The Conscious Open Awareness Meditation: What Is It?
Open Awareness Meditation, likewise known as “open attention,” “open tracking,” or “soft focus,” is a form of mindfulness meditation in which you allow the many things present in your consciousness (noises and other sensory input, in addition to your ideas and emotions) to arise in your awareness and then naturally fall away as they are changed by various noises, thoughts, and so on. This sort of meditation is considered a “yin” practice.
The ancient concept of yin and yang refers to the two essential sides of nature– both spiritual and physical, both womanly and masculine. This does not refer specifically to male or female, but to the manly and womanly in all aspects of life. Yin is the womanly aspect of all things and is related to that which is expansive, open, and receptive, while yang is the masculine element of all things and is connected with that which is exact, active, and specific. Every person has both yin qualities and yang qualities, and the exact same holds true of meditation practices.
Attention is the yin to concentration’s yang. Attention (mindfulness) and concentration (focus) collaborate to offer a complete, rounded experience of being both concentrated on the task at hand (whatever it might be), in addition to having total awareness of, and an open mind to, the many elements of the minute you remain in. In many meditation practices, you will be working out some level of both concentration and open attention.
The Mindfulness Sutras (or the Satipatthana Suttas, as they are known in their initial language, Pali) are the main foundational texts for what we know today as mindfulness and mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness refers to the experience of being completely knowledgeable about all the info your senses are processed. In the Eastern traditions, there are 6 natural senses that all human beings are born with. This consists of the 5 conventional senses – sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch – and the intuition, thought. This intuition of thought often pertains to the foreground in mindfulness practices and in meditation usually. Our brains are built to believe – ideas are their natural item – and you will discover that your brain goes on producing all types of thoughts even as you are meditating and trying to focus your attention on other things. What mindfulness meditation does for us is beginning to change our relationship to the thoughts taking place, particularly as we gradually learn to consider them as sensory input rather than facts or events we need to respond to. Ideas offer important information, but they are not essentially various from or more vital than, say, the taste of pear or hearing a Mozart symphony. This can be a difficult lesson to learn since thoughts provide themselves as reflections of truth. Simply put, they present themselves as real. Simply because you believe something doesn’t suggest it’s true, or even especially essential.
Let’s think about an example of the difficult ways thoughts can make us believe things that aren’t necessarily real. Envision you send a text to a pal, welcoming him to your birthday supper. Hours later on, you still haven’t heard back, despite the fact that this buddy normally responds immediately. By the time you go to bed that night, you’ve chosen that he does not want to come and is trying to consider a good excuse; your feelings are hurt. The next day, you wake up to a text from him: “Sorry for the hold-up. Phone died, was out all the time without my battery charger. I’d love to come!” Even if you think something does not indicate it’s true.
Mindfulness practice can teach us about the nature of thinking, and possibly a lot more significantly, it can teach us that we are not our ideas. This might appear like an obvious or even ridiculous point to make, however consider for a moment the unfavorable thoughts you have about yourself– about your weight, your intelligence, or your profession success. If you’re like most of us, you probably have a set of negative thoughts about yourself that you have actually been believing for several years and which you find yourself going back to routinely. In her book States Who?, mindfulness teacher Ora Nadrich explains how our thoughts can hold us captive and how using mindfulness can assist reframe our attitude towards unfavorable and fear-based thoughts, mindfully changing them with efficient, supportive ideas.
We often enable – and rarely question the validity of – certain unfavorable thoughts (for example, “I require to lose 10 pounds,” “I’m not talented enough to make VP,” or “My partner is too helpful for me”). If you have actually been believing unfavorable ideas for enough time, you have actually probably concerned believe in and identify with them. You think you are overweight or not good enough instead of recognizing that these are just ideas that you have about yourself that might not even be objectively precise.
You are not your thoughts; you are the thinker of the thoughts. We might never act upon all of our ideas, and there are numerous ideas we should not act upon or believe in if we wish to live a healthy, healthy life. This mindfulness meditation practice will help you discern which ideas support your goals and wellness and which thoughts are damaging or unhealthy and need to be disposed of.
In mindfulness meditation, you practice signing in with all of the feelings and ideas you are experiencing, as you experience them. Slowly, you will practice opening your awareness to the synchronized observation of the numerous aspects of the minute – with no expectation, with no judgment, allowing them to fluidly alter. The secret to getting the most out of an Open Awareness Meditation is to permit whatever to be as it already is. It remains in our nature to wish to change or improve things, especially if there is pain on some level. To the degree possible, you need to attempt not to do that during your meditation practice and merely enable things to be as they are.
