Your Sphere of Awareness

Awareness is a free gift, but you have to open the package.

Awareness can be defined as “knowledge and understanding that something is happening or exists”. Awareness is a skill that is developed. You can visualize awareness as a sphere that travels with you and extends outward your physical body. That sphere could be small, or it could be large.

Large is preferred because a large sphere participates in more of the world. And, it embodies the health principle of expanding outward.

In concrete terms, your senses seem to be enhanced by a large sphere. When you watch TV, remain aware of what is behind the screen. Your viewing will be improved. Same with a computer. When you read a book, try being aware of the white page as well as the black print. The print will appear darker and clearer.

With a large sphere, you are less likely to get run over at a traffic intersection or get lost in the woods. It’s a useful advantage because you know where you are in space. Life doesn’t surprise you. You won’t trip or bump your head as frequently.

Awareness is more than eyes and ears. The sphere embodies a sense of connectedness. It reaches behind you as far as in front.

So, how do you choose a larger sphere? Alternately stated, what determines the sphere’s size? The answer is interest. Conscious force is the wrong path.

Consider vision. Zen practitioners remind us not to stare at distant mountains. If you do, the mountain will become void of details. Trees blend into the fuzzy outline of the mountain. But if you are interested in what is on the mountain, details will appear. Your eyes will shift from point to point, which is the way eyes are designed to see.

A large sphere doesn’t mean limiting interest to distant objects. You can pay attention to detail at short or long distances by selecting the object of interest. To see or feel the texture of cloth, pay close attention.

Perhaps this sounds like a free lunch, where you get to experience everything equally clearly. It’s not. When paying attention to something distant, everything near becomes less clear. And vice versa. But regardless of distance, your personal large sphere stays the same size.

Awareness is a whole-body experience. Envision the sphere originating from your whole body – not just from your head.

“Fully aware” is an enjoyable way of experiencing the world, and it’s readily available. The price is interest in your surroundings.


Jack Menear