Question about Remaining Conscious

This post comes under the category of learning from each other. I find the hardest part of the spiritual walk is remaining conscious moment by moment. I subscribe to the practice, "Embrace this place" as a way of accepting and staying in the Now, and I also use my breath and a mantra to bring me back to the peace of the present when my consciounsness drfits off, which is often and for long periods. It is a very uneven practice for me. 

So here's the question: What do you do to stay conscious throughout the day, and are you able to remain conscious most of or all of the time? 

Looking forward to your answers! Thanks!

Chuck

ksaulino's picture

I really wish I could help there, Chuck, but I feel like I'm only conscious by accident.  I really wish it were easier, but it's just not for me.  I guess the times when I am really humble and grateful place me in a state of wonder and bliss. 

Lots of love,

Kathy

 

Hey Chuck,

I think I have had a couple of conscious moments in my life.....blink of the eye stuff....Lol..

But really I more know when I am unconscious....I know most of my tricks these days, and I know when I am playing games....victim, tantrum, show boating, distorting truth, shit stirring etc......but these days even when I am upset I don't have to much trouble being able to observe myself and approximating what it is I am getting out of whatever it is I am doing...without judgement of course.....

I have a pretty good feel for when my perception is being led....if I have an agenda going on within me I can usually see it in real time and not have to put it all together later...if I can feel something like this happening I know I am not totally conscious....it's a real easy give away...so yeah, it is easier for me to know when I not conscious.....when I think I am, I probably just can't see one of those tricks I am playing....it's hard to say by the very nature of it.....

I know what Kathy is saying, but I have my best moments like Kathy is describing when I am so stoned that no sane person could possibly call me conscious....Lol......sorry!.. but it's true...Lol...

I think the meditations that guide you into the sensations of your body, essentially pulling you away from your mind, are the best for becoming present in the now, which is what I think is the defining aspect for claiming to be conscious.....

L

Jez

lightwins's picture

I  find that my capacity to remain clear and open and present has developed over time. It has taken 10+ years from when I first glimpsed the empty awareness and recognized that "I am that," for me to be able to develop the resilience and capaciousness to allow live to move as it does and remain present most of the time. Our conditioned patterns get triggered and we're down the the tracks on the train of thought before we realize what has happened. The initial process was to just come back - letting go of wherever I drifted into and retuning to present moment awareness...Gradually, there are more & more moments when I am aware as thinking & the tendency to distract occurs & can remain present.

LightCommodore's picture

Thank you all for your your helpful insights. I do find that I get better at being conscious/mindful as the years go by. It's one of the consolations of getting older--if you're paying attention. Jez, thanks for the suggestion about body meditation. I've never had a lot of success with that, which is probably an indication that I am out of touch with my body and need to practice it until it works. Sleep does have a lot of impact on awareness too; I'm sure we all have better, more mindful days when we are well-rested. One last thought, answering my own question is Candace O'Denver's teaching on greatfreedom.org: "Short moments of clarity repeated many times become continuous." The more you practice mindfulness, the better you get at it until it becomes second nature. No surprise there. Needless to say, I try, but I'm not there yet. Smile

Chuck

Call me Mary's picture

I remember listening to someone talking about remaining conscious and they jokingly likened it to the training of a puppy.   Have some patience….and when you find yourself  “there”  kind of symbolically pat yourself on the head and quietly say, “Stay…… stay…… stay….”  lol! 

Seriously, though, I had to think a bit more about this question after reading Jez’s post.   Here I was thinking that I was conscious when I could see the motivation behind my actions – or the agenda going on – as you put it Jez.   I was a bit confused that you noted this as when you are not conscious.    In my understanding of my own consciousness – when I am in re-active mode – simply going along and reacting to what I think is happening around me, I am not conscious.  When I can see the “stuff happening around me” and also see my reactions and responses  - in real time – and with real understanding… that is when I feel I am conscious….and observing.  There seems to be a slight distance between my reacting self… and my observing self.   Conscious.   Aware.    At least that is my attempt tonight to try and define what I believe to be “conscious” or “presence” for me.

I really like Bob’s statement of “When I’m aware of my unawareness, it magically becomes awareness.”   How cool is that?

