Expanding Our Awareness

I have been in the meditation and yoga scene for quite a few years now. These things began as a practices to alleviate experiences with anxiety and depression, but have now turned into practices that expand my perception and awareness of reality – A practice that began as a form psychological therapy that turned into a deep spiritual practice.

Over the years, I have spent countless hours refining my skills. I stopped the counting around the 200 hour mark. I have read many books on mindfulness meditation and have heard many stories of people who have had profound experiences of contentedness and transcendence. Others claim to enter states of pure bliss and ecstasy.

I have always remained skeptical, even though I know intellectually that these experiences can happen in people, given the right conditions. I find my mind to be still full of so much tension, so much so that I still have difficulties letting go.

Although my experiences during things like seated meditation have been quite ordinary, I have adopted a new practice in walking, and this practice has really taken off for me.

I walk with no purpose. There is no destination, there are no headphones, there is no set pace. There are no goals of calories burned or kilometers traveled. Its literally a mindful stroll through the streets at a very slow pace.

Never have I felt so connected before as I do when I am on these walks. I walk passed things like trees, and its as if I am seeing these things for the first time in my life. I am seeing the colors in a way I am not used to seeing. I am smelling and hearing and experiencing things in such a different way, this sense of curiosity just overtakes me. Everything becomes so alive and vibrant, I just stare at things with so much intrigue, its like I’m seeing, hearing and smelling everything for the first time.

While on these walks, I feel so blissed out and in love with everything around me. I make eye contact and exchange smiles with the people who I walk passed, as I feel so open and connected. I am not distracted by music in my ears or a call on the phone and I have no place to be.

I’m in these states of peace and bliss and I lose touch with the chaos in the mind. Most of the time, the mind shuts off almost completely.

If I come across an object that catches my attention, I can get stuck in these small trances, where I just stare and get lost in the details of whatever it is that I am observing.

Our mind identifies objects and then comes to its quick conclusions about those objects, but the reality is, there is so much more to that object than what our minds tell us.

How often do we actually stop and truly observe these objects without coming to quick conclusions and labels?

For instance, what you see is not “just a tree”, as the mind will tell you, but rather it is a complex living mechanism, a whole system of cells that work together to create what you see. Your mind gives it its label, but in reality what you see is just 1% of the whole picture.

Hardly ever do we slow down and really pay attention to the finer details.

There is so much more to things than meets the minds eye. With curiosity and close observation, we can start to fully experience things for what they truly are.