“I Can’t Breathe”: The Watery-Character of Creative Awareness
Quite a number of these posts suggest practices oriented toward awakening – not simply awakening awareness but rather awareness of awareness. The latter is an awakening of spiritual- soul-consciousness. The former only awakens new cognitive information, though the practices are oriented, at the level of cognition, to awaken confusion. The practices first awaken confusion, and the work concerns remaining con-fused, that is, remaining with the fusion of the known and the unknown.
Remaining with the union of the known and the unknown together, resolves at a different level than the con-fusion. Usually, the con-fusion resolves through cognitive awareness, stated in terms of saying what happens with a practice, which is a cognitive conclusion, stated in terms of the “already known”. The relief felt is felt as an opening, when it is actually a closing.
Take the classical meditative practice of “watching the breath”. In doing this practice, there comes a moment when we become aware of the breath—that is, breath-awareness happens, which in itself is only new information, particularly when one tries to describe what happens, how there was a feeling of being aware of something – for example, the in-out of breath that occurs so spontaneously. But, this is cognitive awareness. If one goes on and continues to practice, there comes a moment when the breath is experienced as One, rather than an in-and-out. A different awareness. The first is awareness of the breath. The second is breath-awareness.
Cognition stays more within the air element – you know, how we say one who stays in the head is ‘airy’, not-here, out of body. (read the word “air-element” here as a metaphor – that is a border realm – in and out of body simultaneously). However, if one stays in the metaphor of this kind of consciousness and does not conclude with saying “it was like this” or “like that”, then a water-element consciousness awakens. (Again, a metaphor, but then, “what’s a meta-for). This consciousness is when consciousness mirrors consciousness – that is, awareness of awareness. This kind of consciousness can be spoken of as “dying into water”, the water-element, the reflective, mirroring element, the Mary element, the realm of creative-receptivity.
Receptive-creativity because we have to give up, give in, yield, surrender, and be within the mirroring that characterizes spiritual-soul-consciousness.
The current metaphor of consciousness within the collective realm is “I can’t breathe.” It signals an awakening of spiritual-soul-consciousness and requires going through death-awareness.
(Photo by Patrick Lienin - photocase.com)
I hope you are finding working with the 432 Hz tuning fork helpful in bringing body into living relation with Earth as conscious. The subtle effort concerns bringing receptive consciousness to the equally receptive body-as-consciousness. Can this vibration sustain on its own? Not without further bodying work. Here is an important practice. Further practices will follow in future posts.
(I suggest printing the practice.)
The Way of Stillness
A. Relax, completely, within your body. Let your shoulders down, let everything – hands, feet, arms, legs, face, head, back front….all relax.
B. Take three very deep breaths, slowly. When you exhale, exhale all possible air, gently keep pushing air out until you can no longer do so. Then, take the in-breath. The purpose of this is to be able to bring oxygen to the bottom of the stomach.
C. The place of attention is at the brow. That is where attention centers. Place attention, not thinking, but attention, from there at various regions of the body. Place attention at the nose. What does your nose feel? Your nose is conscious. What do your hands feel? They are conscious..is it a tingling, or warmth, or swirling of currents…etc. what do they feel? What is the sensation? How about the small of your back, Get to know that your body feels and what each region feels like. What is the sensation at each place of the body where you place your attention? Then, place your attention inside your body. What is its awareness like? Or the heart, or kidneys. Each time that you do the practice, place attention at four or five places of the body.
We start by placing attention at the body because the body is the one ‘place’ we cannot get away from. Thinking takes us away; emotion, feeling, imagining, fantasy, all take us away from the present, the moment. The body is always in the present, so this is the place to always begin. You don’t have to go through all the regions mentioned above, but some of them at the beginning of each contemplation.
D. Breathe. We breathe very shallowly – from the top of the lungs. That results in going directly into thinking, leaving the body. Take breaths – feel your belly expand. Do not breathe so that your chest expands. Only breathe into the depth of your lungs, until your belly expands. Feel the breath in the belly. Do this four times. On the fourth breath, hold the breath in the belly a few seconds, then breathe out. Notice what it feels like, the sensation there in the stomach – and also the sensation throughout the body. The stomach is the alchemical furnace, the place where we can drop all accumulated emotions and thinking and feeling, and memories, and anticipations, and desires – into the furnace, to be transformed. It is a process, done consciously, over and over; it is the opening to Stillness.
E. Close your eyes. You are going to go through a process of dropping all tension, all thoughts, all emotions, all feeling, all thinking, into the stomach. For example, If you feel tension in your neck, or anywhere, place your attention at the place of that tension and let the tension drop into the stomach. You can feel it falling into the stomach. If you feel pains in the body, place your attention there, and let the pain drop into the stomach. Notice the sensation in the stomach. The challenge is to do this ‘dropping’ of ‘solidified’ things into the stomach without thinking to do something and then do it, because ‘thought-ing is actually very different than think-ing. Thought-ing is the chief problem, it is really our most troublesome ‘self’, because our usual way of ‘thoughting’ originates in emotions, which travel upward into the head and capture the true capacity of original, spontaneous, creative thinking.
At first, for a while, you may have to think of what to do and then do it. You will still feel the body-boundaries become less solid, and notice bodily sensation without the confines of the known body. Gradually, drop whatever breaks the silences into the stomach by going to it with attention and letting it go, letting it drop.
F. If thinking comes, drop it immediately into the stomach. The region where all the difficult emotions of the past are held is the region of the chest; it is like we have a band of tension around our chest. Drop that tension into the stomach. You do not have to think about the past. Memories, emotional memories, immediately convert into thinking. That is why we are always in our heads. When dropping things into the stomach becomes natural, for it is natural, we have all left what is natural – for centuries --- gradually, it becomes like a dripping, a constant dripping into the alchemical furnace of the stomach.
G. Notice, now, the sensation in the stomach and in the rest of the body. Be within that sensation. Don’t interpret it or think about it, or give a story about it. Stay with the sensation. This is our earthly being, this is Earth. The exact sensation may be hard to describe. Don’t try, just notice – a tingling, or a swirling, …of Life; the sensation of Life.(Life is not the same as what we ‘know’ and think of as life). The sensation in the stomach immediately spreads beyond the stomach, through the body, and an expansion of the body occurs. This is the ‘natural’ body. The body we know, the bounded body is the result of notions, many, many notions, of the body. The ‘expanded’ body-as-sensing, body in process of being formed, is in union with the ‘spiritual-earth’. The natural body is part of nature, not nature as we ‘know about it’, but the activity of nature, which is Divine.
H. Now open your eyes but do not leave the sensation in the stomach. Be within the sensation within the stomach and the immediate sensation of what you sense with your eyes open. You immediately feel the great encompassing of Stillness. Stillness embraces and permeates everything. In this simultaneous sensing within and sensing without, you too become one, untied in Stillness with everything, but it is not the you that you think you are. This is LIFE. This is the source of all. The ‘world’ is all here too, embraced by the Stillness. The sounds of the street, the blue of the sky, the clock ticking, the seat you are sitting on…it is all present, to the never-ends of the earth; even all the killing and the violence, that too is embraced within the Stillness. Nothing excluded. And all you are, that is embraced, and the inside and the outside, the earthly and the heavenly are one when we are Stillness. This is the source of all creation, the source of all creativity, the source of being yourself, the source that is love.
I. This practice is extremely easy. Do not do it, however, with your mind, but through attention and sensation. It quickly becomes something you can do almost all the time without relinquishing any of your activities, no matter what they may be.