Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice

 

 

Inner Work


For the week of: March 4, 2002


A Shift in Perspective

While walking we pass by many things: buildings, trees, people, and so on. Unconsciously we take those things, the world outside our body, as our frame of reference. In that frame, the building, the sidewalk, and the meadow remain in place as we move past or through them. We trek through space and time that way, focused on the external like a tourist. This seems, and is indeed, ordinary and natural. Yet another way is possible.

Einstein examined the relativity of motion using the example of a train passing a station. If you are on the train, the station passes you: you are at rest with respect to the train. If you are in the station, the train does the moving, while you stand still on the platform. In the first case your frame of reference is the train, while in the second the station.

In this exercise, while walking, we shift our perspective, our frame of reference from the world outside our body to the world within, the inner world we carry with us wherever we go. Centered in ourselves as we walk, we notice the buildings and trees moving toward and past us. Though our body walks, we ourselves remain still within, abiding in consciousness. The outside moves toward and around us. Calm descends. Instead of hurrying to get somewhere, we are already here and the world comes to us. Rather than dissipate our energies in an outward flow, we remain centered inside. No longer a traveler through an external world, we become the world and the world travels through us, through our awareness.

No mere trick, this exercise offers a new perception, a taste of consciousness, pure awareness not limited to space and time. This shift in perspective goes beyond spatial movement. Even when we are stationary, the world and time move through us. We remain conscious in the seeing, not dragged or pushed by the stream of time. Consciousness does not belong to space or time.

For this week, practice shifting your perspective to your own center.


     

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