Sometimes, in our struggle to open ourselves up to our evolving, spiritual selves, we spend so much time trying to listen, learn, decipher, and understand, trying to “know,” that we stop experiencing. We don’t or can’t let what is be. After all, we know there is more because we’ve seen it, felt it, and experienced it. We kick our spiritual/ psychic selves into high gear, to an almost frenzied pitch, leaving our physical selves dazed and lagging behind in the dust, creating a great imbalance. We often react to the imbalance by shutting down, and turning off that which is causing the imbalance, heightening the confusion, because, after all, what we resist tends to persist. We are, again, not letting what is, be. Remember, there is even order to disorder, an order to randomness, which, when left alone , becomes evident. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office"
In our eagerness, we try to force our inner selves to emerge, to impose form to them. What we forget is that our inner essence is actually a process, which should be allowed to take its natural form. While trying to develop our inner selves, we try to quiet our minds and control our thoughts, a worthy goal, helping us to increase our awareness, bringing about calmness and clarity, and space to grow. This process, however, also shifts the focus to knowing, and away from experiencing.
Following are several exercises in experiencing:
When you have an hour or two of free time, go to a museum of your choice, if you like art, an art museum will do nicely. Wander about, with no particular plan. Let your natural reactions guide you as to what to do next. Wander from room to room. Look at what you are drawn to. Don’t force yourself to analyze it. Just experience it. Other variations could be at the park, a library, a bookstore, or even the mall. One of my favorite places to do this is Borders Books and Music.
Flowing with awareness exercise. This exercise helps you to just let things happen. All you need do is notice what you experience, think and feel, but not do anything to change it. This is not an easy task when “the judge” inside you steps in. Follow the path of your awareness as it meanders, dips and climbs. Set aside judgments when your intellect jumps in to comment. (i.e.: this is silly, why am I thinking this.) If you loose awareness of the flow, gently bring yourself back to it and resume. Continue 5-10 minutes, or more.
The Guided Day-Dream exercise helps to sensitize you to your unconscious mind, helps you to pay attention to detail, and opens the door for dream awareness. Sit in a comfortable position, and close your eyes. (Notice, this is the only one of these exercises eliminating the use of your physical eyes.) Picture yourself at an inspiring place in nature. Let your imagination roam around the area, but do not form a plan, or goal, just wander about, or “sit down” if you like, and observe. When you are finished exploring, open your eyes.
The above exercises are actually taken from the book Simple Taoism, A Guide to Living in Balance, written by Simpkins and Simpkins. When I first read them, they struck a chord in me, because they are exercises I already practiced in one form or another long before reading the book. The first often in a book store, or the mall, but at the art museum or a gallery when I was able to get there and even my “Mommy” vacations were designed that way. The awareness exercise is something I have often done, but called a stream of consciousness exercise, this can also be done in written form, if your hand can keep up! The last has always been a tactic of mine; I am after all, a dreamer.
I hope the above will be helpful to those of you, one special friend in particular, who are out of balance.