Day 11 – Awareness is a Skill You Can Master [Oprah and Deepak Chopra Teachings]
Getting Unstuck – Creating a Limitless Life – Oprah and Deepak Chopra 21 Day Meditation Experience
These are amazing notes – not transcripts – from Deepak and Oprah’s meditation challenge, Getting Unstuck, Creating a Limitless Life, written by DoinTheGratefulDance . I have enjoyed several of the meditation series Oprah and Deepak Chopra have shared. I am not affiliated with them – just a grateful listener too and wanted to share these wonderful notes. I couldn’t have done a better job! Thanks for sharing these notes!
Day 11 – “Awareness is a Skill You Can Master”
I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.” – Charlotte Brontë
Today’s meditation is about learning self-awareness skills…
- Paying attention to what is happening in our environment,
- Focusing attention – exploring our experiences with clarity and without judgement
- Stillness or wholeness where we allow awareness to encompass our entire experience as our own selves
These skills are the knowingness that gives us creative awareness and prevents our being stuck.
“My awareness opens the door to new possibilities”
“Om Pragyanam Asmi (sounds like Ohm Prah-ghee-ahn-yahm Ahs-mee )
My true self is pure intelligence”
One of her favorite passages in the bible is ‘Be still and know that I am God’. Stillness is where we can have our deepest experience of all that life is – no matter what we call it – God, The Universe, Source Energy, Allah, The Divine or anything else. Stillness can take us to our most powerful creative place.
I love her description of this moment – it’s breathtaking to me…”I had a stillness moment that, I believe, was one of the most profound experiences of my life. A friend and I were taking a sunset mountain hike and as the sunset had left wisps of lavender ribbons across the sky. Clouds moving down from the mountains spread over the ocean. All around me was a cloud mist and just one clear space of sky glowing with the light of a crescent moon. I felt like I could climb onto that crescent moon and lean back into it’s arc. And as we continued our walk, my friend told me to stop a minute so I stopped. Can you hear that? I could. And it took my breath away. It was the sound of silence. Utter and complete stillness. So still I could hear my own heart beating. There was absolutely no movement, no breeze, no recognition of air even. It was, for me, the sound of nothing and everything. It felt like all life and death and beyond contained in one space and I was not just standing in it, I was also it. A part of it. That was the most peaceful, coherent, knowledgeable moment I’ve ever witnessed. Heaven on Earth. It’s what I called a Glory, Glory, Hallelujah moment and what I know for sure, that moment – that feeling, is always available to us if we can peel back the layers of our life. The frenzy and the noise. Stillness is always waiting and that stillness is you. Awareness is you. Peace is you.”
We’ve already learned that getting unstuck involves practical guidelines to help us expand our awareness and get us out of negative emotions. Awareness is an important skill – it opens the door to new possibilities. We lives our live and find our way out of situations depending on our skill levels – and it is a learned skill.
The skill of paying attention, observing the things around us…
- How do I feel right now – am I feeling confused, etc? In control and connected?
- How are other people feeling right now – are they wary and closed or comfortable and open?
- How do I feel in this situation right now – is it tense or relaxed?
The skill of focus – the skill of being interested and engaged
- The opposite of being scattered
- Staying on-point
- Can be due to short attention span, boredom, feeling ill-at-ease, distracted
The skill of stillness
- Letting the moment expand on its own as I watch, wait and bear witness.
- Not the same as passivity. It’s about restful alertness, being present in the moment without tension.
These skills are developed naturally in meditation and when they are mastered, even in a very short time they fuse into one thing – creative awareness.
Listen to some relaxing music, breathe slowly and deeply, become more and more relaxed, and meditate for about 10 minutes using the Sanskrit mantra – which means “I am pure consciousness, unlimited, eternal and unconditioned”.
“Om Pragyanam Asmi (sounds like Ohm Prah-ghee-ahn-yahm Ahs-mee )
My true self is pure intelligence
Om Pragyanam Asmi
Om Pragyanam Asmi”
Continue meditating for about 10 minutes and then release the mantra. Concentrate on the centering thought: being fulfilled and being who you want to be and repeating:
“My awareness opens the door to new possibilities
My awareness opens the door to new possibilities”
Reflections on Day 11, write about it…
- Using my new skill of awareness, write about a time when something happened in an old, familiar situation/relationship. How do I not see it and what is my response using my new insight? Someone might be gruff and abrupt but now I also recognize that he tries to be fair…my coworker is friendly but now I also see he/she likes being “right”. Exercise is just about honing my skill of observing and being aware.
- Take a deep breath and check within myself to see if there are feelings that I don’t want to deal with and am avoiding. Hint – close my eyes and see if I can recognize a persistent feeling of doubt, sadness, irritation or dread. Write about anything that I become aware of – I can only change it if I’m aware of it. When I finish writing, sit with these feelings, breathe deeply and listen compassionately to them without judgement, guild – don’t push them away, accept them as part of me. Let them run their course. (Note to myself…Jill Bolte Taylor in her book, Stroke of Insight, says that the physical effect of feelings pass through our body in 90 seconds. If we feel them longer than that, we’re holding on to them for some reason – might or might not help to try to figure out the reason. Feel it and let go of the feeling and move on after 90 seconds – repeat as necessary)
- Think of a time when I was tempted to tune someone out but chose to really focus and listen to them, and how it felt. How did the person respond. (If I can’t think of an actual experience, imagine one). How can I presently apply my awareness skill?
Oprah lessons written by by DoinTheGratefulDance