Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the week of February 22, 2010

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Conscious Presence

(Aspect 11 of 12 of the Path to Presence)

Having worked on sensitive presence in our body, in our emotions, and in our mind, and in all three together, we may wonder what if anything comes next for presence. Is there more? Indeed there is much more. The sensitive energy allows us contact with the content of experience, with our body, heart, and mind. The next higher energy, the conscious energy, offers us an entirely new perspective, a vast and timeless perspective. The triune, sensitive presence in body, heart, and mind provides the needed foundation on which an opening into the conscious energy, into consciousness, can persist for more than a few moments.

First, let us note the various qualities of consciousness as it manifests in body, heart, and mind. Conscious energy in the body brings awareness of wholeness, focused unity of action, and complete coordination. Conscious physical actions flow with effortless perfection, like an athlete in the zone. But even the simplest actions, like reaching for something at the dinner table or like walking, can be conscious.

Conscious energy in our mind brings cognitive presence beyond just thinking. That state opens into the timeless stillness of consciousness, into cognitive stillness. It yields a higher, unifying perspective, the ability to see, to see objectively and impartially, to see our life as a whole.

Conscious energy in our center of emotion opens into our basic layer of peace and equanimity. That peace at heart carries us into the wonder of life. Joy naturally flows out of this, as does every other constructive emotion appropriate to a given situation.

These qualities of real consciousness offer us guidance on how to enter it, how to step into that higher perspective. From contact with our thoughts, we open to the silent, cognitive awareness surrounding thought. From contact with our center of emotion, we open to the peace and equanimity underlying all emotion. From sensing our whole body, we enter wholeness and unity of body action. What we do, we do with our whole body, with every part of our body participating, playing its appropriate role.

Building on the foundation of triune, sensitive presence in body, heart, and mind, we allow all three to come under the umbrella of consciousness. The conscious energy subsumes sensation, feeling, and cognition, unifying the three into the wholeness of our being. The hallmark of the conscious energy in all its forms is that through it we can be. Simply and directly, in this moment, we are. We are whole and here.

For this week, please practice entering the stillness, the peace, the wholeness of consciousness. Try it first in sitting meditation and, as you are able, during your ordinary activities.


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