Monday, December 7, 2009

Awareness Once A Year!

What do you think awareness is? A car to be bought or maybe a house, or perhaps a new electronic gadget -- you buy it once a year and then use it for the rest of the year !

No, it's no joke, an organization in the US is trying to make the " dangerously unaware" citizens aware for a month, say December, which according to them is enough to tune in with their surroundings.
In an effort to combat what organizers are calling "our current epidemic of complete and utter obliviousness," the American Foundation for Paying Attention to Things has declared December "National Awareness Month."

"All across the country, millions of men and women are dangerously unaware," said the AFPAT spokesperson.

This is all cute, but it's based on utter misunderstanding of awareness.
Osho has said a lot on this topic. In fact the whole of his vision can be summed up in one word : awareness.

I would like to share some Osho tips with the members of AFPAT.

"Start awareness with the breathing process. At least for one hour every day, sit silently just watching your breathing, doing nothing -- not even chanting a mantra -- because then you are making it complex. You simply see the breathing; it is a natural mantra: it goes in, goes out, goes in, goes out. You are not to say that the breathing is going out. You have to simply go with the breathing: it is going out, the consciousness goes with it; it comes in, the consciousness comes in. You simply sense it is going in and coming out.
"You try to remember it, and you will find difficulties even in this simple process. For a few seconds you will be aware, then you will forget. Then your mind has taken you away -- to your business, to your woman, to your children, or a thousand and one problems are there.
Again after a few minutes you will remember: "I have forgotten; I am not watching my breath" -- then again come back. There is no need to repent, there is no need to fuss about having forgotten. Whenever you recognize that you have lost track of breathing, come back; again start watching it. Doing it slowly, slowly, one day you will be able to watch your breath.

"If a person can watch his breath for forty minutes continuously, then there is no problem in life.
He can watch any problem. And by watching, any problem can be dissolved.
But first you have to learn how to watch -- so don't start with complex things, but with very simple things.
"Buddha says two things: watch either breathing or walking. Buddha himself did both: for one hour he would sit under the Bodhi Tree and watch his breathing, and when his limbs would feel tired, cramped, then he would walk for one hour and watch his walking -- one foot goes... another foot, another, then he would turn.
The breathing awareness in Buddhist terminology is called anapansatiyoga, and the walking meditation is called chankramana.
These are two simple processes -- and both are tremendously beautiful: breathing can be watched sitting silently, and walking can be watched being active.
"Everybody is capable of walking; you need not even learn about it. Small, simple, spontaneous processes have to be made aware first. And then, when you have attained a certain capacity, you can try it on other things: anger, greed, sex, possessiveness, jealousy."

The Discipline of Transcendence, Vol 4/courtesy Osho International Foundation/

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