Presence and Awareness … from a kook

Not yet a week into it and I’m intrigued quite intrigued by the mindfulness-based stress reduction program (MBSR) I’m taking.

You’re going to think I’m a bit of a kook after reading this, but then again that’s ok because only people I know read this and, frankly, I know you already think I’m a bit of a kook.

One pillar of tMBSR is the body-scan meditation. For 45 minutes we systematically focus on different parts of our body, always in the same sequence. I’m been trying to understand what it means to be “aware” of how my big toe is feeling. Is there a difference between feeling the toe and being aware that I’m feeling the toe? (I’ve come to an answer on that.)

Feeling the big toe is not easy during meditation, but being aware that I’m trying to feel it is.  With that said, being aware that I’m feeling my big toe is very difficult if I have stubbed it, as the pain momentarily seems to hijack everything else. Feeling it at such times is very easy.

What awareness is, and how much choice we really have in deciding where to focus our awareness (or attention, or intention) have become fascinating questions for me.

I find the possibility of becoming aware of God’s presence to be one of my central questions.

Perhaps a new kind of awareness is possible. Waking up to a faculty I (we) already have.

Peace,

~Jim

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