Examine the nature of awareness asks you to turn your attention inwards and notice who is aware of your experience. If you want to train your mind you first need to understand how it works and who is doing all this thinking.
The original lojong slogan is: Examine the nature of unborn awareness. When you turn your attention inwards and try to catch yourself seeing or thinking or feeling, a curious thing happens. You disappear. There’s no one seeing or thinking or feeling – there’s just the seen, the thought, the feeling. When you look for what is behind the experience, all you find is awareness.
Everything that you experience happens in your awareness. You don’t tend to notice the space in which experience occurs because you’re focused on the contents of the experience – the sensation, feeling, thought, and so on. The contents of awareness loom so large in your mind that you don’t notice the awareness itself. This slogan reminds you to turn your attention towards the space in which everything happens – awareness itself.
Apply this slogan to your writing practice by incorporating meditation or mindfulness into your daily routine. You could do this by meditating before you begin to write – a great way to clear your mind – or fit it into your day whenever you can. Just ten minutes can make a difference.
When there are too many distractions in your environment or your mind is filled with too many thoughts all vying for your attention, it can be hard to concentrate. Instead of getting caught up in the noise and letting your mind become scattered, this slogan reminds you to take a step back. By focusing on your awareness, you can clear your head of clutter and open a space in which you can think clearly.
Exercise: Commit to a regular meditation practice – if you don’t already have one.
More in the book – available now: Free Your Pen: Mind Training for Writers