Intense Awareness

When the mind is cornered, it often times enters a state of intense awareness.

Have you ever been in a situation where you have faced an immediate danger? Time slows down, every second seems longer. You are intensely alert, while anticipating the inevitable...

In this article, we will examine the experience of intense awareness and try to answer some interesting questions, such as: What is awareness? How do you enter a state of awareness? What is it like to experience intense awareness without thought? What feelings accompany intense awareness?

I had my first experiences of intense awareness at the age of 15. Sometimes while flying gliders on my own, I was completely overtaken by fear. Its climax made me feel intensely alive. I was afraid the plane would stall and fall out of the sky.

At the same time, I was extremely alert and aware of everything around me. I recall that my right hand was clutching on to the control stick, with a cramp-like grip. For a couple of years, I experienced this mix of fear and intense awareness while flying, again and again.

There is no need to engage in potentially dangerous activities, in order to experience intense awareness; however, unlike meditation, it doesn't take any practice to succeed.

What Is Awareness?

Awareness is a mental state, or a state of mind, characterized by attention.

Let's say that you are sitting in a rowing boat, on a lake. The tiny waves cause the boat to pitch up and down, and roll from side to side. If you close your eyes and pay rapt attention to the movements of the vessel, you will be able to feel even the smallest of movements. This, is a state of awareness.

When you are under stress, rushing from place to place, your attention is scattered. Likewise, when you are caught up in thinking, you are not in a state of awareness.

In truth, whenever you are awake, there is some awareness in the background. The same holds true for thinking. At any rate, in this post we are concerned with intense awareness, full awareness or pure awareness.

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How Do You Enter A State Of Awareness?

Find a quiet space, sit on a comfortable chair and close your eyes. Then, give relaxed attention to the sensations in one of your palms. All you have to do, is to focus your attention on your palm. Relax, don't try too hard. The harder you try, the more physical tension will build up.

In order to maintain the awareness, rest your attention in the area of the palm. If you notice that you have been caught up in thinking, patiently bring your attention back to your palm. Be forgiving with yourself, this preserves your mental calm.

The simpler the meditation technique, the better. Practice makes perfect.

Intense Awareness Without Thought

A key aspect of intense awareness is the lack of thinking, which calls forth an intimate experience of the mind. It is utterly peaceful, almost as if the mind has been emptied of all its contents.

In the absence of thought, you encounter a vast inner dimension. If I were to sum up the experience in a single word, I would call it timeless. On an intuitive level, the experience of intense awareness without thought, has a distinct timeless feel to it.

It's most pleasant to be intensely aware of your meditation object, for example the sensations in your palm. When the awareness is steadfast and continuous, you experience soothing sensations in your abdomen and chest. The feelings are calming, ever-changing and slowly move around, like water currents.

From time to time, the mind releases unpleasant emotions or energy. This is healing and cleanses the mind. Allow these natural processes to take place, don't try to suppress them.

When I haven't meditated for quite a while, it may take up to 60-90 minutes of meditation till my attention becomes really steadfast. Until that point, I'm aware of a lack of concentration and subtle restlessness. On the other hand, if I meditate on a daily basis, the awareness is quite intense right from the start.

A daily meditation practice maintains the mental momentum.

Best of luck!

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