Living as Awareness—A Formidable Task

There are many ways we can approach living as awareness. One of these is through the practice of intentionally becoming absorbed. In this practice, we allow awareness to do what it is naturally inclined to do—which is to become what it is aware of—with the stipulation that this becoming occurs under conscious supervision. The yogic effort here is to consciously control a basic function of life that usually occurs unconsciously and without control. sideways tiger

As we begin this practice of intentionally becoming absorbed, we are an observer who is observing an observed. As this practice progresses, that observer gradually becomes so absorbed in observing that it becomes its observed to the extent the “I” that observer perceived itself to be no longer exists—at least for the duration of that state of being absorbed. Example: A surfer becomes so intentionally absorbed in riding a wave he becomes the wave.

When awareness gets designated as the observed and the observer becomes absorbed in that, only awareness exists. If awareness, the premier representative of Self, can remain absorbed in itself and resist the urge to surge out into manifestation to get absorbed into something else, it can eventually withdraw back to the “the brink of the Absolute” and from there merge back into its Self—the essence of all.

Early on in this practice of intentionally becoming absorbed, we discover we can easily become one with something we are interested in, but have great difficulty in finding that same level of integration with something we couldn’t care less about.

At this point, we might wonder if we are ready for a deeper practice of yoga, for we can see that yoga demands an interest in becoming absorbed in awareness. Yet, as soon as we figure out that awareness comes with bliss and we have worked it out within ourselves that it’s okay to enjoy bliss, which is something everyone really wants, suddenly we can accept that we might just be able to develop the sort of interest that would make a deeper yoga practice possible.

Soon enough, however, we also come to the sober realization that awareness, unlike surfing, is illusively subtle, and that attempting to grab and hold anything illusively subtle is like “trying to catch the wind in a paper bag.”

Those who follow their yoga past this point of realizing a simple pursuit is not always an easy pursuit usually get at least a little humble. The good news here is that, although getting humble is not always fun—especially if it is arrived at though humiliation—it’s always a blessing, for there is nothing that humility can’t help, especially in yoga.

In the self-effacement of genuine humility, our yoga of working with awareness gets softened, our character becomes pliable and our life adjusts smoothly to change. Through all of this, we cannot help but see that, from the perspective of pure awareness, the many “I’s” of the world are fragile and forever morphing, and in that morphing forever homing in on Self. The delight of this insight inspires us to make our daily decisions from the inside-out as a soul in a body rather than from the outside-in as a body with a soul.

Next to the needs of the body, the needs of the soul don’t feel like needs at all, for they aren’t infiltrated with that desperate, fear-of-death clutching that comes with physical existence. All the soul needs is the exercise of its intuition to derive wisdom from experience.