Awareness expansion tools and techniques are one of the four pillars that provide the foundation of spiritual exploration. They are methods to create your path. Find out to use them to your full potential.
The Journey From Awake to Aware
There is a continuum of awareness from those who are asleep to those who are enlightened. The greater the bandwidth, the more ability we have to use the full potential of our minds. When we Increase awareness, we also increase the line-of-sight on our conscience. As we Increase awareness of conscience, we see the inequities in the world. It changes the quality of our thoughts.
“Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darkness of other people. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely. Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” — Carl Jung
Awareness runs on a continuum from those who are asleep to those who are enlightened sages. Everyone falls somewhere on this graph. And, you can use awareness tools and techniques to increase our bandwidth of awareness, developing our minds, bodies, and spirit.
“Awakening is not a state but a process: an ethical way of life and commitment that enables human flourishing. As such, it is no longer the exclusive preserve of enlightened teachers or accomplished yogis. Likewise, nirvana-the stopping of craving-is not the goal of the path but its very source. For human flourishing first stirs in that clear, bright, empty space where neurotic self-centredness realizes it has no ground at all to stand on. One is then freed to pour forth like sunlight.” — Stephen Batchelor
Some people are born awake and aware, and others need some maturing to move along. Joseph Campbell (1) did considerable research into this process. He showed how our inborn desire to seek the unknown is a universal desire. He calls this common need The Hero’s Journey, and it’s a pattern that we find in many ancient cultures.
“Philosophy is not to think deep, but simply speak life’s basics that arise, aware and awaken people who are knowingly or unknowingly in the state of sleep.” — Anuj
Some people answer the call to seek their spiritual path; others do not. Many people stay asleep psychologically and spiritually. Some people get sidetracked by religion. But, more and more are moving from awake to aware.
“Tapped in a continuum of your own making. Awareness is the key that unlocks your opportunity for change.” — Truth Devour
The Continuum of Awareness
The graph above is one way to describe this continuum. On the left side are those who are asleep. On the extreme side of this spectrum are narcissists and psychopaths, and they are the most destructive, especially when in places of power. Narcissistic behaviors to mild mental neurosis are next. They will never make it from awake to aware. Those who are asleep but not destructive make up the largest part of the population. This group fixates on religion and material possessions. They are consumer-driven and follow trends and cultural traditions.
Some awaken only to fall back to sleep. They succumb to the negative programming prevalent in many cultures.
Those who are awake are on the right side of the continuum of awareness. These people are walking their path and becoming aware and enlightened individuals. The most enlightened individuals are on the far right, the Sages and Siddhas.
“Wakefulness involves both the heart and the mind. We think more clearly and we empathize more dearly. When one expands awareness, this has some unintended consequences. It makes us a better and more caring person.” — Guru Tua
Spiritual exploration is a journey through life using awareness tools and techniques that provide us with a greater degree of presence, practical knowledge, and wisdom. We walk the path alone, but we don’t have to walk by ourselves.
We learn and get guidance from others, and we help others. There will be roadblocks, challenges, and opportunities. Our friends and partners are there to help us. In the end, the rewards are worth the inner work for expanded awareness.
Awareness is an expression of consciousness. The bandwidth of awareness controls the level of perception. So, methods which expand our awareness are healthy for our body, mind, and spirit.
Awareness Tools and Techniques
These are techniques which deal with increasing the bandwidth of awareness. They are listed in alphabetical order, not in their order of importance.
Automatic handwriting is a term that refers to a technique where we allow the hand to move on paper without giving conscious thought to what we are writing. It’s one of the most valuable tools for accessing our subconscious mind. It is something that became popular when paper and pencil became a common commodity.
The pioneers of psychology talk about various forms of automatic handwriting. Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud and George Gurdjieff (3) all used this method. The Modern Spiritualist Movement adopted this technique in the late 1800s. Sadly, its association with this movement keeps the procedure out of the mainstream. It is a helpful method for accessing the subconscious mind.
The Emotional Check Process
It is a practical process we recommend with almost every kind of spiritual technology. This process helps us to keep our focus from being diverted by our emotions. Powerful emotions like fear and anger can sidetrack our research because they can trigger our fight, flight, or freeze mechanism.
Not only can our emotions thwart our research, but they can also keep us asleep. We can spend hours in research only to find we have made no progress. We fail to see or reject those things that threaten our current point of view.
Fear and anger override our critical thinking abilities. So, stopping to assess our feelings is a way to get the most out of the time you spend. No matter what stage you are in the continuum of awareness, this simple emotional checking process will help you get better results.