Chuck, I found that just having the desire to become more aware and conscious lets the process unfold with divine timing.   Just as fruit ripens on the tree, or grass grows each spring – without any stress or worry or pushing to do it faster than is necessary.     I read for quite some time about “consciousness/presence/awareness” (whichever word we want to use) before having my first experience of it.   That first experience - to me, felt like finally coming to the surface after being submerged for too long – and gasping a deep, refreshing and invigorating breath of fresh air.   Having my first understanding of conscious-ness and feeling the freedom of that state …I wanted to learn how to stay there.    Weeks later I surfaced again – and at that point realized how long I had once again been “unconscious”.  I had hoped to do better than that!   This wasn’t quite as easy as I had thought it would be.   Throughout the time since then, I have found that I am re-surfacing more frequently – and able to stay for longer and longer periods of time.    Throughout this time I also noticed periods where I would seem to have longer spells of unconsciousness – and it felt as if I had gone backwards or lost some ground.    In spite of all that, I don’t know how I could have done things any differently – and from my experience the road forward isn’t always straight nor is it well lit at times.    During meditation, I find it much easier to stay conscious .  Moment to moment, moving through my day, it is much more difficult to maintain or sometimes even achieve!

I’m glad you posted your question.  I like learning from others, too.   I find great comfort knowing that there are others similar to me – seeking and striving to keep growing and learning.  When I first joined the g-spot I asked a somewhat similar question regarding people’s daily ordinary spirituality.    Bob Brown talked in that thread about bringing the awareness to the body, such as he did in this thread.   It gave me great insight and a fun and helpful tool to move forward with.    If you would like a bit of humor, please read my thank-you post to him titled, “Where’s my butt”.    

 http://gatheringspot.net/topic/general-discussion/wheres-my-butt

With Love,

Mary

Noa's picture

Practicing being "mindful" throughout your day is one way to do it, but if you're attention span wanders like mine does, you may have to keep reminding yourself to stay focused.  I have trouble sleeping, and now that I've seen the video below, it seems that sleep could be the key.

In this 4 minute video, http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/jessa_gamble_how_to_sleep.html Jessa Gamble says that a natural sleep cycle (in 2 shifts divided by meditation) is important for daytime "wakefulness."  She ends her talk abruptly without explaining much about the correlation.  I guess she had to pee.

I googled her work, but all the links I found on her led back to this TED video.  If anyone can offer more on the subject - how our body clocks affect our waking consciousness/mindfulness - please share it.

Jessa Gamble: Writer

Jessa Gamble writes about sleep and time, showing how our internal body clock struggles against our always-on global culture.

Why you should listen to her:

Jessa Gamble is an award-winning writer from Oxford, who lives in the Canadian Subarctic. Now that humanity has spread right to the Earth's poles and adopted a 24-hour business day, Gamble argues that our internal clocks struggle against our urban schedules. Her work documents the rituals surrounding daily rhythms, which along with local languages and beliefs are losing their rich global diversity and succumbing to a kind of circadian imperialism.

A dynamic new voice in popular science, Gamble was awarded a 2007 Science in Society journalism award from the Canadian Science Writers Association for her first-person account of daily life at the Eureka High Arctic Weather Station. She is the author of The Siesta and The Midnight Sun: How We Measure and Experience Time.

Bob07's picture

I'm sorry that I'm joining this discussion late.  And being aware all the time is not something that I've mastered yet, but that's exactly my "goal" now.  So there are a few things I'd like to add from my own experience that might be helpful.

I agree with Jez that paying attention to the sensation of the body (that is, including it in awareness) -- even just one part, like the soles of the feet on the ground or the butt on the chair -- brings me right into present-time awareness.  With that grounding, even thoughts and emotions can happen here and now rather than taking me away into there and then (in imagination).

When I'm aware of my unawareness, it magically becomes awareness.  I think this is true for everyone -- so, Jez, give yourself more credit.  All the distraction and crap becomes food for waking up when it happens within the atmosphere of awareness -- as soon as you're aware of it.

Awareness isn't something we have to attain, although we're conditioned to think that way (dualism).  It's what we are (John pretty much nails it in his comments above).  If we can relax into it and be with whatever is and keep on doing that, eventually the truth dawns.  I've heard it said that in the beginning the student seeks Awareness, but later Awareness seeks the student.  And that's a big tailwind in the "project" of being aware more of the time.

lightwins's picture

from my friend, Sperry:

Sperry Andrews <[email protected]>
Date: Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 10:00 AM
Subject: Quoting Consciousness
To:

An invitation to unlearn ~ Scott Kiloby

More than a teaching, non-duality is an invitation to recognize a timeless space.  Listening to a teacher or reading a book is insufficient.  Non-duality or presence is not about learning new information or repeating memorized pointers.  It is a seeing that what you are cannot be found in information and pointers.  What you are is the space in which that information and those pointers appear and disappear.

