2023-04-06-GIl-Locations for Awareness (4 of 5) 50:50 Awareness
3:51AM Apr 7, 2023
So, hello, and welcome to this fourth talk on, on the shifting perspectives for awareness, or locations for awareness, we could ask, you know, different places for, from which we're aware, we could also ask different locations for where that awareness lands, what the focus of awareness is. And we have some choice around that. And a lot of what the emphasis this week is they use your capacity to choose for choice and discernment, to become wise about how to use attention. And to begin feeling you have some agency and engagement with how you're aware. So you're aware and effective in a useful way. And this has becomes, you know, the overall overarching kind of theme since the beginning of the year, has been how to work with challenges. And, and the and this is an especially important part, it's challenges of all kinds are challenging, and because of that, we tend to be swept into them or focused on them or we could also be we can be very impacted by them. And they can be difficult emotionally, physically, psychologically. And we get wrapped up in that, and our reactivity to them and nor the impact it has on them. But these challenges we have, will have, will be less vulnerable, or more or less kind of impacted in a negative way. If we are engaged in being aware, if we are kind of navigating swimming in the waters, rather than just floating and letting whatever waves come kind of wash over us, we're also swimming in the ocean of change in the world. And we're kind of adjusting ourselves, according to the situation. So we have some agency, some engagement, and just the very engagement of being a way of exploring how to be mindful, is a kind of a protection from just being too open and too receptive, to be impacted by everything. We're still feeling things deeply, but we're not as vulnerable for at all, if we have some sense of engagement, we have something to do, we're not helpless and hopeless in a situation. So So one of the things that's very useful to do with awareness practice or with awareness, is when we're in social situations or in the world, especially, is to have 50% of the attention on the people with the social situation we're in. And 50% of the tension on oneself. This is not an exact number 5050, but just kind of like approximately half and half. And and the idea is to go back and forth or to be aware of both at the same time. And, and if we're only aware of the other person, then we're not aware of the impact the situation has, we're not aware of our attitudes and judgments that are coming up. We're not aware of our responses and our intuitions and all these things. And but if we're only aware of ourselves, then we're not really taking in all the information of the other person, right, listening really well. We're not, you know, a lot of communication is nonverbal. And so if we're not really there to pay attention, we don't pick up the nonverbal cues of what's going on in the conversation. And so to go back and forth and be aware of both brings us into a nice balance. If we're paying attention to herself, we might notice something like we're not paying attention worth listening. And that's pretty, you know, dramatic. We might also notice that we're having judgments and we're starting to plan what we're going to say next. We might also see that we are impacted by what's being said and now we're swimming in the in the art the impact and maybe were crumbling under it or getting 10 surrounded or or getting assertive and you know and feeling angry. All this information as you is full, because that comes into play, but in the act of communication, the act of kind of exchange with people, and it's good to be knowledge about it, to know it. Also, by being aware of ourselves in some higher quality way, we have access to a much greater set of information about what's happening in the exchange with other people are psychophysical, I like to think of our psychophysical body as being an antenna, or many antennas. We have amazing capacities for sensing and feeling and receiving information from the world around us. Much of it, which people don't avail themselves to. And, and so to really begin taking that in, by being present to oneself, we're not just aware of ourselves is not like self focused, we're aware of, we're much more present for all the senses separate eye, all the ways in which we're taking information and responding and, and mirroring the person and all kinds of things. So it's not so much that we're paying attention to ourselves with the emphasis on self, we're paying, we're here 50% Here in this body in this psychophysical system that we have to be in, in order to really take in what's happening some deeper way. So we're actually able to better able to pay attention to others and know people through this kind of being grounded in oneself. By being grounded and other people, though, we start to be are able to take in more information and we understand them better and, and we offer our kindness mean paying attention well to other people, is a kind thing. The 5050 Division of attention actually can make us better listeners, the people being listened to might think that you're really present in a full way. But they feel it because you are the heightened awareness of the heightened listening, heightened attentiveness, when you can also be present for 50%. Here, in your experience, as I said, because of all these different ways that we're attending, we're aware of our posture. And posture says a lot about how we're with some other people. And if you're aware of your posture, then maybe you would adjust it in a way that you're more connected to what's happening rather than turning towards the door ready to leave. So one of the choices that we have about mindfulness and awareness is where's our attention, and to be track that, oh, it's mostly with a person that being pulled in. And, and one of the places to kind of start experimenting with this is, if someone's telling a wonderful story are a wonderful joke, or where you're listening to a wonderfully engaging speaker? And you're getting pulled into the story, the idea to be identical, and how does that feel, to lose touch with yourself and be absorbed in what's going on? If you're really angry with someone, are you absorbed in them as the object of your blame? And are you losing touch with yourself and how to come back into balance is 5050. And how to take care of yourself so that you can be a better companion, a better listener better participant in whatever situation you're in. So we have some choice about where we put our attention, and then how we're aware. And when we're bringing the attention to ourselves, we can I be more experiencing all this in the body and feeling the feelings were centered in the feelings of how it feels to be with the other person hear what's being said, and or internally, we were reacting to our feelings. That's one way and so it's a good way at times. And or am I more in my thoughts and planning what I'm going to say and reacting and reflecting what the person saying? That's good sometimes. But both of these ways sometimes has their weaknesses to them. And is this really the best way to be with a situation and maybe we should shift or back and forth. And these kinds of kind of engagement with it is a kind of protection from getting overwhelmed or being too impacted by what situation they're going on. There's no not as much room in us to be overwhelmed or if we're engaged in a you know, in intentional clear way we will Um, what's what's going on. And
so this attention 50% 50% back and forth. And, and the beautiful thing that can happen is that we as possible, be very aware of what's happening in the body, what's happening in thoughts, what's happening in feelings, and all this and very aware of the other person. And somehow the self concern falls away. The self preoccupation, the, the, this self definition, the self, kind of selfing that we're so often caught in, can fall away, so that it's almost like, we're not there. But we're very proud, but there's a lot of presence. We're not there, but we're not checked out, we're acutely sensitive to what's happening in this psychophysical body. So we're responsible and caring and, and involved. But this ego and, and self kind of coagulation around self can relax and fall away, as we engage in this kind of full attention. And this full attention is partly defined by this half with the other person or the situation half for ourselves. So I would encourage you to today, to look for situations where it might be not be too complicated or difficult to do this kind of work back and forth. And, and maybe you're listening to some, you know, a lecture being taught talk or something. Maybe you're even listening to this one to YouTube, or maybe, to me, or maybe you listening to a podcast or something. So it's kind of a safe place. And then kind of have a nice rhythm of going back and forth listening. And then how does it feel what's How are you as a listener, listening, and how are you? Or maybe there's certain friends that you can make sense to do this, you're going for a walk with them. And that's a great place to kind of do both. So you have an amazing capacity to be aware. And awareness is multifaceted, many ways of being aware. And it's a very rich life, to be able to kind of find your way and have choice and navigate the different ways that we're aware for the benefit of ourselves and the benefit of others. So thank you, and I look forward to the last talk in the series tomorrow.