Exploring our memories is an important exercise that we can use to complement other kinds of meditation, healing, or awareness expansion tools. Our formative time in childhood holds some interesting values and thought scripts in our daily lives. Learning about them helps us identify which ones are healthy and which ones are not to change them.
Exploring our memories puts things in perspective and so can move us from awake to aware.
These exercises produce an altered state through rapid breathing. It can expose our deepest emotions,. So, it is often used by those who practice emotional healing. Using this technique elevates respiration and heart rate. If you have a heart condition or take mood stabilizer medications, this may not be for you. Consult with your physician before using. It’s one of the “awareness tools and techniques” that’s not for everyone. Some people classify this as a form of meditation because it does alter awareness.
Learning How To Learn
The tactics for optimal learning are one of the first tools we use in our blended learning process. We are the accumulation of our memory. Everything about who we are is within the mysterious compartment of the mind we call memory.
Enhancing memory involves learning practical techniques to strengthen and organize the power of our memory.
The tactics of optimal learning open up the power of your memory increases your overall potential to acquire and use knowledge. Your memory is like a muscle; the more you learn to use it correctly, the stronger it becomes.
If you come to any of our workshops, one of the first techniques you’ll learn will be the framework of “learning how to learn.” These practical frameworks aren’t new. Everyone can use them. We wonder why these tactics are not a part of every child’s learning curriculum. No matter what age, no matter where you are on the continuum of awareness, these tactics will supercharge your learning ability.
Lucid dreaming techniques give you the ability to know that you are dreaming. It also gives you control of your dreams. You can use a simple script before you go to sleep, which expands your awareness. This is one of the easiest ways to increase the bandwidth of awareness. Sages tell us this is also the key to recognizing synchronistic events.
It is by far the most practical spiritual technology you can employ to expedite your growth on the continuum of awareness. You get the opportunity every night you go to bed to sleep.
External and Internal Self-Observation Tools
These are strategies to increase both internal and external observational skills. It is these skills that help us perceive and value the world without interference from the negative aspects of the culture. For example, our sixth sense is one ability we share with many living things. It’s the ability to sense danger when the threat is outside of the parameters of our five senses. We can regain this primitive observational sense by removing the cultural clutter from the programming within the mind.
The Shamanic Journey is probably man’s first technology for exploring consciousness. It is a universal gateway to a separate state of awareness found around the world. Michael Harner (2) calls this state The Shamanic State of Consciousness (SCC). The brainwaves are in the theta-wavelength 4 to 7Hz, making this partition of awareness distinctly different from our default states of waking, sleeping, and dreaming. It is also different from the 4th state of pure consciousness. This method is at the core of many indigenous cultures, and it serves as evidence of the historical importance of the inner quest.
There are many variations on this theme, but essentially the same formula. Rhythm is a crucial element that regulates heart rate and breathing. Then the mind projects an inner world, providing the lucid journey.
A Shaman is a person who guides people through this journey in the spirit world. However, you can take this inward journey by yourself. This tool for changing awareness uses a range of seated and moving forms.
Spiritual Journal or Book of Shadows
If you are looking for a place to start your spiritual practice, this should be your first tool. Your collection of spiritual journals is your best friend. It is a “must-have” tool because it will be your spiritual life coach.
Our handwriting contains a lot of information that we can use to spot trends and roadblocks in our growth and progress. Most progress comes in small incremental steps, so we miss these small steps of progress unless we record them in a journal.
Third-Eye Awakening Process
This is an advanced process to increase your observational and perception abilities. To do this, it opens the heart chakra. When most people think of improving their observational skills, they think of the five senses. However, perception and observation are inside jobs. They deal with removing the harmful boundaries and beliefs that get in the way.
You must be sure before you open this portal. Many of the effects are irreversible. Once your heart and conscience are open, you cannot “unsee” the existing inequities and challenges.
The above list of awareness tools and techniques contains the methods we have tested in workshops for nearly 30 years. We find them to be safe and effective. These tools are at the core of our blended learning process.
What you will notice is the conspicuous absence of any religious dogma. It is because the immersion into mythology and superstition has the opposite effect on awareness. When you mistake myths for facts, it creates a slippery slope that blinds our minds. Mythology sets up barriers to common sense.
The path from awake to aware is a lifelong adventure. We are all on the continuum of awareness, each facing unique challenges. Find freethinkers who have the same goal for self-development, and you’ll go a long way. If you stumble and fall, it’s all part of “the great spiritual experiment” we call life.
(1) Joseph Campbell: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Campbell
(2) Michael Harner: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Harner
(3) George Ivanovich Gurdjieff: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Gurdjieff