Each pointer is simply an invitation to see that this timeless space is all there is, that the self is a false, thought-based, time-bound construct that comes and goes in that space.  Non-duality pointers invite a looking inward to see what is beyond or prior thought.  What is here whether there is thinking or no thinking?  No matter how grand or insightful a thought is, it cannot tell you who you really are or what is here.  Your true identity can never be expressed directly because you are not a thought.

Realization does not come about by making non-duality into a subject that you know a lot about or by repeatedly reminding yourself of what you have been told by teachers.  It is an unlearning, an unknowing that happens naturally when awareness no longer contracts around information.  This is not to say that information is denied or de-valued, only that there is no longer identification with it.

 

The Drop of Milk ~ Rupert Spira

 

[The seeking thought, which looks for Consciousness, merges with Consciousness. It reveals Consciousness.]...

 

A more accurate metaphor would be that of a drop of milk in a jar of water. The milk is essentially the same substance as the water, although it is coloured by a slight taint of objectivity. It is white, not colourless. As we watch the drop of milk, it expands into the water, losing its form by degrees, until it is utterly merged into the surrounding water.

 

Eckhart Tolle ~

 

You begin your practice by choosing little movements you make in your everyday life. Putting on one sweater...and you give it total attention just as you give attention to the perception of a flower, you give attention to the doing. An alertness is there. It is not a means to an end. And then even putting on a sweater becomes a sacred act.

 

Nisargadatta ~

 

Q:  I feel like a man before a door.  I know the door is open but it is guarded by the dogs of desire and fear.  What am I to do?

N:  Obey the teacher and brave the dogs.  Behave as if they were not there.  Again, obedience is the golden rule.  Freedom is won by obedience.  To escape from prison one must unquestionably obey instructions sent by those who work for one's release.

 

The Power of Observation ~ by Kip
 

"You do not need
to get rid of resistance.

You do not need to get
rid of negativity, or insecurity.
 
You do not need to get rid
of thinking or anything at all.
 
The simple act of observing
what is here,
of consciously accepting
and watching your experience
in this moment
is all that is needed.

Just by observing
your experience in this moment
you transcend it.
 
You transcend the duality
of good and bad,
right and wrong
and enter into
the essence of this moment
that has no opposite.
 
You enter into peace
that has no opposite,
silence that has no opposite,
love that has no opposite.
 
Both war and peace
are contained in this peace.
Both noise and silence
are contained in this silence.
 
The essence of everything
you love and hate about yourself
is made out of the same bliss.
 
Like those beautiful ice
sculptures.
 
It does not matter if the sculptor
makes a demon or an angel,
it is still made of the same water.
 
It is all made out of the same peace.
 
And so when you fall into
this essence,
everything that rests in this nondual space
gets healed, gets nurtured,
gets returned not to its opposite
but to its essence.
 
You realize the essence
of everything is peace.

All of this comes
from simple observation.
 
By observing what is here
without any involvement
without any control.

Attention is everything.
Awareness is everything.

It is the doorway to
unconditional bliss and freedom.”

lightwins's picture

This is a piece, inspired by Isaac (friend/teacher), I wrote a few years ago. Do you find it helpful?

 

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All we have is this moment; this moment is the only moment that is actually real and all the experiences of our lives takes place in this, now, moment.

 

Our life is and experience. All of our life is an experience to us – out body is an experience to us, our relationships, our world – all of life is experienced through our senses and perceived and interpreted in our minds. And, all of it is experienced within the awareness of now; regardless of whether we are remembering the past or anticipating the future, or experiencing the actual sensations of the present moment, all of our experience takes place within our awareness of now.

 

Now = experience = sensation = light/sound/temperature/pressure waves = field of information which is changing every moment. Do we actually know what is happening? Can we describe the experience of now? We have our conditioned perceptions and our concepts about what’s going on. We believe we can describe ourselves and others and, often, we relate to our descriptions of ourselves and each other. How well does that work? What happens when we do that?

