Mindful Seeking - Awareness

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Day 7: Mindful Seeking (Awareness)

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.” Thích Nhat Hanh

What do you seek? Where are you now, and where are you going? What is your direction, and what are your aspirations? What are your responsibilities? What are your priorities?

We often find ourselves on cruise control, acting habitually and being so swept up in the momentum of our daily lives that we don't take the time to check where we are or where we are headed. 

One of the greatest opportunities we have to see ourselves is in the mirror of relationship. A means for Mindful Seeking is to look at how people are responding to us and let that be the opportunity to understand something about the way we habitually operate.

We can use mindful seeking in all of our activities—solitary and relational—as mirrors in which to discover something important about ourselves and that we can use what we discover as valuable information in the process of arriving at a deeper self-understanding. Finally, the ultimate purpose of this seeking is to function as a mirror reminding us of our higher purpose, as a way into the interior where our true Self resides.

For example, if we do intensive asana (postures) without being adequately self-reflective, we may end up destabilizing our hips, creating vulnerability in our lower back, and ruining our knees. If, however, we consider the asana practice itself as a mirror, we are certainly more apt to avoid injury and may even come away with a better understanding of ourselves as well.

For many of us who are drawn to styles of asana practice that reinforce existing tendencies, this is a tricky point. For example, if we are the high-paced, hyperactive type, we might be drawn toward a very active practice—one that makes us sweat and that generates lots of heat—whereas what we may really need is a more soothing and calming practice. Or if we are the slow-moving, sluggish type, we may be drawn to a very gentle and relaxing practice, whereas what we may really need is a more active and stimulating one.

When we practice, it is important to look carefully, both at who we are and what is actually happening in our practice so that we have a constant feedback mechanism through which we accurately feel what is happening in our systems, and as a result of which we learn increasingly more about ourselves. As we go deeper and deeper into the process of self-investigation and self-discovery, we also go deeper and deeper into the Self, until eventually we discover (or uncover) the Divine.

Mindful Seeking Exercise

Take a moment to look out of your window and see all there is to be seen. Find something you normally do not pay much attention to and fixate on that object. Ignore labeling this object as a “grass” or “rug.” Instead, try to notice the colors, the patterns, or the textures. Try to look from the perspective of someone unfamiliar with these sights.

Listen to “Untangle” to Learn More