Saturday, May 31, 2008

Practice: Breathing and Sensing Awareness by Katie Davis


Thank you for you answer. It gave me a deeper understanding of what you talk about. When you talk about direct investigation it is always to ask myself what is really happening in the moment, who is really asking this? How to make it practical and not be a question from the intellect? What is the way to make this more practical.

I read you awoke spontaneusly to this self realization. How can one live more often in that state of presence and not be absorbed into the mind. How can I come to this quiet place in my daily life? And really experience that joy of life at any moment including the dificult times and real suffering?

I know it may be too many questions and I would like sometime to come to your satsangs. Your words inspire me and yet this realization that I am not Monica; I know it just partially; sometimes I've have experienced that state of no separation, but it is like a flash light in the middle of the night.


Thank you for writing back. The pathway to realizing who you are underneath all of this thinking requires that you notice what is true for yourself. I can point you where to look, but simply telling you answers is not the way. We have assumed throughout our lifetime many false ideas, so one by one we begin examining for ourselves the truth.

You are exactly right. First and foremost, we become conscious of this moment. I am not asking you to get mentally involved with what is happening ... such as right now. Instead, focus on your breathing and use the body's senses. Since the body is grounded in the present moment, it is a very effective tool to practice being present. Just take a moment here and now away from your computer screen. Close your eyes and just notice how wonderful the air feels as it moves in and out your nose. This may seem too simplistic, but this works. Go ahead for a moment, close your eyes and just breathe while concentrating on the air moving in and out your nose ...

This is a tool that you can use anytime and anywhere. Just really become conscious of breathing.

Let's try one more thing. Do you hear anything right now? Once again, I am not asking you to become mentally involved with what you are hearing. Just notice that while you are listening, you cannot think. Do you see something lovely in your room? How about carefully smelling for a moment. Do you notice that while you are sensing, there is no thought?

Thinking is like a giant hook that snags us away into suffering. We jump on a train a thought and get carried into the problematic past ... or rushed into the future in anxiety or worry. Are you aware of your thinking? It doesn't matter what you are thinking. I am not asking you to become involved with the subject matter. Are you able to watch your thoughts yet? I promise you that the suffering is caused by the thinking as well as identification with the idea of 'me' that is your body.

But first things first. I would like you to try this conscious breathing. It does not require that you sit away somewhere. While you are driving, are you aware of the air moving in and out your nose? While you are washing dishes ... or during anything that is being done, I would like to concentrate on the breath.

Secondly, I would like you to play with the body senses. When you are a the grocery, listen. While you are breathing and walking to your car, do you smell anything?

After you have practiced this for a few days or a week, please let me know how it goes. If you find yourself suffering. First, we just have to accept it. It is as it is. However, take a moment to go into the breathing or sensing and let me know how it goes.

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