The goal for this exercise is to take any moment in your life to bring the quiet awareness you have developed, and be able to bear or maintain it from moment to moment. You can do this exercise any time of the day for either a short period or a long period of time depending on you. Though we advise that you do it gradually, there’s no point in hurrying.
Activities that are part of your daily routine are ideal for this exercise. For example, whenever you’re taking a bath in the morning, instead of just doing it or showering to get cleaned while you’re thinking about other things like how your day will go or the work you’ll have to do later on, why not shower or take a bath in order to just really shower. Be aware of the sensations that you’ll experience while you’re doing this activity like how the water will run through you or the warmth of the water on your skin. Look at the soap as it flows through in your hands and body, and feel the sensation as you rinse yourself. Deliberately shower is what we’re saying here. Take a bath for the sake of taking a bath not because you need to clean yourself or because it’s a chore you have to get through. Try to slow it down, whatever activity or routine you’re doing every day. Take the time to spend this moment so that you can experience what’s actually happening while you’re doing it. This is what ‘being’ instead of just ‘doing’ is all about. As what some people say “we are human beings, not human doings” yet the latter is what we always do.
Another common and daily routine in which you can apply active awareness or mindfulness is whenever you’re eating. Lots of people just eat food because they want to relieve their hunger while their minds are not aware of the experience that they’re actually eating, some are doing it so fast that they don’t even know how the food taste. What you can do is to take the time to experience eating while observing or becoming aware of the sensations you’ll experience during this activity. The point here is to not become too focused or conscious of your actions rather just experience your being at the moment.
Whenever you’re taking a walk or you’re going to work, instead of rushing through and just let everything pass you by, why not walk with mindfulness? I’m not saying slow down your walking to the point that you’re going to be late for work, you can actually be mindful even if you’re in a hurry. Allot time for everything, if you only have 10 to 15 minutes in the shower, or to eat, or to get to work then have a schedule, you can be mindful even if you only have a few minutes. The key however is to be aware while you’re doing all of it. You can walk fast but you can still notice the people passing you by, the clouds above, the trees around, and the details in the environment around you. You can look at how the sun shines in your face, and feel how the wind touches your skin. Just like what you did in the quiet awareness exercise, the key here is to just be aware of it. Just feel it. Don’t judge, don’t think, just observe and acknowledge, and perhaps appreciate. If you can do this every day, you’ll be surprised as to the wealth of details you’ll notice even in the smallest of moments. Such details may not be something you’ve known before even if you’re walking that same street for probably a thousand times already, and that’s because you’re not aware, you’re not noticing such things.
You see, there’s a depth of richness in even the simplest situation at any given moment. It’s just waiting for us to notice it but because we don’t deliberately pay attention, we miss out on all these beautiful details.
Keep in mind though that even if such exercise may generate a sense of wonder to you, the purpose of it is to just maintain your state of awareness. Proper mindfulness will enable you to observe the onset of any sensation at any given moment. As you may now know, the opportunities to become aware are limitless, and the more you practice it, the closer you get in being aligned with your True Will.