Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Observing and Expanding Awareness


Observing and Expanding  Awareness

Attention is a limited resource.  

Billions of bits of data are available in every moment, but we have the ability to attend to a small fraction.  Your brain is designed to present data to you that it believes is important to you.  So if you believe you are unlovable, it will heighten your awareness to information that lends proof of your unlovability and ignores data that shows the love that is in your life.

As the expression ‘paying attention’ suggests, you have a limited supply of cognitive currency.  
Rick Hanson, who wrote Buddha Brain, said “Attention is like a combination spotlight and vacuum cleaner: it illuminates what it rests upon and then sucks it into your brain – and your self.” He also made the statement “the mind is Teflon for positive experience and Velcro for negative experience.”

Barbara Fredrickson, a psychologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, found that 
paying attention to positive emotions literally expands your world, while focusing on negative emotions shrinks it — a fact that has important implications for your daily experience.

The ability to manage your attention is a skill called Self-Regulation and governs your ability to make decisions, plan, and function; it ultimately determines your well-being. What if we actually paid our attention? Rather than getting sucked into a self-defeating thought, we have the ability to redirect the mind quickly to a more productive thought.

new study out of Princeton University showed that students who constantly checked on their own levels of attention performed with fewer mistakes and were better at focusing. By checking on their attention, their skill level increased. This proved that our brains possess attentional plasticity — or the ability to improve focus when checked on. 

As the great psychologist, William James, wrote over a century ago: “The education of attention would be the education par excellence.”  
Studies have shown that meditation improves attention regulation. Other studies
 indicate that improved self-regulation reduces stress and improves the immune system. 
In the Art of Ascension as taught by the Ishayas, we teach simple tools or “seed thoughts” to expand the mind.  They can be used anytime, anywhere, by anybody.  By easily introducing these simple “seed thoughts” based on Praise, Gratitude, Love, and Compassion into your life, your mind and perception becomes attuned to these upward spirals and charms the mind into wanting more.  Just by utilizing the practice, your neurons are attracted to more praise, gratitude, love and compassion. 

As part of the practice of Ascension, you learn to observe your attention without judgement.  Our awareness is actually infinite. We know that what we focus on grows.  So, if we become aware of our own awareness, expansion is the result. The more we use the practice of Ascension, the old boundaries and self-limitations begin to fall away.  These simple tools can be used to reduce stress, but they can also be used to find unlimited freedom and unconditional love by attending to our attention and expanding awareness.


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