Feelings arise deep within us. They don’t care whether we are aware of them or not. We often don’t know when they are born and took off into the world but we keep broadcasting our feelings. It is like the auto-pilot running our flight. We are not on control, but the flight is on. As we don’t keep track of our feelings, we are often stunned by the consequences they wreak upon our lives. We are surprised every moment by the events that appear on our life. We further re-broadcast our reactions to those events by way of our ‘judgments’ as right or wrong, good or bad. These ‘judgments’ then tend to become the next set of feelings, which we send out in order to create the onward episodes. It is a constant drama going on there on the stage of life.
When we broadcast our feelings they but follow the dumb rules of transmission. They produce the exact and appropriate results and project them back upon their source. Science and its rules have no intelligence of their own. They, as such, have no choice or power of discrimination, no capacity to judge or emote – be either liberal or restrained. The episodes result in exact proportion of the feelings, which caused them. If the feelings were bad, stressful, uncertain and apprehensive – the episodes they will bring back will be frightening, vulnerable, threatening or insecure. If the feelings, on the contrary, were calm, faithful, compassionate and confident – the results would be events of opportunities to become wholesome, prosperous, rich and secure.
The catch here is, ‘feelings’ are liberal by nature. They emanate with spontaneity on the basis of the character of its owner. You can’t maneuver your feelings. Once they are born, they would have their own course. They will inevitably flow out. Do we, then, have any control on our feelings? No. But, the good news is, we can, of course, affect their intensity or speed. We can either accelerate or retard the speed of their flow and thereby partially affect their consequences. This is the only and most powerful resource available to us. By applying this resource we can not only greatly change the episodes of our life but can also gain control over the patterns of our feelings right at the level of their genesis. What is this resource?
Awareness is nothing but being attentive about our feelings – their types, patterns, nature, characteristics, degree of intensity and possible consequences. Learning to be more and more aware, we can consciously affect the course of destiny. This is the only aid given to man and indeed the one which he is hardly able to use. The greatest irony of the human kind is that we are unaware of the power of awareness to change our life.
The greatest challenge about ‘awareness’ is that you cannot use it as a strategy. It is not a solution package to certain problems. To be aware of your feelings require an attitude. It has to be turned into a habit. The flow of feelings is so fast and kaleidoscopic that you cannot control the consequences of your life by being aware of it for some time. One needs to develop the knack of being aware most of the time. Only then, the quality and pattern of the feelings can be changed or improved.
Awareness also means ‘presence’. When you are aware, you are in your presence. This means you are also in the present moment – now – fully awakened. This awakening will make your feelings creative, enriching, delightful, enlightened and divine. The quality of our broad-cast will become more positive, harmonized, prosperous and noble. Accordingly, the episodes of our lives can become more satisfying, prosperous and beautiful.
As mentioned before, without ‘awareness’, life is like an aircraft run by the auto-pilot. The human pilot is not in control right now. Consequently, the control power of the skilled pilot is not available. Only the human pilot is able to keep their direct control of the overall flight conditions – all it’s predictable and unpredictable circumstances in and out. As I was writing this article, I remembered the news published in some of the Indian Dailies on 6 Dec 2010. It said, one of the major domestic flights suddenly bumped down its steady altitude by 7000ft when the pilot went to the fresh room placing the flight on the auto-pilot mode, delegating the supervision upon the co-pilot for a few minutes. The lives of so many passengers were saved as the pilot rushed back and took control of the flight. There could have been many debacles. The plane could crash against other flights that were flying on lower altitudes. Following the episode, the co-pilot of this flight was sent back to his training school as investigations revealed that he did not learn how to take control off the auto-pilot in refractory conditions.
The above situation gave me a clear idea about how the role of ‘awareness’ was similar to that of the human ‘pilot’.
In the context of the human flights we need to keep the control by raising our ‘awareness’. Once we do it long enough we may reach the stage to use our auto-pilot mode judging well when and how long we should withdraw our direct control, however, still maintaining our supervision from a close quarter.
Many psychologists agree that ‘awareness’ is the beginning of change and it is nine times more powerful than knowledge. How? All things and beings bear certain frequencies that vary from time to time within a specified range appropriate to its own species. Only human beings, however, are granted the personal power to become aware of their feelings. Awareness increases the level of our frequency. The moment we are aware, our feelings are empowered with higher energy and are transmitted into the outside world with greater velocity. Consequently, such feelings become endowed with greater power of attraction in order to bring back more and more positive outcomes into our lives. Thus our lives can change.
There are three ways – but none is exclusive of the rest. They need to be integrated. These are: willingness, yoga and meditation. You begin with determination – practice awareness on and off and feel the results. Avoid thinking. Feel, instead! Tell yourself, ‘I am not seeing, hearing or thinking – I am feeling all these, I am experiencing!’ Then, feel the wonders happening within you and its reflections upon the outer circumstances. Often imagine, how the world would be if there were no names, no definitions, no words, nomenclatures, descriptions or explanations. How this world would be if we could spontaneously discriminate everything around just by recognizing them and without having to define them as rose, woodpecker or mango. May be our ego will dissolve and we should then be one with everything. Our awareness then would be filled with greater energy, spontaneity and power. We shall be more present – filled with presence and now.
Then comes yoga. Please trim out a few avoidable occupations and bring yoga into your life. Yoga is not just asanas or postures. It is rather a practice of attitudes. It is about connecting the body and mind to start with and then finally with spirit. With practice this connection is established slowly, naturally and spontaneously. I suggest you begin by reading a few preliminary books of some great saints of India.
You don’t have to launch yourself into meditation. As you begin the journey you just arrive there. You don’t have to enter into meditation, do meditation. It happens – it dawns upon you. When we are ready, it happens and once it does, it mostly stays with you. Regular and sincere meditation will set forth the spirit of improving our awareness. In fact, meditation augments the level of our awareness generally. Those who meditate are characteristically more alert, attentive and aware about everything – self and the surrounding – the inner and outer worlds. After that you can feel The Magic of Awareness.
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