Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the week of March 5, 2018

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Conscious Energy Practice

(Climbing Jacob's Ladder: 5)

Having tasted pure awareness, we begin to suspect that if we can come into it once, we could enter it again, perhaps even at will. Not only that, but we also suspect that a conscious life would be a life full of meaning and value, peace and freedom, a life that is vivid and satisfying, relationships enriched by evaporating barriers. At the same time, we see that we are rarely conscious in the full sense. So we resolve to do the work necessary to be conscious more often and for longer.

First, we return regularly to silent meditation of the type described in part 4 of this inner work series: Conscious Energy Awareness. By coming into that silent field again and again, by soaking in that cognizant stillness, we gradually acquire and clarify for ourselves the taste of consciousness, what it is like to be conscious, to be in pure awareness. We see that consciousness is not foreign or outside us, but rather inherent in the core of our own being. We even begin to see that consciousness is always here, though masked by all that our senses bring us, masked by our own thoughts and emotions. Underneath all that, always, the vast field of consciousness abides unchanging.

That field is where we truly live. So our practice during our active day consists of coming back to ourselves, back to the field of consciousness, even as we engage in all that we do.

What does coming back to ourselves mean? What is ourselves? In one sense, we all already know what this means. We have a direct intuition of who we are, even if we cannot articulate it. But because we live outside ourselves so much, we need to actually make the effort of coming back to ourselves. It is here that inner work practices can help.

When we look at coming back to ourselves, we do not typically mean coming into contact with our body. That, however, is an excellent place to start. Intentionally being in our body, loosens the grip that our thoughts and reactive emotions have on us. When we are lost in thoughts or emotions, we lack free intention; we are passive. Engaging intentionally and purposefully lifts us to a different inner level for those moments. But until the taste of consciousness is strong in us, we may need some other structure to this effort. That structure comes in the shape of our body and our visceral contact with body sensations, and further, with the sensitive energy itself that enables that contact.

We practice sensing during the day. If we can come strongly into sensing our whole body, then at that moment we can open further inward, back into the one who is sensing, back into ourselves, and thus back into the field of consciousness where our true self resides. We recall the silent taste of consciousness. Standing in the sensitive energy, anchored in the present by our body, we allow the taste of consciousness to guide us back behind our thoughts, behind what we see and hear, and into the cognizant stillness underneath all that. We return to this place of simple inner freedom. Outwardly, we do what we do. Inwardly, we abide in being.

For this week, please practice returning to pure awareness, to the conscious energy at the root of all experience.


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