There are many ways of meditation preached from different schools and gurus. Most people believe that meditation has to be a silent, deep concentration and if there is too much noise they can’t actually focus on their mind and practice or they close into themselves.
According to those systems, after long meditation periods you can achieve the Enlightenment and be free. Something like a gift coming from your subconscious and makes you realize how the world works, the complete understanding of every living creature and the universe..
Now, my question is, how can you understand what is around you if you are not actually aware of what exactly is around you?
The Awareness sometimes is forgotten in this meditation systems. There is this fictional idea of deep concentration during martial arts sparring sessions and most people get beaten up on the floor because they concentrate too much on their mind and not at the actual situation.
I feel like the real meditation has been over preached and the results badly advertised during the years ending up of giving false understanding of the real meaning of it.
But as my Sifu taught me, there is meditation and “isolation”.
Meditation for Awareness is to be totally awake and understanding of the reality of yourself, your being, and what is around you.
After my first session I actually gave a personal crystal clear meaning to a famous quote I saw in Bruce Lee’s book: “It is like a finger pointing a way to the moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory“.
How to develop Awareness:
Stand straight with your feet together, or sitting on a chair, or anywhere when you feel comfortable.
With practice you can even do it in few seconds while waiting the green at the traffic light.
Close your eyes, realize the position of your all body, starting from your spine. Keep it straight from the head, neck to the tailbone, but don’t force it.
Relax your muscles and tensions.
Breathe with your low abdomen and while breathing, feel the air, the smell, and the temperature of the air coming into your nose through your lungs, don’t over breathe, just feel it.
Pay attention to the sounds, what can you hear? distant sounds, background sounds, traffic, birds, waves, wind, your breathing, your earth beating.
Try to notice any sound that is around you. Don’t force your hearing, just let the sounds reach you like an open radar that is just listening any little incoming wave.
Slowly move your tongue around your mouth and teeth, roll it around, how is the taste? what does your tongue feel while touching your teeth, the gums?
Move your eyes around, do you see dark or any color or many colors? don’t look with your mind, look with your eyes but keep them closed. Realize that the eyes are just projecting the colors of the world around you in to your mind. The light hit the objects and the colors of the object reflect into your eyes.
Be aware of what things really are. With your eyes closed you may see black, or white or other colors. It depends on your eyelid and how much light is pointed on it from the external side. It doesn’t mean anything what you see with your eyes closed.
What matters is that you notice your real and actual sight in that moment, whatever is it.
Feel your whole body, what is your body touching, how is the feeling of your clothes on your skin, what is the temperature like.
Notice the feelings of your being, the feeling of your breathe, feeling of your body, feeling of your taste, feeling of your sight, feeling of your hearing. All at once.
Practice to have them all together at once. Don’t hold them, let them go, let them flow and let them capture always new feelings. That is your awareness of the present moment.
Slowly open you eyes but keep that feeling with you. Keep the same breathing, notice the sounds and your body. The eyes start to perceive the colors and you can see things exactly for what they are.
Start with a session of few minutes a day, and try to do it as often as possible until you are able to connect your 5 senses all the time in your day. Forget your crazy thoughts, if you are paying attention to your awareness your mind won’t be able to create its own thoughts. The process to focus on your 5 senses at once is already a big job for your brain, and your mind is simply not able to process other jobs (i.e. open eye dreams, thoughts flowing). Nobel prize winner Daniel Kanheman mention it several times in his book: “Thinking, Fast and Slow”.
The more you practice the more you will be able to keep this awareness with you and eventually will become part of you in your every day life at every moment, even without closing your eyes. Your thoughts come from your memory of the past. They make you stagnant. Your memory is always running in background. But if your mind is fully engaged in the present then your life start flowing with the present. The now, this very moment is made by you being aware of what is happening within and around you. You will realize by yourself that the past is unchangeable, the future is unwritten and the present is the only moment that you can actually act on it.
This meditation meets Tao and Zen teachings. After few sessions, many Tao and Zen quotes will become more clear to you.
In Philosophical words:
Knowing others is wisdom
Knowing the self is enlightenment.
Mastering others requires force
Mastering the self requires strength
He who knows he has enough is rich
Perseverance is a sign of will power.
He who stays where he is endures.
To die but not to perish is to be eternally present.
(Tao Te Ching)
“The usefulness of a pot comes from its emptiness.”
The Way of the supreme (Tao) is not difficult,
If only people will give up preferences.
Like not, dislike not.
(Xinxin Ming translated by Lok Sang Ho)
In Simple words:
How can you reach an awareness like Jason Bourne?