Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Awareness (presence of mind)

Awareness is wisdom; it is the view of a pure mind, cast without boundary.

Wisdom requires conscious, intentional and reflective living based on one's values and priorities. It means practicing in words and actions who one wants to be.

Wise decisions are a response, not a reaction. One makes wise decisions by observing the uniqueness of a situation and the persons involved, recognizing alternatives, weighing options, and making a way forward. 
~ Gary J. Boelhower, Author of A Model for Wise Decision-Making Based on Spiritual Principles

The key elements of awareness consist of the following:

  • Internal (attitudes, beliefs, emotions, and feelings)
  • External (common knowledge, culture, and environment)
  • Situational (anticipate, contemplate, evaluate, and postulate) 

Anthony de Mello courtesy of his brother Bill de Mello
A man found an eagle's egg and put it in a nest of a barnyard hen. The eaglet hatched with the brood of chicks and grew up with them. All his life the eagle did what the barnyard chicks did, thinking he was a barnyard chicken. He scratched the earth for worms and insects. He clucked and cackled. And he would thrash his wings and fly a few feet into the air.

Years passed and the eagle grew very old. One day he saw a magnificent bird above him in the cloudless sky. It glided in graceful majesty among the powerful wind currents, with scarcely a beat on his strong golden wings. The old eagle looked up in awe. "Who's that?" he asked. "That's the eagle, the king of the birds," said his neighbour. "He belongs to the sky. We belong to the earth - we're chickens." So the eagle lived and died a chicken, for that's what he thought he was.

Anthony de Mello (1931 - 1987) Jesuit Priest

If you're not careful, you can spend nearly all of your life running away from just about everything rather than being still long enough to take a really good look around at where you are and discovering that the things you continue to search for can only be identified within you. All one needs to do is to stop long enough to ask themselves the right questions: Who am I? What is my purpose in life? When will I be free? Where am I going? How do I get to where I need to go?  

Mankind need not live out of a fear that he can not control himself. 

Rather, it is a simple matter of taking personal responsibility for oneself: including both decisions and actions.

Jon Dunnemann