Archive for October, 2009

Do we Awaken Possibility?

Posted in Uncategorized on October 23, 2009 by velocityvortx

I am intrigued by the fact that Jesus, with consistency and regularity, called forth possibility in people.  In fisherman, tax collectors, prostitutes, blind people and that is just for starters, Jesus called people on to a different way of being and a different sort of life. 

Inherent within Jesus’ possibility posture was his sense that people are made in the image of God.  Contrary to so much wrongheaded emphasis on original sin, Jesus seems clear that the image of God in us is more original it is the starting point.  It was in Genesis and it was with Jesus.  That there is a place from which we can operate where ego can be laid down and our bipolar, binary, splitting, fracturing way of seeing each other and much of life can be released.  This is part of metanoia, the waking up to a wider reality Jesus is inviting.  I have been a fan of Benjamin Zander for some time.  I read his book 7 years ago and it was engergizing and powerful.  This talk is the same.  And while the goal of his talk has nothing to do with Jesus perse I think it does have something to do with Jesus. Enjoy!  And if you don’t have 20 minutes right now wait till you do you need to see the whole thing.

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Insight Mediation….Witness Awareness

Posted in Uncategorized on October 16, 2009 by velocityvortx

One of the great tools in ATTENTION/AWARENESS development (and this is very vertical) is what is called insight meditation or witness awareness.  This is essentially being able to watch yourself and your thoughts arising with nonjudgmental viewing.  Non judgmental because judgment causes us to push stuff we need to be aware of into our shadow egoic selves.  We hide this from our view because we don’t like what we see and when that happens our ability to attend to it ceases. We have not done much in the Christian world to address this issue of shadow.

To use more Pauline biblical language, we have to learn to observe the patterns of the flesh, to step outside of ourselves with enough consistency we can observe the ways we are responding to the world around us.  Formation of this sort starts in our heads…to be transformed by our minds being renewed (Romans 12.1-2).  This IS NOT an injunction by Paul to go read a bunch of bible verses contrary to how this is often preached.  This could not be what Paul had in mind.  The individual believers in Rome didn’t have a pocket or nightstand copy of the bible for individual usage. He had to mean something more like becoming aware of what is going on inside your head space.  

A lack of intention and attention to the stories we are telling ourselves is exactly and precisely how we end up molded by the world (Rom 12.1 again); meaning  we will be pulled toward the greatest sensation of the moment.  THIS IS THE VERY ESSENCE of reaction. 

My action is in response to the greatest stimulus in my environment at the moment.  Again to use Pauline language, to keep pace with the Spirit and to marshal and direct our energies wisely (The Message translation of egkrateia usually translated self control) requires astute and keen awareness.  That is the point of insight meditation….more on how to do that in a couple days.

Attention the Other Co-Conspirator

Posted in culture, personal development, theology on October 4, 2009 by velocityvortx

Intention is critical to practice (see two posts ago) 

But there is a second…. ATTENTION.

We have talked about a key shift in transformative practice is a shift in perspective.

A shift in what you pay attention to.  An ability to realize you have a head talk going on. Call it ego, the old man, the flesh.   An ability to realize your self conversation defines your reality far more than you circumstances is critical to transformation.  What does Jesus say…

Matt. 6.22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.

What we see is what creates head space egoic talk.  That is what in turn defines how we view the world.  We live into these stories whether we realize it or not.  Think about it…we start telling ourselves stories about tomorrow’s meeting, concern, conflict situation.  We then head into that the situation with the scenario rehearsed.  Our brain then helps us recreate that scenario and then we have a self fulfilling prophecy and don’t know why.

What we see and what we see with our minds eye is key to our formation.  This is why Paul prayed for our enlightenment (that the eyes of your hear might be enlightened Eph.1) and that we not be conformed by what we see in the world but be transformed by telling ourself a different head space story (Romans 12)

Attention is all about what you pay attention to… if you pay attention at all.

I think this is the big learning for me.  I have never until recently really placed my attention or intended my attention to do anything.  It was all 100% autopilot.

moving  from blindness to seeing,

from autopilot to intentional

from sleeping to awake

from hypnotized to aware.

I have quoted to you from Charles Tart the psychologist before but allow me to do it again

· The path that interests me most, personally and professionally is what you might call the path of awareness.  It’s based on the assumption that in ordinary consciousness a great deal of what happens is automatized.  Ordinary consciousness is only sort or semi-consciousness, and there is a mechanical nature to it.  Whereas if you being to apply to it various kinds of mindfulness practices that give you insights into the way the mind functions as well as certain concentrative abilities—this can speed insights and enable you to focus your attention in a particular direction.

In this regard when we are talking about attention we are really talking about awareness.

Intention and attention … intention purpose and focus with awareness and sensitivity these are the first two keys to us moving into the arena of transformation.

Intention and Attention are really about living more fully more deeply.

If you really bring your intention and attention to larger blocks of your day you can’t help but have a richer, fuller, more somatically aware, emotionally nuanced, day. 

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