In mindfulness practice, you’ll often hear the term “natural awareness.” By “natural awareness” we mean the awareness that just comes with being a human being. It’s free from judging and characterizing—it’s just noticing and sensing the world. It’s done when you open your eyes, you see something, or you hear something, or you touch something. So, the simplest awareness that just comes as part of the equipment of being alive, without a lot of filters around it or judgments. You can trust that it’s always there.
By “natural awareness” we mean the awareness that just comes with being a human being. It’s free from judging and characterizing—it’s just noticing and sensing the world.
An Awareness Practice You Can Do Anywhere
One Minute Guided Meditation with Barry Boyce
This is a short practice intended for doing in the middle of the day, wherever you are out in the world, for settling. It’s done with eyes open. So let’s begin.
- Settle into your seat. Begin by taking a seat, or if necessary, standing. The important thing is to feel where your body is touching the seat and touching the ground.
- Scan the body. Sense where your bottom is touching the seat. Sit up straight or stand straight but not stiff. Make sure your feet are completely touching the ground, connecting you to the earth. Your eyes are open, so take in the surroundings of where you are. Lower your gaze slightly.
- Connect with the breath. Pay light attention to your breath as it goes out.
- Follow the out-breath. At the end of the out-breath, let there be a gap while the in-breath is happening. And in that gap you have natural awareness: it’s there already, you don’t have to create it. So, follow the breath out, and out, and out. As thoughts arise, treat them as you would anything else you encounter: Notice it, and use that noticing to bring you back to the out-breath and ride it out. Out, and out, and out.