Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the week of August 3, 2009

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Inhabiting Consciousness

(Part 6 of 9 in the series: Stages of Becoming Conscious)

Inhabiting our life means intentionally and actively being the one who is living it, being the one who is present here and now, being the one who is experiencing the impressions our senses are bringing us now. We feel that “I am living, presencing, experiencing.” Being the one who does what you do means more than being aware of what you are doing. It means having an immediate sense of agency, of being the agent, the decider, the chooser, the intender, the actor of our actions, and the liver of our life. It means being our attention.

This practice leads us to feel that “I am conscious.” The intentional and ongoing act of being the one who is here attracts and entrains the conscious energy. Well-knowing by this stage the taste of consciousness, we can open to it not only in meditation but in the midst of our day. We open to it and occupy it. That cognizant stillness of consciousness is “where” we feel ourselves to be. It is at this level of the conscious energy that we can feel our I most distinctly.

When we practice inhabiting our body, we fill our whole body, our inner body of sensation, with our intention and attention, with our will-to-be. In the same way, the practice of inhabiting consciousness means filling consciousness with our intention, our will-to-be, our I. We occupy this whole place of pure awareness, this vast spaciousness, this context of all experience, even as the usual torrent of sensory perceptions continues unabated. We stay here, at home, in the peace of consciousness in the midst of the pleasant breezes and powerful storms of our life.

So we practice by inhabiting our life, by being the one who is doing what we are doing. Then we can notice the conscious energy and inhabit that as well. Thus we can live on two levels at once: in the level of sensitive energy, sensory impressions, and our physical and mental actions and occupations, where we can say “I experience,” and in the level of pure awareness, presence, and consciousness, where we can say a wholehearted “I am.”

We can first explore this practice most easily during sitting meditation sessions. Then we gradually move our practice of inhabiting consciousness into increasingly challenging situations: while going for a walk, while watching, while listening, while doing simple chores like washing dishes or sweeping.

For this week, practice inhabiting consciousness.


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