Practice Name: Zones of Awareness
In the present moment we are interconnected with everything in that moment. The primary part of the environment we must be aware of is our inner experience of thoughts, emotions and physical sensations. Next, we must be aware of ourselves in relationship to the environment. Then we must also be aware of the context of the environment as a whole.
Phase 1: Centering - Embodying the Dao The first step is to ground yourself in your immediate experience. Here in Enactive Dao, we call this process Embodying Dao.
Begin by sitting in a quiet place, free of distractions. Close your eyes and turn your awareness to your breath. Feel each inhale and exhale, noticing the rise and fall of your chest and the sensation of air entering and leaving your body. This practice helps you to connect with your physical body and the immediate present moment, embodying the principles that emphasize living in harmony with nature and the present moment.
Phase 2: Perceptual Openness - Enacting the World After grounding in the present moment, move into the Zone of "Environment" or what we refer to as Enacting the World. Here, we expand our awareness outward, beyond our physical self, and into the environment around us.
Open your eyes and use your senses to observe the world around you. What do you see? What can you hear? Can you smell anything? Note the details of the world around you, how everything is interconnected, part of the web of life.
Notice how your emotions are projected onto the world and that it is your emotional resonance that paints the objects in the world. This doesn't just happen inside your head or body, it reverberates out into the world and affects it.
This practice fosters a deep sense of interconnectedness and a profound respect for the world in which we exist.
Phase 3: Inner Awareness - Embracing Impermanence From the outer world, we return inward, moving into the Zone of "Internal Processes." In Enactive Dao, this practice helps us to Embrace Impermanence.
Close your eyes again, and now turn your attention to the thoughts, emotions, and sensations that arise within you. Simply observe these inner experiences, without judgment or attachment. Recognize that like everything else, your thoughts and feelings are subject to change and are impermanent.
All that we experience is a never-ending flow of changes both internal and external and the mixing of the two like currents.
This practice promotes acceptance of our transient nature and cultivates a deep sense of inner peace and tranquility.
Phase 4: Dao Synthesis - Unifying Inner and Outer Worlds Finally, we enter the Zone of "Fantasy" or Dao Synthesis in our practice. Here, we attempt to unify our inner and outer worlds, acknowledging the fundamental interconnectedness of all things and the ongoing flux of experience.
With your eyes open, take in your surroundings. However, this time, also maintain awareness of your inner state. Hold this dual awareness of both your inner world and the external environment. Observe how they interact and impact one another, understanding your existence as part of a larger whole and recognizing the interplay between your perception, your environment, and your reactions.
Remember, the Zones of Awareness is not a static, one-time practice. Like the flow of the Dao itself, it is dynamic and ongoing. Regular practice allows us to develop embodied awareness, appreciate interconnectedness, and accept the inherent impermanence of all phenomena, thus, fostering a deep engagement with life and consciousness.