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Awareness

I am currently enjoying a week at the beach with my family. It is absolutely Wonderful to feel the warmth of the sun on the beach while listening to the waves. To enjoy playing in the ocean with my children! Laughing as we often get wiped out by a wave.




While we are talking, laughing and swimming I experience some moments where my awareness raises and I see us playing as if I am a witness looking at a family that is not my own. These few moments of "separate" allows for my consciousness to quiet and my awareness becomes sharper. The awareness is also expansive - reaching out encompassing all things including the ocean, the beach, the sky, birds, sea life. all other people...everything for miles around. This awareness holds a brief knowing that our energies are all intertwined. We do not all know each other and yet our Spirits are all so familiar...and Good. I understand this moment in time is precious and a blessing. Pure bliss. This level of awareness is pristine because in those few moments I know we are so much more than just a body having an experience. It's timeless and stays with me for several moments. And even longer as I now recall the perception through memory and do my best to write about it.

According to Patanjali of the Yoga Sutra's one level of perception (or consciousness) is memory or remembering. He defines remembering as "the retention of experiences." (Yoga Sutra's 11).


One translation of Yoga is to "yoke". We often think of that as unifying mind, body, and spirit. To my mind, Patanjali's Yoga Sutra's actually takes yoga to another level of "yoking". The Yoga Sutra's outline practices that work one towards expansive awareness; away from consciousness, which often clouds awareness. Being able to raise our awareness above consciousness (think of consciousness as everything known; how we see ourselves such as our ideas of who we are, our beliefs, etc. ... all of the things that we use to define self).

Raising our awareness begins to allow us to find or understand how to "be at home in all experience, in things as they are." C. Hartfrant The Yoga Sutra's of Patanjali.

Our mat practice of yoga can help us with quieting consciousness and therefore allowing Awareness to be revealed. Moments where consciousness goes quiet, or at the very least observed, and awareness becomes more available. Many of us likely happen upon fleeting moments of expansive awareness. And yet, I have found that with a consistent yoga practice those moments become more than happenstance. And it is those moments that help bring us peace, understanding, joy, healing, etc.



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