the conversation. This fella is pretty sure that he always has the most interesting tidbits to share. This is also the same guy giving me trouble getting past day one on my “21 days complaint free” adventure. Then there is the narrator. This joker is the one who feels the need to tell us what we are doing. Like I don’t know I am walking down the hall, planning my next move, or reading an interesting blog. The narrator feels it is necessary to tell me everything I am doing. My favorite though, is the observer. It is great when you can identify with the observer. This part of me (and this is the true me) is quiet and sits in the background. This “me” just notices. I was getting upset with something that happened to me in a relationship one day. The observer sat back and noticed that I felt triggered by the interaction. The observer had no connection to the frustration or hurt that the situation caused. The observer only noticed it. Once the observer noticed it the narrator got really intrigued about it and took it from there. It is the observer portion of us that meditation can help better connect to.

Daily meditation, noticing these different parts of our mind, reading books and watching videos by the gurus; are some of the ways we can become more conscious. Is this a part of your journey right now? I would love to hear how consciousness affects your life. What works for you? What would you like to improve? I feel a need to connect more fully with my consciousness and therefore am planning a silent retreat with Adventure Sister Emy. Little steps can have big impacts when it comes to consciousness. If you have not already done so, why not dip your toe into the water.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. May your journey into consciousness be fulfilling and profound, as if by magic.

*Photo was taken on Mt Baker, WA

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In Their Shoes

I recent listened to a group of family members discussing what it is like to work in customer service. As a nurse I also have been in jobs where pleasing people is a part of the role. I have seen people be extremely rude and even verbally abusive to people working in stores, all in an attempt to get their way. I am ashamed to admit, when I was younger, I also had occasion where I lost my patience with people just trying to do their jobs. What can we do and how can we think to help us have empathy for those who cross our paths in the course of a day?

Think about how different the world would be if we all followed the Golden Rule. Treating others the way we would like to be treated could help transform some of these frustrating interactions to be better. The Golden Rule is in some version in almost all major world religions. If we could see ourselves in that person, we would act the way we would want others to treat us, if we were working that job.

Nisargadatta Maharai said, “ The consciousness in you and the consciousness in me, apparently two, really one, seek unity and that is love”. We are better able to give love and acceptance, when we see that we are that other person. Can you put yourself in their shoes? Can you feel empathy for what it must be like to be in that place and having to deal with that situation?

Today I challenge you as you walk through your day to imagine yourself in the shoes of those you cross paths with. I would be curious to hear how this changed your perspective on the world around you. Did this make any impact on how you dealt with people or situations? No matter which side of the counter you are on, there is room to try and see the other person’s persecutive. Eckhart Tolle said, “If you are not in the state of either acceptance, enjoyment, or enthusiasm, look closely and you will find that you are creating suffering for yourself and others”. Try seeing yourself as the other person in a way to gain acceptance.

Thank you for reading my blog today! May your day be filled with love and acceptance.

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