 

What’s it like to admit that we don’t know? What is it like to play with the quality and focus of our attention so that we stop “past-ing” and “future-ing” and, gently, softly, bring our attention to the present moment? Can we begin to soften into the sensational field of now -- prior to and beneath all the labels and concepts that we habitually associate with things and just experience the living, felt-sense of this moment? And, rather than observe our body from the watchtower in our head, what is it like to allow our awareness to drop down into the body and experience its sensations from within? Can we allow ourselves more fully opening out, into the field of information -- without knowing, without pre-conceiving -- and experiencing this multi-dimensional field of the emerging, present moment?

 

How deeply can we relax into allowing this field of experience in and into allowing our being to respond, immediately, directly to this experience?

Bob07's picture

Just want to add one more thing from my own experience...  For anyone who feels an affinity with it.

In this business of observing, or being aware, there's a sidetrack that it's easy to take and not realize it.  And that is developing a subtle identity as the observer, whose characteristics are borrowed from the best elements of a person's self-image.  I don't want to make too much of the particulars of this, but just get to the way to avoid the whole problem, which is to subject everything that appears to the mind (emotions, sense impressions of "outer" and "inner" events, images, thoughts) -- everything -- to the question, "Who is experiencing this?"  (The question becomes wordless after a while.)  This ensures that we're not identifying with anything -- even the most subtle thoughts, images, or feelings -- that may occur.  It's like stepping behind every aspect of experience as it arises and looking there for that which ultimately is aware.  Stepping back, and back, and back.  Ultimately, it's "Who am I?" answered by direct perception, not thinking.  It's all about uncompromising Awareness that gobbles up everything.  And what's left?  Is there even an observer?

lightwins's picture

Although Ramana recommends "who," I find the inquiry, "What am I?" or "What is it that is experiencing this moment?", takes me back to being the empty awareness of now more readily. "Who" has too many personality association, for me. Also, the videos of Douglas Harding's experiential exercises on http://www.headless.org are very helpful, IMO.

Bob07's picture

Agreed, John. 

"What?" is cleaner, more of an open question.

"Who?" begs the question a little, implies characteristics.  But it might also be more accessible for someone new to this kind of looking.

In the end, as you know, both are just tools to get us behind our experience, to experience Awareness aware of itself.  When the job is done the tool can be put away.

LightCommodore's picture

Bob, Lightwins, those are wonderful posts! Exactly the kind of dialog I had hoped my question would spark. There is one question though. If we already experience the awareness you describe, the question is how to remain in that awareness constantly. For me, it has been a slow, imperfect process, but I find that just like in meditation when the mind wanders, we call it back, so in everyday activity, when the mind wanders, we call it back. I believe there are masters who learn to remain continously conscious of who/what they are, but I still find that I slip in and out of that awareness a lot. I am curious whether others here have found that constant awareness, and if they did so by just repeatedly redirecting the wandering mind to true consciousness.

Thanks again for all the deep and wise replies. I hope this comment does not stop the dialog but keeps it going. I'll bet there are still others who have wisdom to share on this subject.

Namaste,
Chuck

Noa's picture

Practice makes perfect, Chuck.  Hang in there!

Bob07's picture

Noa has pretty much summed it up.  There's nothing "secret" about how to.  There's the Zen story about the master who remarked that after having practiced diligently for 60 or so years, he noticed that he was able to maintain awareness all of the time -- of course, that was a very high level of awareness.  But we can all work toward that.  I'm in no way aware most of the time, so I'm in no way a master at this.  But I'm working on it.  And you are, too; you seem to be doing just fine.  But I find that the more I realize that my own natural awareness is there already and I just need to remember that and relax into it -- and that everything and anything can happen within this awareness -- the easier it becomes.  And so I find that it helps a lot if I get rid of the idea that I have to get somewhere or attain something.  We're "there" already if we can just relax into the awareness that we are.  It's just recognizing what is and always was.  I don't know how else to say it.  Hope that helps.

tscout's picture

catching up on this post,and I smelled something...Moments later,I got to use the "butt" technique, as I stuck my bare hand into the oven to grab the garlic bread and was brought completely into the moment by a burning hand, ha! I appreciate any time I can bring myself into the present, but this is rediculous..I know just what to put on it!,,,great thread guys!

tscout's picture

   sorting out that mess Chris,thanx...It just makes me want to slap myself ! Actually, I am about to throw myself out of the cage! ha! Big changes coming around here, and I am looking forward to them,,,Peace brother,T

ChrisBowers's picture

Hey Chuck, maybe try to be the observer of the slipping away into daydreaming.  Don't attempt to mentally bring yourself back to some preconceived notion of "the present", but allow whatever the mind is doing to happen and just be the dispassionate blissful peaceful calm observer with absolutely no notion of how that should "be"...

