Awareness is being awake to your own presence in this moment.
Awareness starts with observation. Observing the breath is a powerful way to grow the skill of
awareness. Observing how the breath feels; observing where the breath is in the body;
observing how moving through the day changes the breath.
Awareness is non-judgmental. It is simply the profound skill of being able to notice without
judging. That means noticing with an interest in understanding much more than an interest in
changing. Non-judgmental awareness allows the self to settle in the moment and see more
Awareness allows subtle changes to emerge that have cumulative larger effects. Becoming
aware of the subtleties of the breath during waking moments can profoundly influence more
obvious feelings like shortness of breath, anxiety, persistent thoughts, and physical pain. Just as
we develop poor postural or eating habits, we can develop faulty breathing habits that make
life less easy and enjoyable. These habits can become a new normal over time, even though
they may make us less well. By increasing awareness of our patterns and habits, we open the
door for a more natural set point; a set point that brings ease and health.
Awareness is focus. Left to its own conditioning, the mind will follow patterns of thinking that
are often multi-directional. Multi-directional thinking antagonizes the nervous system that
allows us to feel content, peaceful, and happy. Feeling content, peaceful, and happy is crucial
for rest, repair, digestion, and (you guessed it) happiness. Focusing on the breath lays the
foundation for these feelings to emerge, which is different than focusing on these feelings
directly – the latter of which may or may not work.
Awareness is a practice. Given that most of our breathing is unconscious and a reaction to
stories we hold about our day, or simply patterns in which we are stuck, bringing consciousness
to our breathing takes frequent (non-judgmental) check-ins. This takes patience, and above all,
affectionate, persistent practice. The more we practice, the better we get at settling the flurry
in our own being. In this practice, it is possible to hold to such a story.
“I am rooted in the awareness of my breath. I am aware of the front, back, and sides of my body. I am aware
of my surroundings. I am aware of my thoughts. In this awareness, I am aware that I am the observer, not the
things being observed. In this, I simply see. I am no thing, and I am all things. I am aware.”
We wish you many moments of awareness.