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My Meditative Moments

Art of Noticing

by meditative - June 21st, 2015.
Filed under: Insights for Mindful Intelligence.

As we practice being still & quiet, what do we notice in this field of our embodied awareness? Skillfully attending with ‘observational distance’, we intentionally & purposefully note without indulging both internal and external ‘events’ as they are happening… here & now. ‘Being in the moment’, relaxed and ready, we simply witness to know the nature of what is observed, moment by moment- opening up and expanding awareness to invite and include the whole of our direct experience- and to create the necessary space and opportunity for better, more appropriate choices.

The ‘art of noticing’ is cultivated by our discipline- our routine practice- to intentionally & confidently sustain attention & concentration without conceding to our reactionary impulses- to see from a broader perspective, and to redirect the arising energy of our immediate situation. This conscious intention to pay attention primes our awareness with openness, curiosity, and sensitivity to readily witness our minds.  It’s an attitude– an emotional anchoring to know and to understand how things really are.

When we routinely (formally & informally) ‘pause’ and anchor our awareness with our breathing, the act of noticing what is arising and passing in awareness can become more reflexive and effortless with practice. The more we exercise our capacity to pay attention- to simply notice and acknowledge what we may be ‘thinking’, ‘feeling’, or ‘sensing’- the more refined its stability and precision.

Touch ‘n’ Go is an effective technique for noting objects of attention in our mindfulness practice. If helpful, one might simply label arising thoughts as ‘thinking’- emotions as ‘feeling’- and bodily sensations as ‘sensing’, without any underlying ‘storyline’ necessary to further describe the experience. Observational distance allows our attention to gently acknowledge (‘touch’) what we are witnessing without personalizing, and then curiously moving on (‘go’) to simply attending the ‘whole’ of our awareness.

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