When one thinks back on any and all determinations made (not to mention the countless myriad of determinations we each have made and forgot about), is it any surprise we struggle?  Every determination is made in ignorant disregard for the constant truth of what we already are and can never stop being, but these determinations that the ego so loves indulging become the illusory curtain that shields the inherent memory of the divine truth that we are.  "I Am" is brilliant simplicity.  "What Am I?" is proactive confusion creating perfect environment for ego drama.  It insidiously insinuates specialness and separation...

Why does the bird stay in the gilded cage when the door has been opened?  Because the bird is conditioned by the illusory determinations it has naturally made about its environment prior to the door being opened...

for us the door was never closed...

ChrisBowers's picture

Amen dear brother, Amen.....

lightwins's picture

Are you not aware of daydreaming? When we realize we are the awareness of now, regardless of whether now appears filled with daydreaming, past-ing or future-ing, we are still the inclusive, open awareness of now. That being said, my Tibetan teachers say, "Many quickies." i.e. many brief moments accumulate momentum. I find it helps to train my brain ( http://www.brainstatetech.com ) , to eyegaze and articulate the qualities of experience that arise, to use the exercises of Douglas Harding ( http://www.headless.org ), to listen to, read or watch dharma talks &/or satsangs...sometimes to listen to & sing devotional music like kirtan...

John

Bob07's picture

This has indeed been a great thread.  And I have little more to add, except to respond to what you said, Chris, about "What am I?"  (and by association, "Who am I?  I've already said why "What?" might be less fraught with problems, but that would depend upon the person asking the question.)  And let's be very clear right from the start that a question like this has no use if it just stimulates thoughts and theories; its entire value lies in its ability to hook us into looking directly into this Who or this What.

I'll preface this with a remark by Lama Tharchin, a teacher of mine, who once said that the there is only one category of spiritual practice not based on human illusion, and that category is referred to as ati yoga -- whatever tradition such a practice may be a part of is irrelevant.  (Basically, it's bare Awareness, which we've talked a lot about here.)  All of the others (the overwhelming majority of them) are based on human illusion.   But he did not denigrate these teachings; on the contrary, they have a special strength and "niche".  They can do something that bare Awareness is not always able to do.

Chris, what you say is true, ultimately.  To radically rephrase your comments, "What am I?" is based on a false premise: that I am something that I can and must discover, which is dualistic.  But that's the utility and the genius of it --despite (and even because of) the inherent problem of dualism.  It's a form of upaya, which is a pragmatic concession of Truth to the power of falsehood in our world, in our minds, to keep us enthralled.  It meets us halfway in the delusional realm where we hang out.  Said another way, the Truth (luminescent Awareness, Emptiness, I Am... choose your term) enters into my (our) illusion so as to give me something to grab onto (like a rescue rope) because in my delusion I believe that I have to save myself or be saved from the darkness and misery I perceive as my reality.  That's my illusion, my delusion.   And if my delusion is strong enough I may not be able to simply relax into Awareness or "I Am" -- in fact, in my ignorance that formulation may make no sense whatsoever to me. 

So, if I believe I need to discover who or what I am, then asking that question may be a good way to go.  In fact, it may be the only way to go.  Remember, Ramana Maharshi, the great Hindu sage of modern times, went all the way with "Who am I?"  Did he make a big mistake?  I don't think so!  The question gripped him and wouldn't leave him alone; he could do nothing else but wrestle with it, look into it, day and night.  For some people such questions are not necessary, and awareness itself can be a kind of wordless question (that's certainly true for people who have had the experience of Awareness being aware of itself.)  But anyone who is naturally gripped by a question like "What am I?" can regard it as a major blessing... like a horse that appears in the desert; he/she'd be a fool not to get on it and hang on 'till the ride is over.  A lot of people have taken that ride successfully.  And when the ride is over, the horse can be gratefully put out to pasture.