You decide to meditate outdoors since it’s a peaceful, quiet day with comfy weather. As your meditation starts, you hear a car drive by, your neighbor’s canine barking, and the gentle breeze of the wind. The mental viewpoint to hold here is that you accept and enable the canine to bark and the car to drive by, without captivating the desire for things to be any various than they are. The idea may develop “Will that canine quiet?” Your practice will be to let yourself have that thought without following it or residence on it. The noise of the cars and truck and the barking of the dog need not disrupt the meditation; rather, they can end up being a part of it. Obviously, you should constantly attempt to practice meditation in a location where you will be safe and as undisturbed as possible, however bear in mind that in any meditation practice, a crucial part is to permit – even welcome – changes to the outdoors environment without interrupting the meditation. Merely observe, experience, and allow things to be as they are.
This Open Awareness Meditation will make you more knowledgeable about the thoughts travelling through your mind. Research studies reveal that the average individual thinks anywhere from 30,000 to 70,000 thoughts each and every single day. By holding an open-focus awareness, you create a bigger psychological “container” for your ideas to go through. Slowly, with routine practice, mindfulness will give you the opportunity to more clearly see and experience the many layers of your thinking procedure.
What You’ll Get Out of It
Today you will open your awareness to consist of the fullness of the moment you are in. We can compare our attention to light: If we focus our concentration on something, we might say that we are “shining a spotlight” on it. When we practice open awareness, instead of shining a spotlight on one particular thing, we might state that we allow our awareness to “shine” in all instructions around us, like the glow of a candle flame. We will refer to this “glow” of awareness around us as our field of awareness.
Your field of awareness is the sum total of all of your sensory input. The practice of open awareness is a workout allowing your senses to experience the fullness of the present minute, becoming aware even of the subtleties that you might typically overlook, overlook, or miss entirely, like the temperature of the air around you or the faint creaking of the floorboards. When we just discover and allow things to be as they are, we naturally disengage from the impulses that would attempt to manage or alter things. This is not a practice in passivity or ignorance – quite the opposite. This is a practice in opening your mind and allowing yourself to get all the info you perhaps can before making any relocations or taking any action. Notice the word enable. We do not force ourselves to detect sensory input; the awareness broadens naturally from a practice of calm, unwinded allowing.
When we are resistant to something that is taking place, we have a biological propensity to “brace for impact,” which implies we withdraw and tighten the muscles in our body. The mind then immediately begins thinking about all the way things could or should be different than they are.
When we are open to something, we tend to be more curious about, and even more going to accept, the unknown, which leaves the body more at ease. This allows us to be more open up to comprehending and finding out about what we are experiencing. With an open mind, we tend to see more possibilities and several point of views on things. Open Awareness Meditation will strengthen your capability to truly see things as they are and accept them for what they are.
By practicing Open Awareness Meditation, you will cultivate:
Open Awareness Meditation enables us to comprehend more about the moment we remain in. The more we know in any situation, the more informed our decisions can be. Through practicing conscious awareness, we cultivate discernment by being more sensitive to the larger photo and how today moment associates with it. This increased understanding permits us to recognize which ideas we want to captivate, which thoughts we require to release, and what might be the best choice for us to make given the situations.
2. Decreased Depression and Increased Joy
In research studies published by Scientific American, Science Daily, and more, mindfulness meditation practices have actually been effectively applied as a treatment for anxiety and proven to ameliorate anxiety signs such as lethargy and lack of quality sleep. Other research studies show increased happiness and pleasure. There are also reports of increased laughter after going through mindfulness training.
3. Core Imagination
In Dr. Ronald Alexander’s book Wise Mind, Open Mind, he maps out the various manner ins which a mindfulness meditation practice can help you take advantage of your core imagination and the psychological perspective of limitless possibilities.
4. Self-Awareness and Better Decision-Making
All of us have lots of sides to our characters. As you practice observing your ideas, you will become more aware of the tone of your internal voice and the kinds of thoughts you are having and develop the ability to intervene prior to saying or doing something you might be sorry for.
5. Minimized Tension
Mindfulness practices are proven to have significant impacts on reducing the physical signs of stress. It is popular throughout the medical community that stress aggravates practically every health issue and disease. By reducing the symptoms of tension (like stress in the muscles and concentrated quantities of tension hormonal agents in the bloodstream), we lower their unfavorable impact on our total health.
6. Point of view
By establishing conscious awareness of the different aspects of your environment through Open Awareness Meditation, that same ability naturally transitions into other areas of your life, offering a sense of percentage, big-picture viewpoint, and existing within a bigger context.
7. Enhancement in Your Life
Through the practice of experiencing things as they are, you will become more familiar with your ability to alter things that are not working for you. By ending up being more mindful and familiar with the ideas developing in your mind, you will develop the opportunity to question and reframe them.
The Open Awareness Meditation Practice: How to Do It
Meditation Length: 5 Minutes
What You’ll Require
- A comfy chair or cushion where you can sit with your spine conveniently set up.
