For the remaining months of this year we will discuss some of the more interesting and advanced discoveries that will greet you along your journey to mindfulness. As with all of the concepts and techniques presented at A Meditative Moment, if an idea at first seems confusing or difficult to understand just stick with your actual meditation practice. Eventually you will discover everything discussed here in your own direct experience. Then you can express your insight and understanding in whatever way seems best to you.
Mindfulness is the practice of allowing each spontaneous event in awareness all the room it needs to be exactly what it is. Allowing each event in awareness to manifest in its own space and time - however positive or negative, bland or intense, superficial or profound - creates the foundation for a new level of awareness. This new level of awareness is ultimately discovered to be the conscious space in which ALL of your experience is occurring. And just as a movie screen does not actually get wet during a scene on the ocean, this dimension of pure awareness or pure presence remains ultimately unaffected by whatever is arising within it.
The discovery of this field of presence is a very interesting thing. This dimension of your own awareness is all inclusive. Therefore it is without conflict and self-division. Everything in awareness has it's proper place. This results in a sense of peace and deep congruence within your self. And it results in a type of effortlessness to whatever action is needed to meet the demands of the moment.
As your mindfulness skills deepen and you begin to gain greater access to this dimension of presence, you will begin to realize that who you are is not limited to the events that are arising in your awareness. Many of us believe that we ARE the events arising in our awareness. For example, we believe we are our thoughts. We believe we are our emotions. However your mindfulness practice will eventually reveal that you are not limited to the events arising in your awareness. You are also the field of awareness in which everything is occurring.
In time you will also realize that all of the experiences that arise within this field of awareness ultimately come from you. Even the most intense physical sensation or strongest emotion is in some sense an expression of yourself. For example the pain that comes from touching a hot stove can best be understood as an important message you are sending yourself to move your hand before further injury. As they say in Zen, the beauty is not really in the rose it is in you - because you can recognize it. This broader understanding of yourself further changes your relationship with the present moment from one of control and resistance to one of complete and total acceptance and peace.
Over time this state of observation and expanded awareness will become more and more a steady backdrop to your experience. It feels like a still and Silent Witness - behind and yet containing - all the experiences which occur within it. This state of witnessing is so devoid of ego interference that it is sometimes described as inner stillness or mental silence. As you begin to identify more with this field of awareness than with the events arising within it, you will find yourself experiencing deeper and deeper levels of peace, integration, and wholeness within yourself.