Also, as John mentioned above (on Jan. 28, 3:58pm), and I agree, "What am I?" (or variations of it like "Who/what is seeing/hearing/thinking this?") can get you behind the particulars of experience (so to speak) directly into the state of bare Awareness.  That is, it can be "applied topically" to bring up bare Awareness in someone who has at least touched that state.

In conclusion:  Something that seems flawed or inferior may not be what it seems, so best not dismiss it too casually.  We may just not understand its real value.

lightwins's picture

When did you study with Lama Tarchin? (He's been one of my teachers as well.)

John

Bob07's picture

Since 1997 and still -- once a year I attend his Trekchod retreat.  I've begun practicing with Anam Thubten when he comes to the east, as well.  He heads the Dharmata Foundation near San Francisco.  His book is a potent little gem: "No Self, No Problem."  His teaching style is very direct, no frills.  He understands Americans very well.  I feel extremely fortunate to be able to work with the both of them.  By the way, I once heard a talk by Douglas Harding and have high regard for him as well.

LightCommodore's picture

John, yes, I can be the aware observer during daydreaming and during any activity, really, but I can also fall into very unaware daydreaming too. :-)  I've learned to wake myself up periodically and come back to resting in the present. However, the mind can sometimes wander off into illusion for long periods before the mental reminder says, "Oops, you're drifting; come on back."

To clarify, it's not so much that I am unsure or insecure about this practice. Actually, it works fine and has increased the level and frequency of awareness over time. It's just nice to hear what others do and perhaps fine tune one's own practice. Chris, your suggestion about letting the return to awareness be more natural, just noticing the daydreaming, is very nice, simple, and relaxed. Listening to enlightened spiritual talks (or discussing on a forum like this ;-), as you suggested, John, is another really helpful method of training the mind. On the other hand, Ramana Maharshi's "Who am I" question never really worked for me, maybe because, after many years of practice, I can now enter awareness easily and have seen behind the curtain often enough to know that "I" am not my ego/analytical mind. But for some who can't shut off the ego-mind or get sufficient distance from it to see what it's up to, that question might work wonders to confound the over-analyzing ego.

And that was the real purpose of my questions--to open a forum in which we can talk about what works wonders for each of us and learn from each other. Thanks! And keep it going! This is great stuff!

Chuck

 

PS: Bob's (implied) comment about the difficulty of using language designed for the world of the duality illusion to describe or point to awareness hits home. "I" use the ordinary language of the ego because there is no other language, but it's like having only one red and one blue crayon when trying to draw the most beautiful, spectacular reddish-orangish-pinkish-bluish-purplish sunset you've ever seen! :-)

PPS: Really like the videos, John, at headless.org. Thank you!

lightwins's picture

This is from my friend, Sperry. He had an NDE as a child, felt lonely in the emptiness and developed a profoundly skillful way of sharing his experience with others. I feel this is very worthwhile; please feel free to explore and experience! (I have also posted this as it's own forum.)

 

"Until the life of silent grace pervades the mind and wisdom dawns, thousands of rituals based on caste and creed cannot destroy the sense of difference and duality." ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi

 

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This group consciousness practice shows you how to reliably focus the attention and intention of a group to experience the joy of feeling liberated and at peace with everyone and everything. A state referred to as Cosmic Consciousness is often achieved, an unmistakable sense of existing in a unity with all people and the whole of Nature. In a word : PARADISE.

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“You are where your attention takes you. In fact, you are your attention. If your attention is fragmented you are fragmented. When your attention is in the past, you are in the past. When your attention is in the present moment, you are in the Presence of God and God is present in You. Let yourself die to all that does not really exist and discover what does. Let go of all you think you know.”  ~ Ken Carey

How do you feel when you do something unfamiliar
that you think ‘might-not’ even appeal or matter to you ~ at all ?

Even if it's something new, I really want to explore, I know I’ll have to contend with mental and emotional resistance. For example, my conscious-mind might want to go bungee jumping, while my sub-conscious mind will do its best to succeed in sabotaging this possibility. Have you had similar experiences? Is this at all familiar?