- A quiet place to sit where you will not be quickly disrupted (by someone walking in on you, for instance).
- A timer (if you choose to use the timer on your smartphone, it is best to put the phone on airplane mode or quiet to prevent interruptions from inbound signals).
- Your meditation note pad and a pen or pencil.
Please go through this whole meditation prior to starting. Ideally, you will remember the guidelines and not have to disrupt the awareness meditation to inspect the next action.
For this meditation, you must be sitting up– or even standing. Attempt to have your weight conveniently well balanced in between your left and best sides. If you are sitting, I advise permitting your hands to rest easily in your lap or on your knees. If you select to stand, have your arms resting conveniently at your sides.
The key points for posture are:
1. Sit comfortably.
2. Not so conveniently that you’ll fall asleep.
3. Sit or stand with your back easily put up.
I went to a lecture by Harvard Medical School professor of psychology and Buddhist scholar Daniel P. Brown in which he discussed that the popular idea of meditation exclusively as a relaxation technique is inaccurate and really harmful to the powerful mind-training effects of meditation. In a state of deep relaxation, the mind tends to wander. Staying up directly or standing with an erect spinal column will support your mental awareness, producing reliable meditation.
As you sit, you will observe micro modifications in the body. These can be any variety of things, such as tension increasing in your shoulders as you hear an unpleasant noise, subtle modifications in the breath as you settle much deeper into a relaxed state or chills on your skin as the temperature level in the room modifications. The workout is to practice holding a soft focus, available to experiencing all of these things at once.
Please check out this whole meditation prior to beginning. Preferably, you will keep in mind the directions and not need to interrupt the open awareness experience to inspect the next action.
Prior to Meditating
1. Find a location to sit or stand where you will not be interrupted.
2. Take a minute to enter a comfortable position that you will be able to maintain throughout of the practice with as little motion or modification as possible.
3. Set your objective: “I will meditate for 5 minutes, opening my awareness to the different sounds, feelings, ideas, and emotions that may occur and permitting everything to be as it is, just for these 5 minutes.”
1. Set your timer for five minutes.
2. Enable your eyes to carefully close.
3. Feel your breath as your lungs broaden and contract.
4. Notice the feelings along the surface of your skin, feeling the air in the space.
5. Bring your awareness to area above your head, discovering any noises or motion in the space above you.
6. Move your awareness to the space listed below you, noticing where your body touches the cushion or floor. Notice any subtle vibrations from the flooring.
7. keeping your body in a relaxing stillness, bring your awareness to area in front of you, as far as your senses can reach.
8. Next, see any noises or motion to your right.
9. Move your awareness to area behind you, filling the room, even broadening beyond the room. (Any sounds on the other side of the walls?).
10. Move your awareness to your.
11. Visualize your awareness as a glow in all instructions around you, mentally scanning all directions at once– just witnessing the minute as it is.
12. If the mind wanders, bring your awareness back to the breath as it expands and contracts, and broaden your awareness in all instructions around you from there.
It is constantly advised to end a meditation gently and mindfully. For some people, this indicates gradually starting to move and extend the body before opening their eyes; for others, this means stating a short prayer or setting an intention for their day, such as “And now, I am going to have an effective, efficient, favorable workday.” Whatever method is most natural for you to conclude, go for it. What matters is that you offer yourself a minute to leave the meditation without a sense of hurrying. Transitioning mindfully out of meditation assists you keep the unwinded state established throughout your practice, therefore extending the “service life” of the advantages of calmness, clarity, and openness.
Take a moment to record the information of your awareness meditation. If you end up practicing meditation for longer than the recommended 5 minutes, please make certain to note this. If you have time, take a couple of minutes to write down your answers to the following in your meditation note pad:.
- Did any particular thoughts or memories come to mind that stood apart?
- Were there any experiences that amazed you? A sound or feeling that was unforeseen?
Go Deeper: Ten Minute Meditation (or Longer).
Begin with the above open awareness practice, but set your timer for 10 minutes instead of five. If after ten minutes you feel you wish to keep going, continue the meditation for as long as you want. I generally suggest 20 to 40 minutes for regular practice.
Go Deeper throughout Your Day: Conscious Check-In.
- Make a conscious check-in at work: Take a quick minute to mindfully experience the work environment from your usual spot. Psychologically scan in all instructions around you.
- Make a conscious check-in throughout your meals: Notice the fragrances, the noises, and the thoughts emerging in your mind.
- Do a mindful check-in at the market: When going to among the places you normally do your shopping, take a moment to discover the temperature level, the smells, the music, and the discussions taking place in the background.
- Anywhere you find yourself, make a conscious awareness check-in: Whenever proper, take a moment to close your eyes and eavesdrop all directions around you. Exist with anywhere you are, whenever you are in fact there. Take it all in!