11/08/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

There Is a Beauty Within You #5: I Am Silent Awareness

Sunlight travels over 91 million miles and then with less than a mile to go, blocked by a cloud. You are compassionate awareness radiating blissful love and then with less than a moment to go, blocked by a thought.

Much of our spiritual sculpting to release the angel within ( see Sculpting Tools For Freeing the Angel Within ) focuses on chipping away at our attachment and attention to our thoughts, in particular reducing our attachment to the thought we have in our mind when we say, "I."- "I did . . .," "I want . . ," I believe . . .," "I think . . ." Who is this "I" we reference so easily? The power of our identification and attachment to this idea of "I" is strong enough to block out the experience of our being a point of awareness.

Let's begin the work of reducing our attachment to the idea of "I" by engaging in experiences of awareness using our spiritual sculpting tools of silence, service, inquiry and intention.

Exercise: Be Silent Awareness

Intention: To discover and experience yourself as silent awareness.

Silence: Look around you and find an object to look at for a few seconds. Did the act of looking make any sound? Of course not. Keep looking around and listen to the sound of looking. There is no sound associated with the act of looking itself. The act of seeing is a silent process. Open and close your eyes a few times, each time looking at the same object when you open your eyes. Each time you began to look again did you notice any noise with the act of looking? Of course not. There is no sound associated with the looking itself. Looking is a perfectly silent process. Look around you. Take the time to experience being a point of silent awareness looking.

Let's try a variation of this exercise with the process of listening. Is the act of listening itself a silent process? Get in touch with the sounds all around you. See if you can hear any sound associated with the act of listening itself. Does listening itself cause a sound? Once again, as with seeing, the process of listening is a perfectly silent process. Take the time to experience being a point of awareness listening.

Doing variations of this exercise on the remaining senses of taste, touch, and smell also will show awareness of sensory input is a silent process.

Inquiry: Now let me pose some questions to you. Who was looking? Who was listening? It is reasonable to answer, "I was looking. I was listening." If that is true then what can you now say about yourself? You are silent awareness.

This is an experience that can be easily missed when we are engaged with our thoughts, particularly the thought we have in our mind when we say, "I." Come back to this experience often. It waits for you like an oasis of peace in a desert of noise - I am silent awareness. Rest in this experience when you are feeling overwhelmed by the demands and concerns of your "I." Take a break from being "I" and be silent awareness instead.

Intention Renewal: Allow the intention of this exercise to continue. Give this insight and experience time to deepen - be silent awareness.

Service: As a silent point of awareness, practice noticing the needs of others. Respond to those needs as you are able in a peaceful, balanced, unforced manner. Practice waiting for the response coming from you as a point of silent awareness.

Background Reading: Talks with Ramana Mahrashi - On Realizing Abiding Peace and Happiness, Inner Directions Publishing, 2001, ( ).

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