Living Consciously, the Practice
Lee Armentrout, RScP
What is it to live consciously? I believe that it’s having the awareness that I’m not just existing for my own benefit. Each of us alive gets to walk a thin line — the line between being driven by our base instincts and to have a sense of our connectedness and responsibility to our fellow human beings. This unique intersection of human and divine we share often brings us to a choice point. The choices are to live as though satisfying every egoic whim is a goal. The other choice is to seek solutions that face all of us with earnestness and loving kindness. The first choice, for the most part, has been chosen for us. As Americans, we are immersed in the message to get as much as possible and hold on to it for as long as possible. The second choice, living consciously, leads us to a state of mind and an experience of life without crippling reactivity and violence.
Before this altruistic second choice can come about, there is a requirement to do some inner reflection. This inner reflection is the practice. What kind of practice leads to consciously choosing to live within a kind, peaceful mindset? The ancients figured it out. Mystical beginnings of all traditions were not ideas of greed and power but of harmony running deep under the appearance of all things.
There is a call on every heart to be conscious of the deeper truth that lies just beneath the surface of appearances. Whether we are aware of it or not, there’s a Divine impulse to remember that we have a Magnificent Self that can transform unforgiveness, hurt, blame and greed into cooperation, plenty and peace.
We practice by looking beyond things and circumstances to the deeper spiritual meanings of those things. When you and I are conscious, we meet the world in a more gentle way, a more generous way and a more loving way. The call to be conscious is always present. It’s our wonderful choice to heed it.
All the texts, scriptures and writings of old, point to getting still enough to hear a still small voice. It’s the opposite of effort. There are a myriad of ways to get quiet within. Meditation, journaling, spiritual reading, prayer, participation in a spiritual community are just some of them. I trust you choose and find the perfect path that suits you.
Here are some suggestions for reading: This Thing Called You by Ernest Holmes; The Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford; The Untethered Soul by Micheal Singer; The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle; Emptiness Dancing by Adyashanti