What if there’s something we all can do ~ together ~ that's enjoyable, truly worthwhile and wonderful, that thousands have now experienced ~ all around the world? What if we can journey through our awkwardness together, satisfying our need to avoid whatever boring or awful thing we’re afraid might happen, only to arrive at a place where our mind is silent and in awe ~ even in love with what we find ?

Would you be willing to spend the time it takes to cross this uncertain threshold ~ with other intrepid souls ~ surrendering your doubts, in exchange for a much more secure sense of being than you may-have-ever experienced before; a serenity and safety and well-being that you can feel, touch and know intimately throughout the cells of your body, heart and mind?

Does this sound scary, unlikely, confusing or even impossible? Or is it deliciously tempting? As your facilitator, I want to satisfy your mind ~ in advance and set your heart and body at ease.

After we've settled in and there are no more technical challenges or questions, we begin. From here, it may take fifteen to twenty minutes to arrive in the ‘ground of our being’ ~ in what can be called a commonly-sensed-reality. Our 'arrival time' is dependent only on how readily we each relax, enjoy ourselves and fully participate ~ according to the following guidelines.

We need to start and finish on time ~ as a group,  setting aside all distractions. Stepping away temporarily is ok. Please know, later meetings, when you're more experienced, will be much more informal, where popping in-and-out can be fun and stimulating.

Having gathered for this video conference, and confirming we can all hear and see each other, we'll be asked to gaze-into the seeing-eye of our webcam ~ with unbroken eye contact. By noticing that we are being noticed, we gradually become more aware of the quality and presence of our own attention. We will be guided to speak ~ in-turn ~ two-or-three sentences, about what we’re noticing ~ as we are noticing it ~ without referring to the past, or future, and without voicing ideas “about” what we are doing or experiencing.

Over the fifteen to twenty minutes it typically takes to settle down, we will notice our mind(s) slowing down and falling silent. Our visual capacity will have expanded. We now can watch our video-images and the eye of our webcam, as well as our own awakening awareness ~ as an undivided whole.

Expressing what we’re noticing ~ as we’re noticing it ~ is “the practice”. Speaking slowly ~ as awareness ~ into the listening of our group, we begin to sense each other ‘energetically’. We experience the sound of our own voice, and a sense of being heard, as we point the group’s attention to whatever we are noticing with them. One by one, we each take our turn ~ at speaking. As the facilitator, I will help by suggesting things for us to notice.

As we enter into thoughtless awareness together, it can become challenging for some to find the motivation to speak. Deliberately exercising our ability to talk when our mind is silent, helps us learn to live without stress in our daily lives.

For some, there can be a deeply-engrained dogma and/or personal preference to not speak, in the hope of 'achieving' peace of mind ~ in a more familiar way. Yet, for the success of this practice, it’s necessary for everyone to continue speaking - on at a time - as much as anyone else, in order to wholly integrate still deeper levels of the verbal and non-verbal brain. It’s even OK to say: “I do not know what to say, yet I’m speaking slowly. And, I will now say a third sentence. This feels weird, scary, awkward and exciting ~ all at the same time.”

This practice enriches the way we pay attention together, significantly improving the quality of all our relationships. Experimentally derived over many years,  this group exercise has now worked successfully for thousands of people internationally. By actively entering into a simple conversation with specific guidelines and a meditative focus, any interested and willing group can achieve deep rapport, creativity and acceptance. Participants learn to sense, feel and think together intuitively. This leverages the whole group into a heightened state of consciousness.

With greater mental and emotional coherence, each person experiences the intelligence of being interconnected. There is the joy of feeling liberated and at peace with everyone and everything. It seems impossible to do anything wrong. What was disturbing and overwhelming, appears organized and interesting. There's an unmistakable sense of existing in a unity with all people and the whole of nature.

There are many known applications. You'll enjoy working, playing, or just being: including healing, both psychological and physical; telepathy between groups, including collective remote viewing and mind/matter interactions; rapid consensus for decision making, problem solving and creative development in families, relationships, communities, politics and business; optimum performance in sports and any type of collaborative activity - from symphony orchestras to surgical teams. This group consciousness technique can reliably focus the attention and intention of a group to perform tasks with a high level of insight, intensity and productivity.

As the content of our mind(s) no longer eclipses, or divides, our Consciousness, we experience the ecstasy of being Love its Self.

Come find out what happens next.

