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Is it time to wake up?

Can I ask you a question? Where do you live? No! I don't mean your address. I mean where do YOU live? Where are YOU now?

Are you sitting down while you read this? If so, can you feel what you are sitting on? Can you feel your feet on the floor? Did you notice parts of your body were tense? Can you see the computer screen or are you somewhere else? Somewhere in your mind, digesting the meaning of this message or some thoughts that this message provoked? Are they irrelevant mental pictures, sounds or feeling?

Then wake up!

Look around the room and notice some points. Notice points, rather than things (like books) which have meaning. Look around a bit and notice some more points. How are you now? Did you notice something you had overlooked before?

Do you know what a somnambulist is? It's a sleep walker. It's a person who moves about in the world, but whose attention and awareness isn't in the world. Have you ever seen one of these people? Have you looked closely at people recently? Have you looked at yourself?

What happens when people feel ill, or nervous? Where is their attention? If their attention were on the physical world, how would they notice they were nervous? Would you run on a broken leg? What if you noticed a hungry tiger? Have you heard of people performing super human acts of strength in an emergency (or under hypnosis?) Can it be that we have abilities which we are asleep to? Are we much more able than we realise?

When we are upset, where is our attention? Is it free and ranging or stuck on a mental idea? When we are angry, where is our attention? Free ranging or fixed on the object of our hate? When we are afraid, where is our attention? Free ranging, or flitting around, ignoring everything (except any sign of the feared object)?

Could the freeing of attention be part of solving our problems? Could it be the whole of it?

How would we be if we could put our attention solidly and bravely on the world without it recoiling or shrinking inside and sticking to negative ideas or emotions, or flitting from one unhappy thought to another, or frantically hanging onto the physical world, afraid to look within? What would happen if we could really face up to our negative thoughts and emotions neither sticking to them nor shrinking away? Would they be transformed instantly?

Is this enlightenment? Is this the awakened being?

(Did you notice a technique to free attention? Are you going to practice it?)

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Most Recent Revision: 20-Mar-99.
Copyright 1998, 1999 Ken Ward,
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