At every workshop, we take some time to envision how we might bring this work home with us.
Without some conscious commitments to practice, the workshop fades and we are back in our habits and routines.
Many people find that if they just choose to pay attention during some daily activity they begin to form a ‘habit of awareness’. So how would it be for you to choose among the many things that you do each day?
Showering, brushing your teeth, drinking a beverage, waking up, eating, driving, walking the dogs, cleaning, etc.
You don’t really have to do anything special. Just notice. For example, how is breathing and your relationship to gravity? Is there extra efforting anywhere? Can you be present for brushing your teeth, without zoning out into whatever you think you are going to do later, on any given day? If you ‘zone out’, can you notice how that is? Do you brush your teeth the same way every day?
Upon awakening, do you let yourself be supported in lying? After a bad dream, perhaps you feel distress and tightness all over, but tomorrow, you awaken relaxed and feel more of your own weight sink into your bed. Neither way is right or wrong, but how is it that you experience waking up this time? What sounds are there? What play of light and shadow and color? What textures? Is the light different in winter and in summer? How do you experience temperature against bare skin or the texture of fabric?
You are basically, calling yourself ‘here’ during this one activity that you choose and eventually, it spills out into the rest of your life some of the time. No matter how much more of you is here, there are always more possibilities for presence.
Why bother with this? Find out for yourself. Maybe being present for the simplest of tasks, opens you up to the world.
At workshops, many participants feel a deep sense of connection to themselves and everything alive around them. You have the capacity for this. You just have to remember to wake up.
Featured image, “Nightshade-Lichen” © Robert Smith: Visit his on-line gallery