Reflection: Our goal: To know our self as awareness, allowing us to live in greater freedom and peace. The ego will no longer be who we are. Instead it will become an expression of our true self -- compassionate, blissful awareness. We engage in two types of activities: 1. exercises where we can experience our self as awareness, 2. inquiry into the reality beneath the "I" we speak of when referring to our self.
As awareness we enter a space of bliss and compassion. But how do we get to this place? Ancient spiritual traditions suggest meditating on the area in the center of the upper forehead known as the third eye or the inner eye. Research in neurobiology suggests the very same area is the origin and location of our self awareness. Let's explore this area, focusing our attention on the place where neuroscience and mystical intuition converge.
Exercise: In this exercise we will turn our attention to the area of your brain behind the center of your high forehead.
Intention: The intention of this exercise is to gain insight and further experience into the nature and identity of you as a silent awareness in the eternity of the present moment.
Silence: Once again, as in the previous exercise ( see There Is a Beauty Within You #7: Where is this Self of Soap Opera and Love Song ), become conscious of the location of yourself inside the middle of your head. Take your time to establish this awareness. Once you have, maintain this focus for a few moments.
Next, shift your attention to the area of your brain behind the center of your high forehead. Gently focus on this area. Continue breathing in and out smoothly and slowly while you focus your attention here. Stay conscious of being a point a silent awareness in the center of your head. Continue to gently focus on the area of your brain just behind the center of your high forehead. Relax the muscles around your eyes and forehead.
Now imagine yourself moving from the center of your brain into the area of your brain directly behind the center of your high forehead. Allow yourself to be here as awareness. Continue breathing in and out smoothly and gently. Stay conscious of being a point of silent awareness in this area of your brain.
If you find yourself distracted return to this area while repeating, "I am silent awareness."
Inquiry: You have done several exercises now focusing on consciously being a point of awareness. Is it beginning to become a part of your reality now? Is self-awareness starting to become the experience you refer to in your mind when you say "I"?
Of course when you complete the sentence, "I want this . . ." or "I am that. . ." etc. then our desires and attributes come into focus, but keep some distance from them. Allow your identity to remain grounded in awareness. Whose desires are they? They are yours as a point of awareness. And whose attributes (big, small, good, bad, etc.) are they? They are yours as a point of awareness.
By maintaining your sense of being a point of silent awareness first and foremost, you will find a new strength and resiliency. You won't dig your heels in as deeply when your ego is being challenged to change and grow. You'll be more able to change your self-image if it doesn't reflect accurately the beauty you are as compassionate awareness. You'll be less susceptible to the emotional and mental manipulations and abuses of others. This is because you know you are not the idea or image in your head susceptible to criticisms and complaints.
Intention Renewal: Allow the intention of this exercise to continue. You are silent awareness in the eternity of the present moment.
Service: Extend compassion and forgiveness to everyone. Recall your experiences of being a point of awareness. From this point of stability and strength, see the negative actions of others only as the fruit of their ignorance of who they really are. Unaware of their perfection their negative actions come out of need and want, insecurity and fear.
Of course this doesn't mean become a punching bag. That isn't good for you or them. Instead, from a place of forgiveness and compassion, do the most loving thing for all concerned, including you. For example, reflecting back to an abuser your own sense of self-respect by leaving an abusive relationship is a very positive thing for all involved. It may be the first time the abuser has seen self-respect modeled, becoming a seed planted in their own heart.
Background Reading: Quartz, Steven R. Ph.D., and Sejnowski, Terrence J., Ph.D., Liars, Lovers, and Heroes, What the New Brain Science Reveals About How We Become Who We Are, HarperCollins Publishers, New York, NY, 2002.