Awakening Healing Awareness
(Excerpt From Taming the Tokolosh Resource Guide)

Healing Awareness is a state of consciousness that facilitates a return to wholeness and health.  By quieting our minds, we allow our inner resources (and our connection with Spirit) to bring forth a higher wisdom than our conscious minds have access to. 

Most of us fill our lives with constant busyness and distraction, and we avoid dealing with feelings we find difficult or unpleasant. When we don’t take care of our emotional, mental and spiritual hygiene, those issues often manifest into more serious problems. Often those problems manifest physically.

Healing Awareness is a state of clarity and insight that is naturally available to us when we clear ourselves of mental clutter and let go of our everyday-thinking-mind. Awareness enables us to observe what is truly present—without judgment, critique or the need to control the outcome.

Cultivating Healing Awareness

(Excerpt from Mandy Bass' new book, Taming The Tokolosh: Through Fear Into Healing.

From my perspective, a regular meditation practice is the best way to cultivate healing awareness on an ongoing basis. In this exercise, there is nothing to accomplish or achieve. The purpose is to experience the present moment detached from your thoughts with curiosity and openness. To do that, you will need to put aside the identity you have with your problem-solving, “knowing” mind. This open, non-judgmental perspective is known as “beginners mind,” a deeper state of attention, receptivity and peace.

  • Make sure you are in a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed or distracted.
  • Ideally set aside twenty minutes, but even five or ten minutes will be helpful.
  • Do not struggle or strive to achieve anything. Simply approach this exercise with curiosity.
  • We build awareness by being quiet inside and noticing what is truly happening within us and around us—outside of our thoughts. Instead of striving to solve problems or make things happen a certain way, relax and allow yourself a little vacation from thinking.
  • It is unlikely that you will stop thinking. What you want to is disengage your awareness from that part of you so that you can notice that your thoughts are just thoughts. Notice them as you would notice autumn leaves falling from a tree. They are not you. You can choose to stop paying attention to them. You can choose to be quiet as they drift away.
  • Be compassionate with yourself. Whenever you become aware that you are being carried away by your thoughts, forgive yourself and make a conscious decision to come back to concentrating on your breath again. Do this no matter how many times it happens. The fact that you are catching yourself getting “hooked” by thought means that you are cultivating awareness.
  • Remember that there is nothing to make happen. You are simply building your ability to unhook from the craziness of your mind, so that you can get in touch with what else is present.
  • There is no right or wrong way to consciously experience Healing Awareness. The following steps are simply a guide:
  1. Sit comfortably and settle in for a few moments, focusing on your breath going in and out of your belly. Be quiet even if your mind seems unruly.
  2. Most people find it easier to close their eyes to shut out distraction, but you can also practice with your eyes open by fixing your gaze on an object or spot in front of you.
  3. Allow yourself to become aware of your thoughts. Be curious, watching, aware that you are not them—no more than you are autumn leaves. No matter how neurotic your thoughts get, remain still, observe, be curious and let them pass. Don’t judge, analyze or get carried away by them. Observe for a few minutes as you breathe in and out.
  4.  It is natural to get hooked by a thought and let several minutes pass before you realize it. If that happens, be gentle with yourself and bring yourself back to your breath.
  5. Once you feel comfortable with separating yourself from your thoughts and have successfully unattached yourself from your thinking a few times, ask yourself: Who is it that is doing the thinking? There is no need to answer this question with logic, just be present for whatever you are sensing. Observe. Don’t judge. Just notice what you notice. If you are not your thoughts, who is here? Again, be still, curious and open.
  6.  Notice what you are feeling. Where are you feeling that feeling? What are the qualities (texture / temperature / sensation) of that feeling? Sit with the sensation a few moments and avoid getting into the narrative about those feelings. What is under that feeling?
  7. What else is here?
  8. If there are no thoughts to think, no problems to solve, what is here? Feel what you feel; notice what you notice. Simply allow yourself to be aware of your awareness.
  9. Notice your healing awareness INSIDE your body.
  10. Notice your awareness BEYOND the edges of your body—in front, behind, to the left and to the right, above and below. How far does it extend? What do you sense? What else do you notice?
  11. Bring your attention back to the stillness of your breath for a few moments before coming out, giving thanks for these moments of peace and healing awareness
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