Someone I trust gave me a key recently. A key to greater mindfulness. A key to help me stay even more in the present moment. A key to bring me back to here and now and me when I start to drift or wander.

“Awareness of…”

Apparently, it’s a mindfulness practice that comes from Most Intimate by Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara. All I know is that it’s a mindfulness practice that works.

It’s a mindfulness practice that comes from meditation practice. To sit in silent meditation, silent except for the fact that you keep saying (or thinking if you’re tired of saying it out loud), “awareness of…” Then you note what you’re aware of in that moment. “Awareness of…the sun on my face.” “Awareness of…my leg feeling numb.” “Awareness of…my mind thinking about breakfast or the fight I had with someone or my work challenge…(or what the hell my next book will be about and how the hell to keep interest in to the moon and back thriving and where should I write for next and who has recently asked me to speak or to read and how can I keep reaching and impacting more people?)”

“Awareness of…my mind wandering again. Shit.”

Recently I’ve been practicing being even more in the moment I’m in. I’ll be walking down the street and think “awareness of…” and I’m more aware of my feet on the pavement and the breeze on my skin. I’ll be sitting on an airplane, looking out the window at the clouds and the wing of the plane, feeling my kid’s head on my shoulder as they sleep, and I’ll think, “awareness of…” and I notice everything more. I notice the beauty of the clouds out the window. I notice the boundless surge of love in my heart and the stark realization of all the joy and gifts and magnificence in my life.

I forget this tool for a few days (or a few hours). Then I remember it again and think “awareness of…” and I’m full of awe at what is around and in me. I feel myself calm from my crazy thoughts (“stinking thinking” as it was referred to in Al-Anon). I ground and I be and I be more and more wholly and completely me and wholly and completely comfortable with being me.

Awareness of…

Try it. Let me know how it goes.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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