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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Practicing Pure Awareness cont'd

When I practice pure awareness it becomes easy for me to see the transitions occuring between the different levels of consciousness. When my mind is thinking of something other than what my body is doing, such as walking down stairs and thinking of a conversation I had with my wife yesterday, I am definitely not in pure awareness; I'm in waking sleep. It is easy for me to catch myself in waking sleep now, and when I do, I immediately come out of it and go right into pure awareness.

The other morning I woke up with a sore throat. The soreness was just on one side and stung a little when I swallowed. I immediately thought, "Throat cancer." And then I said to myself, "Where did that thought come from?" I looked deep into my past and remembered my mother calling me on several occasions claiming that either she or my father had cancer of one type or another. Although there has never been anybody on either side of our family having cancer, my mother could turn practically any symtom into "cancer." My thought of throat cancer probably stemmed from either my upbringing or something dredged up from genetics. By the way, the sore throat went away in a few days.

By observing my thoughts I have learned that the connection between thoughts, emotions and reactions is tightly bound like boards glued together with Elmer's. A thought can create an emotion like worry, anger, sadness, happiness, hate, envy, love and so on. Those emotions in turn can cause a reaction in the body either internally or externally. For example, worry can cause ulcers; anger can cause high blood pressure; love may urge someone to hug somebody and hate can start a fight.

By being able to observe my thoughts allows me to become someone or something other than myself - a higher consciousness, if you will. This is what many of the sages and gurus call the "True Self." The True Self is not exactly the same thing as pure awareness because with the True Self there is not necessarily a feeling of connection to a higher Source. The True Self is more or less the same thing as the Witness. When I am the Witness, or the True Self, I am capable of observing the self with all its thoughts, emotions and reactions. Usually when the Witness takes over, the self no longer behaves negatively with thoughts of worry, anger, hate or envy. It becomes a loving, caring and understanding self.

The one who I think I am is an illusion and does not exist except in my mind. The one who I truly am, the Self is beyond thought and encompasses everything. Thre is only one - the Witness. I can now hear the call of a higher center, I listen to it. I don't avoid my thoughts and emotions and I don't go against what once imprisoned me. I am beginning to understand my reality as a whole, and it is the act of seeing my consciousness. It is that which sees and that which is seen blending into a single being, an uncomtaminated energy that is free from negative thoughts and emotions.

It has been a long time coming for me to develop the ability to witness my thoughts. It has taken much practice in meditation, self-observation and self-remembering. I am at the point now where I am beginning to see progress. I am beginning to really understand myself and thoroughly understnad why I react the way I do and do the things I do. The ability to catch a thought before it causes a negative reaction or a negative emotion is a monumental step for me. It is a feeling of freedom and emancipation from being tied down by negative thoughts and emotions.

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