There are three steps of awareness.
First, become aware of your body – walking, chopping wood or carrying water from the well. Be watchful; be alert, aware, conscious. Don’t go on doing things like a zombie, like a somnambulist, a sleepwalker.
When you have become aware of your body and its actions, then move deeper – to your mind and its activity, thoughts, imagination, projections. When you have become deeply aware of the mind, you will be surprised.
When you become aware of your bodily processes, you will be surprised there too. I can move my hand mechanically, I can move it with full awareness. When I move it with full awareness, there is grace, there is beauty.
I can speak without awareness. There are orators, speakers…. I don’t know any oratory; I have never learned the art of speaking, because to me it looks foolish. If I have something to say, that is enough. But I am speaking to you with full awareness, each word, each pause… I am not an orator, not a speaker.
But when you are aware of speaking, it starts becoming art. It takes on the nuances of poetry and music. […]
When you become aware of the mind, you are in for a greater surprise. The more you become aware, the less thoughts move on the track. If you have one hundred percent thoughts, there is no awareness. If you have one percent awareness, there are only ninety-nine percent thoughts – in exact proportion. When you have ninety-nine percent awareness there is only one percent thought, because it is the same energy.
As you become more aware there is no energy available for thoughts; they die out. When you are one hundred percent aware, the mind becomes absolutely silent. That is the time to move still deeper.
The third step: to become aware of feelings, moods, emotions. In other words, first the body – its action; second, the mind – its activity; third, the heart and its functions.
When you move to the heart and bring your awareness there, again a new surprise. All that is good grows, and all that is bad starts disappearing. Love grows, hate disappears. Compassion grows, anger disappears. Sharing grows, greed disappears.
When your awareness of the heart is complete, the last surprise, and the greatest surprise: you don’t have to take any step. A quantum leap happens on its own accord. From the heart, you suddenly find yourself in your being, at the very center.
There you are aware only of awareness, conscious only of consciousness. There is nothing else to be aware of, or to be conscious of. And this is the ultimate purity. This is what I call enlightenment.
And this is your birthright! If you miss, only you are responsible. You cannot dump the responsibility on anybody else.
And it is so simple and natural, that you just have to begin.
Only the first step is difficult. The whole journey is simple. There is a saying that the first step is almost the whole journey.
From From Bondage to Freedom, Chapter Three
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