Note 15: Sixth Sense: Awareness
21 notes for Meditators: Answers for Questions you never asked!
It’s a great start to the week. We have covered a number of challenges Meditators face and can overcome during the course of the Inner journey. Today let’s talk about the effects of senses on a Meditator and its impact.
In the East, they say you have six senses not five. They include Awareness as a sixth sense, not intuition. Intuition is a byproduct of awareness of the moment. It is almost like tuning to existence. Interestingly East places senses as the midpoint between consciousness and unconsciousness. All Five senses direct you outward towards objects but awareness moves your attention to the inside. Basically combined, Five senses give you the picture of the world you are used to. Consciousness is beyond the senses. So the awareness and unconsciousness are at the same distance from the midpoint of the senses.
The wonder of the child comes from a lack of knowledge. That’s why everything in this world is a wonder in a child’s eye. The moment you start accumulating knowledge, your senses more often use memory to communicate your message. A child can look at a rose flower with wonder; he can also look at a Broomstick with the same wonder. Whereas grownups conclude this is a rose flower or this is a broomstick the moment they see it and there is no excitement there.
One of the first changes Meditator notices a few years into meditation is the beauty of the senses. Suddenly you can see leaves are more beautiful. Music sounds more musical! Food tastes better, fragrances lift you up. You like to touch and hug people.
These changes happen automatically. Meditators are bombarded with the joy of sensory happiness. Once you pay complete attention to the present moment and use that present moment awareness in your activity then every activity gets a new dimension. Dimensions and beauty you have not noticed in your day-to-day life. This is the reason why meditators develop child-like qualities. They began to see the joy in everything. It also slows them down automatically. It is not accidental that most of the meditation teachers move slowly and with twinkles in their eyes. It is because every moment is soaked in senses and absorbed. Invariably it makes you slow down. Slowing down is a good signpost of progress in meditation.
What is the challenge here?
Challenge is difficult to manage day-to-day work. Balancing becomes difficult, you tend to get immersed in activities where you lose time. For example, If you are responsible for your garden, chances are that you get lost in the world and the beauty of flowers, leaves, and the majesty of nature. Colors become radiant, sound becomes more harmonic, taste more celebratory.
Another challenge here is that based on your personality, sometimes senses imbalance can happen. For example for the first time food tastes different when you are in Now. So meditators when they discover the joy of food may drift into overeating: Cooking too often, spending too much time in Kitchen, etc. This is just an example of just one sense ruling over other senses. Meditators do strange things at this point in life. They tend to run away to the mountains just because nature is overwhelming and beautiful. Some take up music and just spend all their time playing and listening to music. Extreme indulgence can become a possibility here.
What can you do?
The first and foremost lesson you have to remember here is there is another sense called awareness. Your aim is to taste consciousness and awareness in totality. The awareness and present moment attention towards the five senses is an opportunity as well as a door to your sixth sense. You need to move beyond the extraordinary beauty and joy of the senses. You should also take note of your activities. If one activity influenced by one sense is taking over most of your time then step back a little and pay attention to it.
Note to Help:
There is nothing much I can say here to help you. But do not indulge in any one activity too much. Be it gardening, cooking, carpentry, walking… anything. Just be grateful for this opportunity to see this Universe in its splendid beauty. Just remember the sixth sense joins you together. The inner and the outer disappear in that bridging, and one for the first time comes to know exists as a totality. I and thou disappear. There is utter unity
One meditation that can help you to understand the world of senses is Dark place meditation. Sit comfortably in an extremely dark place and preferably at night and stop breathing in the darkness. Stop breathing for a second and you will disconnect with all your senses. As the mind stops, time stops. And for the first time you see the seer, you observe the observer. You become aware of awareness
Have a great weekend and I will see you next week.
Sureshg is the founder of Breathwork India. If you have any doubts , feel free to write in comments or if you have personal or professional question then do use our contact details page to write to him.