Awareness to me comes through self-inquiry and talking. It’s very practical. Too many theologies tend to confuse me so I like to just check in with my own inner guru. But first I like to meditate to clear the slate. My go-to meditation is my barefoot walking in the woods.
I start by taking off my shoes and socks, and then closing my eyes and feeling the earth on my bare feet, I then put one foot in front of the other, conscious of my heel hitting the earth, and then the front of my foot. I think, as Thich Nhat Hanh says, that I’m ‘kissing the earth’ with my feet, mindful of the impact I’m having on the earth and feeling as if we are one. More hocus pocus, I know … but it’s not so hocus pocus. Do a little research on the mind-body benefits of barefooting and I guarantee you’ll be getting kicked out of grocery stores in your near future.
This exercise is both a meditation and a practice of awareness. It slows down the mind and limits the mind drama, and allows us the space to get clear. From this space we can gain the awareness of what our attachments are, and why we have them.
While in Yoga teacher training I learned a valuable meditation for letting go of attachments that were causing me suffering. It was simple yet profound.
This instructor said a few simple words that felt like they took years of tension and pressure off my chest in an instant: ‘Allow it to be and it will pass.’
No more conflict with my thoughts, attachments and emotions: I could just let them be, let them have their space in my awareness and they would pass on their own.
I know it sounds like hocus pocus, new age bull, right? But what are hocus pocus and new age anyway, but theologies meant to ease our suffering? Whatever path works for us works, and we get to choose that path. Whether we choose oracle cards or a walk in the woods, all paths lead home.