Be who you always already are – that’s the approach that Beyond Mindfulness by Stephan Bodian teaches. The state is awakened awareness is what awaits the reader at the end of narrative. It is taking mindfulness meditation one more step further in seeking what you are.
I stood in a field with my four horses just being with them. I wondered what existing as a horse would feel like. Horses just are… they live in the moment. So I stood in a field with them emptying my mind and opening my senses. I smelt the grass, felt the wind against my hair and the warmth of the sun on my skin. Time became meaningless in the joy of existing in the moment.
Mr Bodian describes this experience as awakened awareness. Unlike the spacious awareness that is cultivated in mindfulness meditation, this openness is readily available and ready to be discovered. “When you stop moving through life as if everything revolved around you and instead embrace each moment from the global perspective of awakened awareness as a perfect expression of being itself, you end your constant struggle to get reality to live up to your expectations for security and comfort and shift to an intuitive sense of flow with the ongoing current of life”
The book is structured as a flow of lessons from retreats the author has conducted. Each chapter include direct instruction and guided meditation towards offering a glimpse of awakened awareness. I found that the meditations really augmented the instruction. I used one of the meditations in my yoga class and the discussion the followed was very animated.
Mindfulness has an underlying assumption that you can control things. You are focused on your breathing and directing it. This is different from awakened awareness which simply exists as that quiet statement within you “I am.” Discovering this awakened awareness is exploring your own inner knowing and intuition for which there is no pre-determined path.
When found you will infused with the fullness of being which expresses yourself through the heart as comfort, ease, trust, belonging, wonder, gratitude, joy, and love. You will also realize that there is an implicit order that takes care of everything and allows you to let go of the illusion of being in charge. You are more in tune with the flow of life.
I recommend this book to deepen your search for your true self. It is one that takes some time to go through as you reflect on each lesson. Ultimately, you may find that “a sensitive attunement to the play of feelings, felt senses and intuitions forms the basis for healthy, awakened relationships and gives direction and purpose to life.”