Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the week of July 13, 2009

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Opening to Conscious Energy

(Part 3 of 9 in the series: Stages of Becoming Conscious)

In a state of non-clinging, with a full sense of our presence, our inner stage is set for opening to consciousness, to the conscious energy. In fact consciousness is already here, we need only recognize and step back, into it. But for that, it helps to have some idea of what consciousness is. That idea can match up with our experience and expedite our learning the way into consciousness.

Consciousness is not the content of experience. We see a sight or notice a thought. These and all the other sensory impressions populate our awareness with a seamless layer of content, like the images on a movie, television, or computer screen. And we typically are so preoccupied with this ongoing flow our senses bring us, that the larger context of the screen itself escapes us. Sensory experience churns our sensitive energy and keeps us enthralled by the foreground content of awareness, by all that we see and hear, taste and smell, touch and think.

But when we sit quietly in meditation, our sensitive energy settles and everything slows down, even to the point of gaps opening between thoughts. Moving through those silent gaps, we enter consciousness, the backdrop of experience, the cognizant stillness, the knowing substrate, the pure awareness behind and beneath sensory impressions, behind and beneath our thoughts.

The practice of sitting still and closing our eyes, of relaxing and allowing, quiets our mind and reduces the flow of sensory perceptions, enabling us to see, to understand, to be in the consciousness that surrounds that flow, that surrounds us. By repeatedly opening to stillness in this way, we begin to acquire the subtle taste of the conscious energy.

Later, with practice, we discover the ability to open to consciousness even in the midst of activity. But for this week, please practice opening to consciousness in the stillness of meditation.


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