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 This opportunity is now being offered online ~ for free. Soon, You'll be able to tap into this quality of collective-awareness in groups anytime of the day or night - 24/7 worldwide. You will literally be helping to awaken humanity by spreading the word. We can now learn to share consciousness online.

To participate, send an email to me to:

[email protected]nectioninstitute.org,

Then,
I’ll send you an invitation to sign up for the audio/visual software we’re using. If you accept my invitation, I’ll be able to see you in my friend's list, and be able to invite you in, to either a group you have arranged for me to facilitate, or to a pre-arranged group.

You’ll need to have a working webcam and set of earbuds. If you like, I’ll re-send this overview of the guidelines in an email so you can share it with your friends. All of You will need to check this list of hardware and software 'system requirements' on your individual computers, as well as the 'speed' of your internet connection. For instructions on how to do this see below.

Kindly arrive a few minutes early, to check your earbuds and webcam. Re-boot your computer, so it is functioning at its optimum speed. Then, check, and re-check, your bandwidth several times at www.speakeasy.net and www.speedtest.net, so you can send it to me, with your name, over Instant Message at the beginning of each meeting. Please BE SURE that there will be no background noise, or use a noise-canceling microphone.
One person per computer ~ please !

System Requirements:

MAC: (10.4 Tiger or higher)
1.83 GHz Processor or Higher

PC: Windows XP, Windows Vista & Windows 7
2.2GHz Pentium 4 or Higher
1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo or equivalent

Both MAC & PC:
Minimum 512K Ram
64MB Video Card Ram
Flash 10.0.0

TokBox does not support Linux or Chrome
Browsers: Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, and Chrome

Download Bandwidth:
(Mbps = mega-bytes per second)

Groups have been four people more-or-less so far.
We'd love more of us to "come together" too.

[up to four people] 1 Mbps
[10 people] 2.5 Mbps
[for twenty people] 4 Mbps

UpLoad Bandwidth:
(Kbps = Kilobytes per second)

256 - 325 Kbps

 
We are testing a new 90 minute format to hopefully make this more appealing to newcomers. This shortened session time makes it even more important that we arrive on time, having already eliminated any background noises in our environments, and have ear buds plugged in and ready for use!  (Note: ear buds must be plugged in the entire time, even if you have to leave the room for a moment, to avoid distracting feedback to other participants.) Please feel free to sign in to tokbox.com five minutes ahead of the meeting time to make sure your internet and equipment are working.

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Bio:

As an experiential scientist who has facilitated hundreds of groups ~ internationally ~ over more than twenty years, precisely researching how any individual ~ as well as humanity as a whole ~ can consistently share collective intelligence joyfully, I'm thrilled to say: Joy arises spontaneously and unasked for ~ whenever present-moment-awareness is made aware of itself.

Awakened adepts have recommended this level of Self-reflective awareness for thousands of years. Through a near-death experience at age four, I re-discovered this fact, and over the course of several decades thoroughly tested a simple and readily accessible way that reliably supports any group to enter into this level of joyful consciousness together: in person or via webcam online.  A film project is now underway that's designed to provide this 'experience' to audiences in theaters, to awaken us to our collective Self.

Sperry Andrews, co-director
Human Connection Institute
www.connectioninstitute.org

ChrisBowers's picture

As is true with most of my comments, I was sparked by the particular notion of determination and what that ends up doing, as much illusion is the product of premature or unnecessary determination.  And as is true with most of my comment, I am relating to my own personal experience with making premature determinations with the ego driven incentive of wanting to be "right" about some "thing".

I have come to find in my own experience that to tend this mental garden I must do away with the vast majority of determination and realize that the 5 senses I use to navigate this physical playground are so very limited to this physical playground, so in some way I must find a place to abandon those senses in favor of something there, always there, buried in layers upon layers of delusional determination deemed to be truth.

Such errant conclusions are now weeds in my mental garden.  I have much weeding to do...

Bob07's picture

So do we all have a lot of weeding to do.  And I, too, passionately want to be "right."  It seems the farther I go with this Awareness stuff, the more unflattering crap gets stirred up.  I'm encouraged, though, by the fact that most of the time now I can just observe it as phenomena -- with some embarrassing exceptions.  Crap/weeds are just phenomena.  We needn't take any of it personally -- especially since personhood itself is deeply in question.  But sometimes we do (I do), but hey, that's just more weeds to be aware of.  More fuel for the fire.

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