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Strengthening Your Inner Awareness

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inquiry & integration

inquiry instructions

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Inquiry:  Where do you most need to strengthen your inner awareness to have a more fulfilled and intimate life?

Personal Integration: This practice can be done alone or with a friend, lover, or counselor. Take one to five minutes or longer to contemplate and answer the question. When done with another, it is essential that the listener remains neutral and encourages you by repeating this inquiry as needed to help maintain focus. Let your awareness scan for what you need to do or not do, say or not say, give more attention to, be more honest with yourself and others, gather courage, be disciplined, or anything else that will support your fulfillment?   Remember that you are the guide and source of wisdom as your awareness scans your life like a wise best friend.  Once you see areas of your life that are calling,ask your awareness if it is ready to be more attentive.  See if you can enjoy this exploration.
 
Inquiry 2: Focusing on the awareness in the first inquiry, can you let yourself discern between judging yourself  and affectionately becoming more aware?
 
Personal Integration 2: Follow the same instructions as above in the monologue or repeating question format.  This is a central key to finding the real source and benefits of awareness.  It is more subtle than it seems, because our judgment of our self poses as if it is the real awareness.  We can then become afraid to see ourselves.  Who wants to be judged?  Therefore your real nonjudgmental awareness gets to be on the lookout for judgments.  You are looking for genuine awareness, and if you see judgments happening, you are learning to softly say to yourself “hello judgment.”  You are looking for that essential place inside all of us that can be aware, with kindness.  If you look closely enough you will see key areas of your life that can still be developed, and become aware of judgments that hold you back.  This allows for the possibility of learning how to become either neutral or kind.  
 
Inquiry 3:  Continuing to focus on the awareness in the first 2 inquiries, can you have an ongoing dialogue between your ‘kind and neutral” awareness versus the criticism that poses as awareness?
 
Personal Integration 3: Follow the same instructions as above in the monologue or repeating question format.  It is best if you can say this out loud if possible with a partner or alone.   You can start off by returning to the areas of awareness you discovered in the first inquiry.  As you see yourself judging let it start a dialogue,  “Hello judgment.  I know you think you are helping me, but I don’t think it is actually going to help to be negative.  I am asking you to let go of your judgment and simply see things as they are neutrally, or with kindness.  What do you think? Real awareness can be greatly enhanced by entering this kind of dialogue, as it exposes the profound  difference between judgment and awareness.  
 
Inquiry 4:  Can you spend a period of time noticing your areas of unconsciousness with a merciful awareness?  Say out loud what the merciful awareness sees.
 
Personal Integration 4:  Follow the same instructions as above in the monologue or repeating question format.  Most of us are so used to judging ourselves in our areas of greatest challenge, that it isn’t as easy as it sounds to  stay anchored in a merciful awareness.   Look at this same area that you have been exploring, and just make statements, observations, or be in a silence appreciating the challenge for what it is. If you are suffering from feeling anxious, you may make statements like “Anxiety I am going to keep you company.  I know you aren’t anxious on purpose so I see your innocence.  I am going to just relax and hang out with you as much as possible.   I am praying for your greater ease.  I appreciate the challenges that you are facing.”  All of these supportive “seer” observations would be looking at the anxiety for what it is, and separating it from who you really are.  You may also just breathe and meditate, and say to the anxiety “I see you and I am just going to meditate, allowing you to be right where you are.” Contemplateways of being merciful, and see how long and deep you can allow yourself to go.
 
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Since 1972, Humanistic Spirituality founder Robert Strock has maintained a private spiritual and therapeutic counseling practice that specializes in purposeful living, relationships, spiritual psychology, and death and dying counseling. Humanistic Spirituality provides various spiritual workshops, guided mediations, and licensed marriage family therapists and licensed social work continuing education courses. Contact us to learn how we can help you find inner peace and spiritual awareness through our counseling, or our free guided meditations, videos, audios, writings, introspective guises and more. A warm welcome from the team at Humanistic Spirituality.

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