The experience of realization can be as simple as reading a newspaper and being aware that you are reading the newspaper. This can involve noticing your posture and the way your body turns the pages. It can extend to observing how your mind and emotions react to the news that you read. Moving deeper involves finding dual and contradictory emotions and learning to access them simultaneously, moving back and forth between them, or entering into one so deeply that the other is for the moment seemingly gone. When we are familiar with the flow of consciousness at this level we may seek a deeper or more elusive space and seek it out, entering in, through and expanding into it. All the while we are still fully in the experience of reading the newspaper. Rather than compartmentalizing experiences we are allowing the mind and body to experience multiple layers and levels of consciousness. This is realization.
As long as we compartmentalize various emotional states, feelings and experiences our consciousness sees these states as solid, individual and fairly permanent. By opening up several states within the one we break this illusion, showing ourselves that emotion, feeling and experience is actually occurring on a multiple level of dimensions. The aim of all this is to train consciousness to understand that it does not need to be trapped in any emotion, feeling or experience. It has real and tangible choices.
By choosing a simple exercise such as noticing body sensations, posture or breathing and being aware of them during routine daily life we need to understand their purpose. Without purpose we are simply performing rote exercises and the mind will totally miss the point. Without understanding the purpose and reason integration cannot occur. Without integration there is no empowerment and the experiences will gradually become hollow and meaningless.
Observing the breath is not done simply to observe the breath. This level of understanding will not bring much benefit because how many of us truly wish to live life observing our breath all the time? It’s like speaking but not understanding that speech is a method of communicating with other people! Similarly observing the breath trains the mind to focus and sensitize to a particular frequency and subtlety of energy. Again simply observing this energy may have some benefits such as calming the mind but there is also an opportunity to understand that a language of communication is being developed here. By understanding that this level of observation is a way of listening to the language we open ourselves to the opportunity for communication! There is a big difference between these levels of understanding. While one is simply aware that energy is present, the other is aware that a communication is occurring and because of this awareness is able to create an intention to learn the meaning behind that communication!
Context, understanding, purpose and reason give way to creating real meaning in our experiences. Start with just observing physical sensation. It could be awareness of the tip of your nose. Just be aware of it at times throughout the day and also spend some time really listening and observing its feeling. Notice the various degrees and types of sensations. Explore and move into anyone of these. See what happens when you keep part of your consciousness attuned to these threads during the day. Become familiar with changes and shifts. Listen to the language and find ways to make conversation. Remember the context in which you are practicing and training. Remember why you are practicing – why did you originally start this type of development? How do those reasons fit in with the practices that you are now doing? How can the practices that you are presently doing help teach you within the context of that which you seek?
All these questions lead to the development of solutions that are relevant for our life path.