Awareness

I often use this word, awareness, as a key word for both my blogs and Rosemary’s. It is a good synonym for “consciousness” and, I’m sure you know by now, we are all about increasing our level of consciousness, our awareness! I don’t think I have ever written about this subject specifically, but several events lately have caused me to pause and wonder just how developed my awareness is!

The other day I went to Radio Shack to replace a power supply for Rosemary’s portable DVD player. I took the player with me to be sure I got the right one with the correct tip to plug it in. I purchased the adapter which we tested in the store; it worked perfectly and even brought up the DVD in the player. I left the store with my purchase and drove off in the car for the next errand. When I got to my next stop I looked around for the DVD player and it was gone. I ransacked the car thinking it had slid off the seat or under a seat. It was nowhere to be found. I went back to the store in case I had left it there. No one had seen it. I retraced my route in case I had left it on the car roof and driven off with it there. No sign of it! Now I was frustrated, confused and upset; how could a DVD player simply disappear. I returned the power adapter to the store. The player has never shown up!

Awareness. My awareness shifted focus at some point in this transaction and I lost a DVD player. I was distracted by my next errand and failed to successfully complete the current errand.

And then again, the other day, I was preparing for my Qigong class. I have this delightful alarm-clock, Zen meditation timer that I began using a couple of weeks ago to gently remind me with a very pleasant chime where I am within the schedule of the class and practice. The timer was not in the bag I use to carry things back and forth to class. I looked everywhere, even the car in case it had fallen out of the bag in transit. A day or so later I decided to look for it in the place I used to keep it before I started using it for Qigong; and there it was! I have no recollection of putting it back in its old place!

These two stories remind me of an old favorite Zen story of mine; in this version it’s called “Full Awareness” and goes like this:

After ten years of apprenticeship, Tenno achieved the rank of Zen teacher. One rainy day, he went to visit the famous master Nan-in. When he walked in, the master greeted him with a question, “Did you leave your wooden clogs and umbrella on the porch?”

“Yes,” Tenno replied.

“Tell me,” the master continued, “did you place your umbrella to the left of your shoes, or to the right?”

Tenno did not know the answer, and realized that he had not yet attained full awareness. So he became Nan-in’s apprentice and studied under him for ten more years.

Yes, I can easily say I have, at least, 10 more years of practice to reach “full awareness.”

I am finishing this post just after returning from my Svaroopa Yoga practice. The opening and closing Shavasana focuses on body awareness; whole body awareness from the tips of the toes to the crown of the head. The guided meditation is a wonderful practice of total relaxation and yet a heightened sense of awareness. Ten years more is not such a long time!

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PS: The contemplation for my yoga practice this week speaks pointedly to this subject of awareness:

Real happiness abides in Self-knowledge alone. All else is fleeting. To know one’s Self is to be blissful always. – Ramana Maharshi

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  1. June 28, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Another great reminder about being mindful. Thanks for posting.

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