The Different Forms of Awareness
Meditation, Mindfulness and How Change Stimulates Being Now
dont know where this page belongs, -
i only now realise it is basicly connected with the idea that
Buddha may have been saying something else about the inevitable "changes".
Mindfulness of touch and body sense are good for relaxation and a solid feeling of being, or self-identity and confirmation. They are basic to all life, (except for humans).
I could be wrong, but i imagine animals have a conscious awareness of their own internal body sense constantly in the background, and any changes would be registered, but this bodily awareness does not require sustained attentive nowness.
Tastes and smells are a more subtle level of self awareness.
I'm sure animals are intensly aware of the tastes and smells inside their own bodies, and they would notice all the subtle changes. And when eating walnuts, they would expect and recognise a different feeling inside to when eating worms. But this change would be common sense for them, because they cause it by eating something specific. It is not comparable with unexpected external stimuli.
We are so used to the taste of ourselves inside our own body, and the smell of our own out-breath, that we take them for granted. These sensations change far quicker than our skin and bones, but they are stilll fairly constant, the changes are slow, and they are very interesting areas to explore and develop a deeper sense of body-identity. A deeper sense of relaxation and solid being. But they don't require or stimulate being now exactly because they are constant, they are reliable.
Breathing is generally a constant repetitious movement, slow and steady particularly if you are consciously relaxing, it's a rhythm, similar to the heart beat, but far more obvious. Watching the breathing can be very good for lots of things and there are elements of being now.
At times, when i let go of the breathing, it becomes irregular as the lower brain takes over and adjusts my needs. These are the times when the changes are unexpected, - at these times i find it automatic to be fully aware of the breathing and be now.
If life was full of interesting and inspiring things, there would be no problem for humans to be now.
But it's the unexpectedness, and the necessity to be actively receptive, ready and waiting for any sudden change, which stimulates the straightforward nowness seen in animals.
I find it hard to just watch the breathing these days. For me breathing is intrinsically connected with smelling. The exchange between in-smell and out-smell, deepens the sensation of a connection between our inner being and the world outside. I feel a greater sense of being intimately involved with my environment and absorbing it, when smelling in ... and this feels very different, more alive and interesting than just breathing.
I believe many animals would be conscious of this exchange of smells, and experience it in ways i can't imagine.
But, animals on the look-out are only be interested in the incoming smell. They ingest the scent, with every change of wind, searching for food or danger. Animals savour the incoming smell, and they search out all the different meanings behind the smells. And i repeat, it's the unexpectedness, and the necessity to be ready and waiting for sudden changes, which stimulates the straightforward receptive alert nowness seen in animals.
In the outside world, trees, clouds, and other animals are seldom still - cats eyes and night lights are often only a flash. Smells change quickly, especially if there's a wind. And if you aren't aware the split second the dog barks or a door slams, you'll have missed it forever.
Change stimuates our attention in a way constant or rhythmic stimuli don't. Animals must 'focus' on everything and anything which moves, anything which changes. And broadband sensing evolved in order to do this, to be receptive to, and aware of movements and changes outside our body, with smells, sounds and sights in the immediate environment.
The easiest and most enduring, (and when you think about it, most obvious and logical) self perpetuating, self supporting method of being now, is with broadband sensing, because it has to be done now.